As our first blog posting we thought it important to share how we decided to kick off this traveling adventure, the hard questions we were continually asking ourselves, and how we bypassed the potentially negative repercussions.
As most people close to us know, long-term travel has always been a dream of ours and a focal point of conversation over glasses of wine and beers for the past five years. Previously, we had always made travel a priority in our lives and in our annual budget. This has allowed us to go on some epic trips.
In the past 15 months we have been fortunate to visit Switzerland, Paris, London, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Colombia, and throughout the USA – San Francisco, Savannah, Raleigh, Charleston, and Colorado. Independently, Michael traveled to Venice and Katy went to Germany, Czech Republic and Poland for her MBA program.
Living in Colorado we get a taste of vacation each weekend whether it’s snowboarding in the winter or biking, camping, hiking in the summer. We have always pursued travel to the best of our abilities while working. Our biggest challenge however was the conclusion of each incredible trip. We needed more. We needed to lose ourselves with prolonged, submerged travel.
For years we had reasons and excuses to put off prolonged travel – success at work, finishing graduate school, desires to purchase a home, questioning whether long-term travel was indeed what we wanted (rather than our 4-6 weeks of travel each year), the financial set back to an early retirement. The list goes on and on. We are a great example of “alligator arms” – we know what we want but reaching out to grab it takes us time as we methodically question all aspects [to death] before we do anything…not necessarily a good thing.
In the end, life is too short not to pursue what you truly want. We can always get another job, earn more money, find a house to buy, succumb to the societal handcuffs of corporate America but right now we are healthy, young, and without children. The time is now and the time for kicking off this adventure has never been better!
While sharing our plans of this adventure to our friends, family, colleagues, and business connections we were certainly nervous and had no idea how the people closest to us would react. Many friends would ask, “What does your work think about it?” Our family would ask, “Is this the best life choice? When will see you again?” Our Colleagues would ask, “What do your customers have to say about this news?”
These were all great questions. We asked ourselves these same questions numerous times before we made our decision. We assumed some people would be stoked and others skeptical. Well, good people and travel always prevail! No matter who we spoke with, who we informed of our plans for departure we were greeted with enthusiasm and excitement. Literally all of the 100+ people we spoke with gave us nothing but love for our pursuit. In short, we heard two recurring responses, “I badly want to do the same thing” or “I wish I would have done something like that when I was younger”.
We thank all of you for your support; it was a huge boost of confidence that we are doing the right thing.
My, Michael’s, biggest concern was the perception at work. I worked for a Fortune 15 corporation. Knowing corporate policies and the on-going machines they are I was skeptical of “well” wishes from my executive team. I was completely wrong. After I announced my intension to leave for an indefinite amount of time I received the same response as others, “I wish I would have done that. Enjoy yourself and let us know when you’re coming back.” A big shout-out for the company to handle the news with the utmost professionalism!
As a wise person once said, (Jane from The Office, the Executive Michael is in love with for the first 4+ seasons) “There are a million reasons not to do something.” Leading up to the start of our travels you ask yourself if you are doing the right thing, often. It’s human nature to question whether such a huge decision is “correct” or not. It could take weeks or months of travel for some people to know if they made the right decision. For us the realization was immediate, we are absolutely doing the right thing.
If you have a passion, dream, and desire to travel long-term just do it. We say it with ease now but that’s because we are currently living in the traveling vortex.
Life is too short and unpredictable not to pursue your dreams.