The Decision to Travel

This photo was taken in 2011, right around the time we decided to take our trip. I can’t believe how different Chris looks!

Written By Mindy

We probably get asked on a daily basis how we came about the idea to travel for a year and why we want to do it. It’s definitely a fair question. You’re trading a comfortable apartment (and bed!) for over-packed hostels and your family/friends for strangers. You’re also giving up your security, your job and health insurance, for a bit of the unknown.

Two years ago Chris and I attended the Adventure Travel Show here in San Jose. By happenchance we were walking by a speaker, a female travel writer who wrote The Lost Girls, who was speaking about her around the world trip. We sat down, listened, and I think instantly started dreaming. That evening one of us (no clue who) looked at the other and said what if? We immediately started planning and researching. I think at first we were just doing it for fun. It never really occurred to me that it might actually happen, that we might actually go. But a few months into the planning it hit me, and I think Chris, how much we wanted this and we started figuring out our date to leave.

It’s hard to explain exactly what it is that makes us and a lot of other people want to do long-term travel. There are definitely a lot of people who do it because they love seeing the sites or because they have some specific goal, such as visiting all seven continents or learning a foreign language. I’ve also come across many people who do it to “escape,” whether they hate their job or they ended a long-term relationship, they just want to get away from it all. Or even if they don’t hate something, they just want a break from the hum-drum of a 9-5 life.

My reasons are a bit of all of the above. I love my life but there is definitely some listlessness and a feeling of not really knowing what I want long-term. While I don’t think our trip will provide a magical cure for this, I do know that travel and especially volunteering while travelling has always provided me with new perspectives and as a result I have often changed or redirected my life for the better. This trip is going to allow us to encounter new ideas, have amazing experiences, and meet so many people who all have unique stories. All of this I really do believe will impact us. It will challenge our beliefs and the way we live our lives so that hopefully when we come back we are a little bit more of who we are supposed to be. Plus, we are going to fulfill some of our biggest dreams, living in a monastery, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro,  working with sea turtles, and going on the honeymoon of a lifetime.

We leave in about two weeks for our road trip across the States. Saying goodbye and dealing with all the details as well as worrying about everything that can go wrong is a bit overwhelming. But underneath it is definitely a deep anticipation that after two years we are finally going and that in about a month we will be hanging out with this big guy.

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