It was never meant to turn out like this. We were supposed to be away for a year, tops. Then life would resume as it was before. We jumped on a flight to South America in 2015, but just a few months into our planned, year-long travel adventure we’d been severely bitten. And not by bed bugs or mosquitos (although that did happen), but by the travel bug. Here’s how it unfolded, how it’s ruined our lives as we knew them and why we wouldn’t change a thing.
The original plan
Our idea to travel for a year essentially stemmed from a run of monotony followed by a mini freak out one day about what the hell we were actually doing with our lives. After we finished college we settled into respectable careers, got married and bought a house - as you do. But something wasn’t quite sitting right with us. There were loads of countries we’d dreamed about visiting and we got to point where we thought, why not just get out there and see them? And so we came up with the idea of saving up and traveling for a year and getting it all out of our system. Walking on the Great Wall of China, surfing in the Caribbean sea, partying away at Carnival in Rio - we were off!
When things changed
But that’s where it all got really crazy. You see, instead of traveling around a new place and satisfying our curiosity, the longer we traveled the more our wanderlust grew. We left Argentina with Patagonia, Nicaragua, and Japan added to our bucket list. In Bolivia there was just too much cool stuff to do in the time that we had, so we reasoned that we’d just have to go back. Fancy some island hopping around Thailand? Let’s go! How about climbing hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu? Okay! What about settling somewhere for a month or two? I’ve heard Mexico City is awesome! This is literally how most of our conversations go these days. Now we’d tasted the freedom, there was just no going back for us.
The hard part
And so we decided that we didn’t want to stop traveling. It was as simple and as complicated as that. But what the hell were we going to do with our house? Were we throwing away good careers? And what about our family and friends who were all expecting us back. We had a lot to figure out and we’re still on that path. Building a lifestyle around our new found freedom and earning a living that supports that is no easy task. And we are working harder than we ever have before, harnessing our skills and experience to enable us to freelance. We’re earning less than a third of what we used in our corporate jobs, but for us right now, our freedom far outweighs the importance of our bank balance. Even if our family and friends do think we’re slightly nuts.
The power of freedom
Before we set off we were freaking out about carrying everything we needed on our backs. We thought it would be tough to cope without our things and even constricting. But almost instantly, it just felt liberating, and it’s surprising just how little you actually need. You should definitely try it. One of our absolute favorite things about our lifestyle is being able to just up and leave a place if we’re not so keen, or alternatively having the flexibility to stay longer. Again it may sound odd, but trust us, the spontaneity of not knowing exactly where you’ll be next week or next month does wonders for your independence.
So beware, if you decide to go traveling (which you totally should), you too could end up like us. Getting withdrawal symptoms when you’ve spent too long away from the beach, getting anxious about when your next epic hiking adventure will be and getting bored of not being able to try some crazy, weird, exotic cuisine. It’s a tough life but someone’s gotta do it!
You can find more of our travel stories on our blog The Whole World Or Nothing. Why not tweet us if you loved this article or you've been to any of these places? Find us on Insta too for more Wanderlust-inducing travel shots!
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