Five years ago we decided that we wanted to do something amazing; something that we would talk about for the rest of our lives. We decided that we would take a leave from our careers and the rat race of American life and take our daughter, who was only 2-years old at the time, on an adventure to see the world. Not a vacation, but two years of non-stop world travel. The type of trip that most people only read about and think, “Wow, I wish I could do something like that.” We were tired of dreaming and were ready to make it a reality.
We had set a launch date for 2012 when our daughter, Sydney, would be turning 8 years old. We did not want to leave when she was too young to remember the trip and not too old that she would hate spending everyday with her parents. So, 8-years old sounded like the perfect age for her to travel. We also needed to save money and waiting five years would allow us to do just that. While a lot of people were buying larger houses and newer cars, five years ago, we decided to stick with our small 2 bedroom house and the cars we had. And we are lucky that we did not buy a larger and more expensive house in that period, or we may have ended up upside down in our mortgage; a situation that would have killed our dream of round the world travel. But we did take advantage of the lower interest rates and refinanced our house from a 30 year mortgage to a 15 year which was one of the best things we could have ever done.
After we had decided on our five year plan we told our family and close friends about our exciting plans of traveling the world; they looked skeptical. They all gave us that, “well, that’s a nice dream, but…” kind of look. And I am sure they were all thinking, “Who in their right mind would give up everything they worked so hard for in the prime of their lives to go on a long vacation?” They thought we were crazy and likely hoped that we would come to our senses. But we were serious!
The year 2012 seemed so far away five years ago, but here we are. Our family and friends no longer doubt us. Actually, I’m sure they are cringing about who will get stuck with storing our photo albums, Christmas ornaments, and taking care of our aging pets. We are planning on putting our house on the market in May and will hopefully be flying to Europe in early Fall to begin our 2-year long round the world adventure. It has always sounded like such a simple plan, but there is still so much to do. So much to do…
After 5 five years of saving money and dreaming about what we would see and do while traveling the world I must admit that we feel a little overwhelmed with the reality of having to actually to do this. Getting rid of everything you own is harder than it seems, especially since we are still using a lot of it. We need to finish all of those house projects that we have been putting off, and we only have five months to do them. Housing prices continue to fall and the unemployment rate continues to rise and we fear that our house won’t sell. We can’t leave until it sells! And then there are all the other what-ifs. What if we get sick, what if we get hurt, what if we get kidnapped, what-if we get robbed, what if Sydney misses her friends, what if we suck at being home school teachers, and the biggest what-if; what if we can’t get a job once we stop traveling. Where will we live? I know our relatives really don’t want us showing up on their doorsteps hoping to couch surf.
So here we are in the year 2012. The year of the dragon. The end of the Mayan calendar. The beginning of our adventure. It’s going to be a busy year. Wish us luck!