One day in 2012, Ben had a somewhat life-changing idea. “Why don’t we start saving money, so that in a couple years we can take time off to travel full time for awhile?” I had just quit my first “real job” out of college, a job that I had dreamed of for most of my life. A job that my classmates would have killed for, a job that made me an emotional wreck and completely miserable to be around (producing a TV morning news show, in case you were wondering). I was totally lost; I had that moment that a lot of Millenials seem to have: I did everything right, I followed my dreams, and they didn’t work out–now what? So when Ben suggested that one day we could become global nomads, I grabbed tight onto that idea and as soon as I found another job, I started putting all of my extra dollars in savings.
Fast forward to 2014. At the beginning of this year, Ben and I were newly engaged and had been saving money for nearly two years. It seemed obvious that if we were ever going to take off and travel the world, post-wedding was the time to do it. So, we bought one-way tickets to New Zealand, and I spent just as much time this year daydreaming about traveling as I did planning our wedding.
In September, we got married. The wedding and the weeks surrounding it are a complete blur. We were surrounded by family and friends, emotions were at an all-time high, and a great time was had by all. Our honeymoon in Portugal was not just a wonderful time to decompress and reconnect as a couple–it was also one of my favorite trips I’ve ever been on (expect posts on that soon). Unbelievably, that trip was the first time Ben and I had traveled together, just the two of us without family or friends. We survived with our new marriage intact, so the second we got home, we started preparing for “the big trip.” We’ve spent the last two months getting my name changed, renewing passports, arranging our finances and just generally getting our “regular” lives ready to be put on hold for awhile.
And now, here we are. We have two days left at work. Less than a month left in Colorado before we take off into the unknown. I spent most of my life dreaming of faraway places, believing that a nomadic lifestyle was reserved for trust-fund babies or rich retirees. But with a lot of hard work, it’s not just in reach, it’s about to happen for us. We spent two years putting all our extra income in savings, thanks to Ben’s crazy idea, and in less than a month we’ll start living off of that money. Maybe we’ll burn through all of it, or maybe we’ll get tired of the road and come home before it’s gone. We’ve never had this much freedom, so it’s hard to say how things will turn out, but I think I’m ready for that kind of uncertainty.
It has been a challenge, letting go of that dream I had in college to be the next Lisa Ling. I need to find out what makes me tick, what sets me on fire, and I hope I can find that passion somewhere on the road. Beyond that, I have no expectations. I’m ready to fall in love with the world!