The BIG Decision!
Zach and I are both 25 years old, college-grads, living in the Dallas area. We are a young couple making a big decision to begin a journey we’ve been dreaming of for an entire year now. Yes, we have spent the past year devising a plan to recreate our “normal” every-day. Our every day wake up, go to work, go home, cook dinner, maybe-I’ll-have-the-energy-to-actually-clean-the-dishes type of every-day living. We are young professinals who saw ourselves becoming unhappy so quickly with what we were doing, and how we were living our every-day lives. So when Zach came to me with the idea of traveling full-time, it wasn’t hard to say, “ok!?”
But what does one have to do to be able to travel full-time? What does that even mean?? Do we have to give up everything that we have? Yes and no. Do we have to figure out where to put all our stuff? Yes, yes, yes. How do we explain to our parents that we will have no “home”? You’ll figure it out.
The first part was just that… bringing the idea to our parents. All great ideas begin to take motion somewhere, and at least for me it was getting the idea into my parent’s heads. What would they think? Would they be supportive? Would they tell me “no.” I’m 25, can they even do that?? My visit home for Christmas of 2017 was about the time I revealed the potential plan (although to us, it was pretty much a-go situation), and they took it in, gave support (probably thinking it would never happen!) and that was that.
Ok, so the parents were on board. First step accomplished! The second part was saving up. EASIER SAID THAN DONE. We saved and saved and didn’t spend on x,y, and z, but we continued to devote a portion of our earnings to what we love.. can anyone guess…? Hopping on planes! We went to see loved ones, went on mini vacays, spent a week in Denmark with my folks, and took every opportunity to have fun through travel. Thats who we are after all! We couldn’t spend a whole year NOT doing the thing we want to do in order to do thing we wanted to do!! Am I right? We did save a healthy portion we thought could sustain us for 1 year, and we were happy with that.
So the third part- it seems small, but to us it was the most exciting moment we’d had in regards to our master plan. Four months prior to the estimated departure, we BOUGHT. THE. TICKET. The first ticket to Thailand. The ticket that meant we were really really really doing this thing..no take-backs. This was no longer a joke, I repeat: THIS WAS NO LONGER A JOKE. We were boarding a plane on February 7th, and there was no refund! It was a wonderful and scary feeling all at the same time! We loved how it made us feel, but it also invoked a sense of fear that we were going to have to make it all happen. Besides the minor sense of worry and stress, good stress not bad stress, we were overjoyed that we had the tickets to our first destination, and that we were making the dream come true!
The fourth thing we had to do was much bigger, much scarier, much more permanent… we had to quit our jobs. We quit very good jobs. I cannot explain enough how lucky the both of us were to have the jobs we had 2-3 years out of college, and again, how lucky we were. So we quit them. This was not an easy task for either of us because we both had great relationships with our bosses. Really nice people. How do you explain to someone who employs you that you are “moving” to technically… “nowhere.” HA! And that it’s not a joke. It was a really hard discussion to have for the both of us, and as you can imagine we were unsure how it would go. Thankfully, they went well, people were sad, but at the end of the day we put in our notices and left in good standing. Bada-bing bada-boom: UNEMPLOYED!
The last thing on our list was to move ourselves out of the life we’ve been living, and make sure we have all of your vaccinations. Getting ready to travel seems like a sexy thing, it’ll be filled with excitement and adventure and we’ll be 100% care-free! Yes, all of that, however there were lots of very necessary shots involved. We just wanted to be responsible and make sure we took preventative health measures for the unknown. You just never know what could happen when you’re so far from home, and so far from your safety net. We did the research and got boosters, vaccinations, and on-the-road medications to keep us safe and healthy. I want to include that we also purchased Travel-Insurance through GEOBlue. That certainly made our parents feel MUCH better, and to be honest, it makes us feel better too.
So once we were poked, prodded, and insured, we needed to pack up our essential travel-gear, what we would take, what we would really need; the bare essentials. All the while questioning, “Is all of this going to fit in our luggage??” SPOILER: it did! The rest of our non-travel possessions would go into storage in Texas. And we did just that. We packed up, we moved out, and we shoved it all into storage for us to one day come back to. Shout out to Sandy, Bill, Joe, and Melinda (our parents!) for helping us with the move. We could not have done it without you. And lastly, we drove my car (“we” didn’t drive, “I” was a passenger) back to my parent’s house in Maryland. Another shout out to my dad for driving 21 hours! Wooo! Couldn’t have done that without YOU!
To be honest, we had so much to do to get us to where we are that the trip didn’t seem real until we were moved out of our apartment. And these steps really just scratch the surface of our planning and actions to get where we are today. It took a lot of time and effort to plan our move-out and more. The whole process was exciting and worrisome at the same time, and we needed a lot of help that we are fortunate to have received. We leave for Thailand tomorrow, so wish us luck!