Why We’re Changing Our Lives To Travel
|November 1, 2011||Filed under Australia, Baby Steps- The Journey Begins|
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!!!!!!!!!!