For most, your whole life has been mapped out. From an early age, we’re told to go to school, get a job, find a match, get married, buy a house, keep working, have babies, keep working, pay for your kids’ education, keep working, then eventually, when you’re old enough, you get to retire and finally enjoy the fruits of your labour. But those who know us, know we’re not ones who really follow the rules.
And what if that’s not the path you want to take? What if you want to enjoy the good life while you’re still young and healthy? What if you decide that now is the time to ‘retire’? … at least for a little bit!
The idea to travel came to us randomly one day. We were walking to a restaurant to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and wondered,‘What if we took our savings, and just left to travel for a year? Wouldn’t that be amazing?’
‘Yeah, we should do that!’.
And that’s how it all began!
Derek and I have been together for 8 years, 2.5 awesome years of marriage (see, we followed some rules). We found each other through a friend, but it was our love of hockey that sealed the deal. We eventually got married, and started saving for a new home. We were on the ‘usual’ life path, but for the last year, we’d both been working pretty hard and hardly saw each other.
I’ve been in marketing for over 10 years, so working 70-hour weeks has been a major part of my adult life. And Derek had started working 2 jobs – His regular 9-to-5, plus nights and weekends at a barbershop, pursuing his dream of working with his brother.
As you can imagine, keeping such a hectic schedule was no fun for anyone, and somewhat strenuous on our relationship. When you spend all your time working, you start wondering what the purpose of it actually is. All these hours, and all this money that’s adding up in an account, for what? So that a few times a year, you can escape on a 2-week vacation?
No, thank you. We love traveling way too much for that.
The bright Frederick Beuchner once said “There are those who will spend their entire lives making money, to enjoy the life they’ve entirely spent up.” Money can always be made. Time, however you will never get back.
We both knew we wanted a break from the usual path, we wanted to reconnect with the important things in life, figure out what the next 10 years will look like and how we want to keep building our life together.
That’s how, on that random night, we decided to make this crazy idea come to life. We’re not big on harping on good ideas for too long, instead we just spring into action. Just ask us how it took us 3 months to decided to get married and plan the whole thing out. Which is why when we decided to travel, we quickly put a plan into motion: rent out the condo, find a long-term sitter for our cat, quit our jobs, and head out.
We knew we had a great idea, but most of the reactions we got when we announced our intentions took us by surprise.
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