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.
Several people that have done lone-term travel have recommended to us that we establish a basic routine that we can take with us anywhere.
We’ll figure out our exact routine as we go, but one friend suggested that we wake up each morning at roughly the same time, work out, eat a healthy breakfast, read or study, journal, and work for 2 hours at a cute café to soak in the local flavor before taking the afternoon off to explore the city.
We expect to better enjoy each location if we maintain mental, spiritual, and physical health. We believe a simple routine like the one above will help. And the best part is that packing a routine doesn't take up any room in our luggage!
Now, don’t get me wrong. We are going to experience a LOT of change while we are gone. We will build flexibility into all our routines to make sure we don’t miss out on unique experiences due to rigidity. Tom is especially good at this!
We embrace the fact that traveling inspires change and affords the opportunity to break out of our typical routines. We are open to this and even seeking it, but with the motivation to build and enhance life, not escape from it.
Now, if any of you have seen Tom lately, you know he is already embracing the opportunity to make changes. He is now a full-blown bearded mountain-man, and we haven't even left yet. See the image at the top of this post to compare his face with and without a beard. Vote on which version of Tom you like best.
You have till Sunday and then Tom will follow the majority.
I'm Jaime. My husband is Tom. Suburbanites, backpackers, and expats...we've been them all!