What is it about vacation that makes us fall out of our routine, eat poorly, drink more, grow facial hair, and wear clothes we would never be caught dead in back home (hello Hawaiian shirt)?
Perhaps it is an escape from life, a chance to forget our troubles back home and just relax. This is, of course, fine for a week or two. But Tom and I will be traveling for a whole year.
I don’t think our bodies or minds can handle a year long vacation. So we aren't viewing this trip as a vacation. Rather, we are approaching it as a year of living abroad while traveling. We still need to do life while away; we need to maintain friendships and community, refresh our marriage, worship, learn, work, exercise, and eat healthy.
So, in the absence of continuity of location, beds, food, languages, people, and weather, we plan to find some consistency, enjoy a break from change, and maintain our "lives" by establishing a few simple routines.
Tom needed new pants. He had been wearing the same Dockers for way too long and they looked pretty tattered. However, Tom hates to shop, and unfortunately, so do I.
So when Tom needs new pants, he’s on his own. But when faced with the option to go buy new pants or do pretty much anything else, he undoubtedly chooses "anything else.”
One day about two years ago, Tom recognized that he needed to force himself to go shopping. He knew that if he were sporting new pants, I wouldn’t be able to resist squeezing his little ass, and then he'd be glad he shopped.
So what did Tom do?
He walked into the bedroom picked up his Dockers and ripped them down the middle. He looked at me as I stared back at him in shock and he said, “now I have to go buy new pants today.” He gave himself no other option.
From that day on, “ripping your pants” became a metaphor in our family for intentionally doing something in order to leave you no other option, but to do the very thing you don’t want to do, yet know is best. So when Tom quit his job last week, he “ripped his pants.”
He left us no other option but to continue our plans to travel. We no longer had his job as a security blanket on which to fall back. We no longer had a reason to stick around Southern California.
Now people keep asking us how we could leave “good” jobs. Below are 10 beliefs that led us to our decision.
For years we said we held these beliefs, but we realized that we weren't acting accordingly. So we finally decided to align our actions with our beliefs and the result was quitting our jobs to travel:
My husband and I have slowly traveled the world 1-2 weeks at a time. But unsatisfied by the limited glimpses these vacations afforded us, we talked about traveling for an entire year. We wanted to experience life while traveling, rather than travel as an escape from life. We had lots of ideas and dreams, but we also had a lot of excuses.
Then one day, Tom got a text message from an unknown number with this quote:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover" -Mark Twain
To this day, we do not know who sent the text or why. There was no explanation, just the quote. So with the fear of regret behind our backs, the world within our reach, and each other for support, we took the plunge and we're leaving for a year to travel.
This is our journey; join us!
I'm Jaime. My husband is Tom. Suburbanites, backpackers, and expats...we've been them all!