I’ll never forget the day. On October 10, 2013 my wife and I had ‘the talk’. I’d been thinking about this adventure for a long time, and the moment had arrived. I needed to talk to Sarah about what had been on my mind, what had been consuming me for many months. I thought the best way to bring up the subject was like ripping off a bandaid, quick and with as little pain as possible. So I just blurted it out:
“I want to sell everything we’ve worked so hard to accumulate over the years and leave all of our friends and families behind to go on a never ending adventure around the world with our 16 month old son in tow with no end date in sight. And just for good measure, if and when we get back we’ll probably have no possessions and no careers. What do you say?”
I looked deep into her eyes over our plates of apricot chicken risotto to see if I could pick up what was swirling around in her mind. After all I’d just asked her to turn her life upside down to help me fulfil my dreams, so I wasn’t expecting an answer straight away. What would she say? That I was crazy? That I was dreaming? We had a child to think about, how could I be so irresponsible? I needn’t have worried, she said yes straight away. Truth be told, I was quietly confident she would.
For a long time I’d been talking about moving to New York, which she was keen to do as well. I’ve never been there but I’ve seen and heard enough about it to know that was where I wanted to be. So I started doing some research to see how plausible it was. I discovered that if I was lucky enough to find a job, it wouldn’t be too difficult to get a work visa. There’d be a few hoops to jump through, but we could do it.
As I was researching another thought started to materialise in my mind. Do I really want to go to another city and live there? Do the same things as I was doing here, but just there? It would be exciting for a while, everything would be new and interesting. But I’d done it before in my previous life as a school teacher in London. I loved my experience there but when my two-year work visa ran out I literally couldn’t get to Heathrow fast enough. My time was up, I’d had enough.
I started to read blogs about people who were travelling the world. The first one I stumbled across was about a guy who decided to drive around the world. I instantly wanted to do it. How much fun would that be! But one nagging thought kept burning away in the back of my mind. It had nothing to do with leaving everyone behind, or selling everything we owned, or what would happen to my career and business. It was could we afford it?
So I started to read blogs written by people who were doing exactly what we wanted to do, travel the world with no end date in sight. Specifically, to start with, I wanted to know how much it was costing people to do it. What I discovered shocked me. Most people, even those with kids, were living their dreams for between $17,000 to $30,000 per year. I started to quickly do the sums in my head. If we sold everything – car, furniture, stocks, kitchen goods, computers, jewellery, everything – we might just scrape enough together to keep us going for at least two years. Now I knew we could do it.
After further investigation I found out how easy it is to work in exchange for food and accommodation in virtually every country in the world; how to house sit; how to share travel expenses by car pooling; how to live the life of our dreams without it costing the earth!
So we’ve set ourselves a target. By the end of April 2014 we want to be gone, out of here, on our adventure of a life time. In the mean time there is so much to do – sell our tiny business, sell everything else, break the news to family and friends, organise work overseas, quit our jobs, get immunisations and health checks, visas, backpacks, the list goes on and on!
But we’re excited, we know we can do it, and that’s all that matters…