Why We’re Changing Our Lives To Travel

Ok, so in the last two months, we officially decided to pursue our dream of long-term, indefinite travel. It’s a dream that would not be possible had a few ducks not lined up in a nice little row. A few of the other ducks needed some stern words a bit of old-fashioned brute force. Now that they’re lining up nicely, I thought it might be time for me to clarify what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.

Q: Why do you want to travel indefinitely? What does that even mean?

Now, I know you’re not stupid. You know what the word indefinitely means, but for us, it simply means without a time frame. A few years ago, Tyrhone and I traveled through Greece and Turkey, over land and sea, for two months. The time flew by. I remember being on a moped for the first time, flying down a road in Cappadocia, thinking, I could just keep going, forever!’.

At the end of our 3 1/2 week whirlwind tour of India in January, I thought the same thing. After two weeks in Bali in June, same thing. Ok, you see a pattern!

I have always felt pressure to ‘make the most’ out of my limited time in a certain place, to see as much as I can see, before its time to pack up and go back to work. I crave the feeling of having nowhere to be… except… here.

This is not a new dream for us. It has been lurking in the undercurrents of our life for some time, and we both often wondered if it would actually happen. Now it is.

Oh yeah did I mention that we both LOVE to travel? That when we do, we’re our happiest, most authentic selves, and we want to do the thing that makes us happy, like, ALL the time?

Q: Why leave a job that pays well and gives you great benefits, like cheap air travel? Especially when you could take leave without pay for a year or two?

I have been a flight attendant for eleven years. I have worked for my current company for ten. I ‘fell into’ the job straight out of uni, where I studied English and Japanese, and I couldn’t believe my luck. On my first trip to Cairns, I got in to my hotel room, threw open the curtains, taking in the view, and did an “I’m so goddamn excited” happy dance. I promised myself that when I stopped feeling like that about my job (or perks thereof), I’d leave. I’m a few years late, but what the hey!

It’s been an amazing decade, and I am so grateful for the opportunities the job gave me. I have met amazing people, and had fabulous experiences. I was based in London for three years, from where I did most of my travel. The biggest gift of all, I met Tyrhone. Who would’ve thought that a relationship that started at Reading Music Festival would last?

But I’m not doing a happy dance anymore, not even a mildly contented dance. I only feel like dancing when I leave.

But I’ll tell you when I did do one: when I applied for a voluntary redundancy that was offered by the company. That was quickly followed by a few days (or weeks, it’s a bit of a blur!) of fear and insecurity like I have never experienced.

My head turned into a bully, bombarding me with degrading, negative thoughts, and calling me names.

Who do you think you are? You are going to fail. You are going to regret this. You’re being a fool.

How dare my own head turn on me? So I quickly set about becoming more inspired than ever before. Today, I read blogs like www.so-many-places.com,  www.wanderingearl.com, www.almostfearless.com  and www.nomadicchick.com  about people who are making sacrifices to achieve their dreams. I have connected with other bloggers who are either living the life I dream of, or attempting to.

And, importantly, I started seeing a therapist, who has helped me to define my fears clearly, so they can’t all get together in a gang and bully me into submission.

Oh yeah, and I’d love to be a writer some day. I’ve wanted this for a while, but never had any motivation to  actually, well, write. Now, its flowing out of me, and the only reason I’m not writing more is because I don’t want the 18 people who subscribe to my blog to get sick of me. Too late? Apologies.

Q Why sell your house? Can’t you just rent it out? What about the future?

This has probably been the hardest decision we’ve made, but one that we feel will give us the freedom we need to pursue our dream fully, without anything to hold us back.

Firstly, we will have some money from the sale of our house, that combined with our savings, will be able to generate a small income (from interest) to help us to travel the world and live where we please. We’re talking Mexico, not Monaco. It wont cover all our living costs, but it will certainly help.

If we were to leave that money in the house, and rent it out, the rent would barely cover the mortgage and other fees payable on the property. If something broke, or needed maintenance, we would have to fork out from our savings, limiting our opportunities for travel.

As for the future, well, if we are lucky enough to reach old age, which, let’s face it, is no guarantee, then we want to look back with the knowledge that we truly lived. That we made the most out of the cosmic miracle of being born. And finding each other. And deciding to support each other to achieve what we thought was impossible.

A property portfolio is not something we’re aiming for, anymore.

 Could we? Might we even dare to be mind numbingly happy, joyous and free?

Q.What if we don’t like it? Realise we made a big mistake?

I’m laughing a bit writing this, which is a good sign. But it’s still possible that we will change our minds (because we like to do that) and decide that we want to settle down in sunny Perth, where the air is clean, and the coffee is expensive.

And the answer is, we’ll come back, get jobs, and rent a place until the bank will give us a loan for another house.

Let this be a record, that if I want my old job back, shoot me. Just do it. Or have me committed to live out my days in drooling, prozac induced bliss.

That’s the thing about indefinite travel, we can return when we like…

Q. But you’re not married, where is your security? What if you break up? Don’t you want a family?

Whoah there, imaginary naysayer! That’s a lot of questions!

Firstly, we’re not getting married. Tyrhone’s done it before, and he ain’t likely to do it again! Having said that, he has shown me more loyalty, compassion and support than I ever dreamed of. Our committment has survived more challenges than most couples I know, and we are happier today than when we first met. That’s gotta be a good sign.

But we are realists, and yes, there is the possibility that the strain and struggle of living a life of travel and adventure will get to us, and we will part ways. The divorce rate is one in two, people! A piece of paper won’t keep us together, but hopefully our love will.

As for kids, they are not on the horizon. I love children, my nieces are the yummiest, funniest, most amazing little creatures, but I know I’m not ready to be a Mum, and I don’t know if I ever will. I honestly feel more comfortable with that than I ever have. I just know I’m only just beginning to look after myself, nurture my dreams, and become who I was meant to be, and I’m not willing to compromise on that.

Whatever the future holds, bring it on, but we are not planning a family.

It’s funny that if we were spending $30K on a wedding and selling our place to get a bigger house, with a bigger mortgage, the congratulations would be flooding in. But because we are doing something different, some people just don’t get it.

So yes, we are challenging ourselves and taking a risk to live a life beyond our wildest dreams. But really what are the risks? There will always be other jobs, other cars, other mortgages, if we want them. We just don’t want them now.

Something tells me, though, that our lives will never be the same again…

I just couldn’t get these damn photos next to each other! Arrgh!!!!!!!!!!


Why We’re Changing Our Lives To Travel — 16 Comments

  1. I could have written those answers word for word! Especially that part about kids. I also feel as though I am just beginning to nurture myself and my dreams. Kids might not be in my future and, like you, I’m so comfortable with that right now.

    I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, you are a great writer and I’m happy every time I see a post from you in my inbox.

    Was your voluntary redundancy accepted? Do you guys know when you will leave????

    • Aw thanks again Kim, I never tire of your words of encouragement! Tyrhone and I have been together for five years, and we’ve experienced some tough times, as well as some great ones. But it seems all anyone wants to ask me is when we are getting married, or if I want to have kids.

      It feels good to say, no, not now. None of us know what the future holds, and nothing much in life goes to plan anyway! Wierdly, that knowledge has given me freedom, to throw caution to the wind, and make the most of my precious time on this amazing planet.

      We are anxiuosly awaiting a date, but I’m putting February out in to the universe! We’re putting our house on the market very soon. Better call the realtor…

  2. That’s an amazing story, I can’t wait to read more about your adventures. I’ve known many friends who have done the same thing and are better for it. I thought they were crazy when they first told me (especially because they did it during a GFC) but after awhile I was just in awe. Congratulations and good luck!

    • Thank you very much for reading, and for your encouragement (God knows, we need it!).

      Only time will tell if we’re doing the right thing, but whatever happens, I know we’ll learn a lot about ourselves!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Congrats on your decision and going with your gut feeling. As you said, you can always get traditional jobs again.

    I know exactly what you mean about those photos. I’ve spent my share of time trying to achieve photo-layout integrity. :-)

    • Thanks for the encouragement! And photos- Aargh! I spent hours today trying to get a photo page together and it looks, well a bit awful really! Oh well, its a hell of a learning curve! Thanks for stopping by :)

  4. Sarah, thanks for your insightful posting! As you know, my hubby and I are embarking on a journey that shares similar threads of yours, and we have been met with some resistance and surprise from friends and loved ones too. We’re hoping that in following our dreams, others will be inspired to pursue theirs as well – even if it does involve some risk, sacrifice and uncertainty!

    • Hi Tricia, it was quite theraputic to write about the reasons’ we are doing what we are doing actually! And the truth is, I am my own worst enemy. I can get so full of fear at times, that I have to check in with what it is I truly want out of life, to get on to the path of inspiration again. The reality is, I have to make some sacrifices in order to follow my dreams, yet I have no control over the outcome…

      I truly wish you all the best for your travels through Asia, and I look forward to following along! just realized I have to add to you my list of favourite bloggers! I’ll get on to that…

  5. Sarah, belated thanks for your travel well wishes and for adding me to your blog list. I think I’ve successfully done the same with yours…

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about fear being so suffocating! Even with the fantastic image of our future prospective adventures, I had a hard time seeing my whole ‘material life’ packed up a few weeks ago and leaving a stable position! There are moments where I get a bit homesick for the special people in my life back home, but not all those things or that stress!

    • Sarah, well impressed and proud of your decision. So much excitement & life experiences to come. I love the feeling of no deadlines and taking each day as it comes. Wishing all the best with your journey.

      Now lets get together before you leave.

  6. Hi Sarah, my bf and I are currently planning our RTW trip, which starts in March. As our date of departure draws closer we’re finding that the people closest to us just aren’t that interested in our trip – either that or they think we’re making a mistake. It’s frustrating because, like you say, if we were planning a wedding, buying a house or opting to have kids everyone would be excited and asking questions!

    • Hi Amy, it can be a lonely road in the lead up to your departure. I remember it well! Thankfully, I can also say that in my experience, its all worth it. Youre changing, and if other people aren’t a part of that they tend not to show much interest. Try not to take it personally, theres plenty of us out here in the world, travelling and making an unconventional life for ourselves, and you will meet plenty more like minded people once you are on the road. Best wishes!!!

  7. Always enjoy reading peoples great adventures, especially those that take a giant step outside the box!
    All the best in your travels and look forward to your updates!
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