In 47 days, we’ll be on a plane out of the United States. We’re in the final stages of planning, and it’s really all happening.
I think about the progression of this trip over the last year — from a thrilling idea that scared the shit out of me to a soul-filling adventure I would be devastated not to go on — and the fact that it took months upon months to convince myself that we’d be ok if we left our secure jobs for an unpredictable future.
I think about the deep fear I had when I was going to see my parents for the first time in months and knew it was time to tell them and my other family. My parents’ reaction was more of a concern for my well-being than a “you’re crazy to quit your job in this economy” retort like I was expecting. After breaking the news, my conversations with some family members focused on the trip and its meaning, while others couldn’t get over the fact that I’d be jobless. “Talk her out of it,” they said to Mike.
I think about the stress we took on while planning our wedding and trip concurrently. Our guest list of 25 people didn’t make it less stressful to plan than a 125-person wedding. But there was no way around that. Could we have an intimate and personalized wedding within our budget? And sometimes we wondered about our priorities. Is it crazy that we’d rather put the majority of our savings toward our extended honeymoon than our wedding? But we didn’t want a big wedding — really. And now that it’s over, we look back on that March 3 weekend and are happy and proud of our decision.
I think about what it’s been like to keep such a monstrous secret at work. I couldn’t run into the office in the morning and share the news of our first big step — buying one-way tickets to Iceland. Time after time, I had to bite my tongue or leave the room due to lack of confidence in my own self-control. Working with international clients only exacerbated my desire to talk openly and my self-imposed inability to do so.
And, finally, I think about how proud I am of us for having the courage to make sacrifices to take this leap of faith. This unconventional use of our life’s savings has drawn some quizzical looks, but it’s the only way to fulfill our dream. Additionally, we’re leaving an income, job security and a comfortable life. All for the freedom to travel the world. Wait. Let me repeat that: All for the freedom to travel the world. The life of a nomad may not be a good fit for everyone, but it’s our dream. And I think we’re pretty damn awesome for having the courage to take the actions necessary to pursue it.