We are Dai, Christie, Chardonae and Brielyn Manuel.
We are about health, happiness, community, life experiences, and leading by example. We had a desire to live life differently. We recognized time was the one thing we could not create more of, so we simplified life, down-sizing our monthly overhead, said goodbye to our traditional jobs, gave-away most of our stuff, and jammed what we could into our little SUV, so we could experience more as a family and connect with more communities.
We are on a mission to embrace living life differently and enhance lives along the way.
Why the name, “Life Enhancers”?
Enhancing our family’s life and those we’re fortunate to connect with throughout our lives is what lights us up. Connecting on a deeper level as a family, while helping people live happy, healthier, more active lifestyles while developing richer, deeper and more meaningful relationships is our mission. We are sharing our adventures with hopes of inspiring others to explore more, possibly think differently, and go after what they really want, as well as to showcase stories of people who are enhancing lives in their own way.
Definition of ENHANCE: intensify, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of. Synonyms: increase, add to, intensify, heighten, magnify, amplify, strengthen, build up, supplement, augment, boost, raise, lift, elevate.
What did we use to do?
Prior to making the decision to simplify life and embark on what we coined #ProjectFullTimeFamily, Dai’s day to day responsibility as Chief Operating Officer of Fitness Town, a successful retail fitness equipment supplier in Western Canada, and Christie was working full-time as the Guest Relations Coordinator for the JOEY Restaurant Group. Brielyn and Chardonae were in grades 5 and 7 at our local public school. We enjoyed our jobs and school, appreciated our lifestyle, and adored our community.
Awarded the #1 Fitness Blog by Breaking Muscle and as Woman of Worth Health & Wellness Award recipient, Dai, and Christie lead a number of initiatives including the BC Children’s Hospital Grind for Kids group, the Sunday Funday ‘I Want My Mudder’ obstacle course teams, Toastmasters, and the Whole Life Fitness Manifesto, tribe. Life in Vancouver, Canada was pretty amazing, but we desired to impact more communities and raise C & B to be global citizens.
Christie used her post-secondary education savings to fund her dream of international travel on and off for a few years. Though not a traditional form of education, she’s confident it was a worthy investment in learning. Dai booked it out west to Vancouver to the University of British Columbia right after high-school finished in Toronto and has officially spent more of his life in BC than Ontario, and has only ever experienced 1-2 week vacations or quick business travel up until now.
Since Dai and Christie committed to be partners for life in 2002, the travel bug patiently kept Christie within its’ grasp. Her desire for her family (and friends) to experience the unexplainable internal shift and mindset that comes from global travel was incredibly deep. January 2013, Dai wrote a manifesto (his Jerry Maguire moment) on a 5 hour plane ride home to see his parents. The manifesto included everything from his vision for Fitness Town, his personal goals, family, and community.
Two years later we are where we are today, living that vision, the goal to educate through travel and spend more time as a family while positively impacting lives through our actions. Plus, we freaking love spending time together and we see the travel lifestyle allowing us more time laughing, learning and loving each other on a different level.
Did we win the jackpot?
Heck yes, we think so. In means of money, not at all. We used our savings to create and publish one of Dai’s dreams to produce a book that will get people moving more and being the best version of themselves. January 2016 The Whole Life Fitness Manifesto was released through Chapters Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and numerous independent book retailers.
Over the months leading up to 2016, we downsized our monthly expenses (ie getting rid of our second vehicle, cutting back on eating out and unnecessary entertainment) and diverting our rent to living abroad. We knew through Dai’s blog, brand ambassador programs, and speaking engagements we had the financial means to survive. We believe freeing up time to commit to other passion projects will open more opportunities for our family.
What’s our plan?
Our plan is to simplify life, develop richer relationships, lead by example with our actions, empower others to take control of their health and happiness, and experience what’s happening in communities around the globe. We don’t have the exact details figured out and honestly, who knows if we ever will. We appreciate the flexibility, shall we arrive somewhere and want to stay longer or choose to move on sooner, let’s do it. We enjoy the freedom of choice and keeping possibilities open. We launched our #WLFMroadtrip adventure in the USA, with plans for Canada in summer and hopes to go international early 2017.
As for education, we are currently life-schooling. Learning through the living and exploring our options. There are a number of distance learning programs, home-schooling options, unschooling, self design, definitely no shortage of choices. Choosing what works for our family and ensuring the girls continue to thrive and embrace learning is very important to us. As to what the best solution is, we are still figuring it out. Through online websites and apps, journalling, youtube, and exploration, we believe they are doing well. Chardonae really misses the routine of school, the social aspect, whereas Brie misses her playtime with friends, but has no desire to return to the traditional classroom at this time. Finding a way to satisfy our lifestyle and ensure the girls are enjoying life is something we take seriously. We will be sharing our discoveries within the epic education section of this blog, so fingers crossed we continue to move forward and enjoy learning.
Why on earth was our first stop in the USA, are we crazy?
We like to think crazy fun, yes indeed! In regards to choosing to venture south of the Canadian border when the exchange rate is the worst it has been in the past decade, we figure if we can survive financially in the USA, we can manage almost anywhere around the world.
Truthfully, Dai and Chardonae have auto-immune conditions and take somewhat unique medications which we had no experience travelling with. Staying somewhat close to home while we test the location independent lifestyle gave us peace of mind. Not to mention staying connected to North America while launching Dai’s book allowed us to begin our adventure at the same time.
An added bonus is the quality time we were able to spend in Palm Springs, California with grandpa and the great grandparents, beyond the odd dinner and week-long vacation.
Simplifying life, choosing to live differently and adopting the #JustDidit mentality hasn’t been easy, but totally worth it and we’re pumped for what’s ahead.
Looking to partner with a dynamic and charismatic crew?
If you haven’t already noticed, our family is about FUN, while encompassing fitness, finances, faith and family. We strive to inspire, and share authentically and organically with our communities, through our daily actions. If you have a brand, product, experience, establishment, corporate request, campaign, service or event you’d like to discuss, please visit our ‘Partner With Us’ page and contact us.
With over 20 years of customer care experience, entertaining, coaching, and presenting to large groups, retail sales, management, and training, along with a decade of being socially connected online, blogging, parenting, and mentoring, we are confident in a wide range of areas and would love to connect to see if there’s a way we can work together.
What’s next for our family?
Majority of Canada bound for the remainder of 2016! We’re heading out on #WLFMroadtrip phase 2 in July. Departing Vancouver and heading east to connect with people across our own country and the eastern USA. Christie has done some international travel prior to life with Dai and parenthood, but the family adventure is completely new to us all, so any tips, tricks, connections you care to share would be awesome. We hope to go overseas in 2017, visiting South East Asia, Australia and potentially parts of Europe. Like we said earlier, we’re flexible.
We hope by sharing our journey something is ignited within you to pursue your dreams and live life differently. We love connecting with others, so reach out anytime, possibly you’ll even join us for a workout and a high five somewhere along the way!
We appreciate you getting to know us a little better and look forward to getting to know you too. Feel free to subscribe to our blog and follow our social channels to stay up to date on our adventure and pipe in when you wish.
Stay connected, hold on tight, and get ready for total awesomeness! Chat soon!