So the word is out – Matt and I are hitting life’s pause button, and taking a year-long trip abroad! This is something that we have been planning for about 2 years. I knew that sometime in my young adult life I wanted to travel, and Matt has quickly caught the travel bug too. When this trip was more-or-less an idea, the few people we told thought, “That’s amazing! You’re going to have the experience of a lifetime! What a courageous thing to do, I wish i could do it too!”
We are now 39 days out from our trip, and are getting things in order. Moving on from our jobs, rearranging finances, leaving our house in Nashville, etc… We have been planning a lot over the past few months to make sure all of our ducks are in a row. But the closer we get to the date of departure, the once encouraging words from others have turned more concerned. “You are leaving your jobs? What will you do when you get back? Can’t you use that money to buy a house?” What is it about traveling makes it always sounds like an amazing idea, but when people actually do it, it suddenly becomes…RECKLESS. At least this is the word that Matt once used, that I continue to torture him with. As of now, we go by Reckless Redhead and Madd Matt, because who in their right mind would do what we are about to do?!? Who would leave their jobs, leave their home, sell their belongings, and make plans for a year of international travel to see where it goes?
I understand too that along with being “reckless”, people probably also think that we are just prime examples of “millennials”. That we don’t need to put in the work to have a successful life. That everything has already been handed to us and will continue to be, so why not do something fun along the way? But isn’t it also reckless to work 40+ hours a week at a job you hate? Is it sensical to stay in one place your whole life and not know anything different? Or to stress everyday that you won’t have enough money to pay the mortgage on your newly owned home?
I can see why many people are concerned that this trip is a bad idea. Even we’ve had some doubts along the way. But we believe that this trip will be a truly life changing experience. I hope to visit schools along the way and reignite my passion for teaching. Matt hope to be inspired to find his new career path. We want to discover new cultures and ways of life, in hopes that we can better understand ourselves and what we want out of our own lives. We hope to get a little lost, make mistakes and learn how to solve problems with just each other to depend on. We hope to broaden our minds, our perspectives, and our ambitions for our future.
We have our whole lives to make more money, to buy that house, to have 9-5 jobs and settle down. There is always an excuse, a reason to say this isn’t the right time…if we allow ourselves to create them. Life happens and bumps in the road can easily make you think “this isn’t the right time”. But we are going to start living our lives to the fullest, before we are too “settled” to enjoy it! If not now, then when?