WANDERLUST: Noun. A strong desire to travel. A man consumed by wanderlust.
So David and I are finally taking the leap into taking time off from our jobs to travel. We’ve been talking about it long enough and we’re taking action. Over the years I’ve been stashing away a variety of travel magazines like Afar and National Geographic. I’ve bought books about how to travel minimally and traveling on a budget. There’s at least 1 coffee table book dedicated to world travel floating around our abode. We’ve both traveled a great deal separately to Europe and South Pacific, but want to do it together with some focus on beer and cheese.
We’ve spent a lot of time getting ready (what we’re doing with our stuff at home) for our travels and planning our travels (flights, hotels, lodging and timing). Travel with a purpose, or at least an outline, and most importantly, passion. Our biggest challenge will be setting up a few boundaries and timelines while allowing for some flexibility to do things spur of the moment. Find those “Happy Little Accidents” of discovering experiences we wouldn’t have necessarily found in a travel magazine. There will be some things that we’ll only know until we’re truly there and other things we can schedule ahead of time. Live in the moment as a local. David and I want to be able to be touristy and see the attractions that drew us to that destination (you can’t go to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower, to Sydney for the Opera House) but we also want to be able to sit at the local cafe sipping espressos while reading a book and people watching, or grabbing food from the farmer’s market and head to the park for dinner.
We’ve a handful of friends that are doing the same. They’ve worked their butts off to save money and road tripped around the US following their favorite band or made a bucket list to go to 70 islands. They’ve forgone the life of working to pay their bills, and followed their wanderlust.
Within the last 100 years in the age of technological advancements, aviation, and iPads, the world has become a much smaller place. In the spirit of Wanderlust, it has also become much easier and more affordable to travel. As the world may feel like a smaller place, there is a greater feel or sense of adventure to visit this places. The internet, 24 hour news feed, and just as simple as our friends and family returning from their travels, brings the world to us. However, there’s nothing like experiencing these places for yourself. You can research to your hearts content about everyplace imaginable, but it’s not the same thing until you’re there. The touch, sounds and smells can’t be replicated without being there. Same with special or local events. We can all talk about favorite memories, foods, smells, etc of Christmas, but have you experienced the Christmas markets in Europe? Done your holiday shopping in the outdoor markets while sipping mulled wine?
So a few basic guidelines we have at this time are:
1. We’re traveling, not vacationing. We may find ourselves on the beach or resort to reset some jet lag and re-center but isn’t the long term focus. Plus it helps to work out the stiffness at the spa to not have our bodies feel like concrete. Wrinkle your toes in the sand and stretch in the salty waters.
2. While we want to focus on beer and cheese in every place we go (if possible), we also want to be a tourist. Like I said before you can’t go to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. You can’t go to Sydney without seeing the Opera House. We also want to feel like locals. We’re going to stay at AirBnB’s so we can shop at the local markets and cook at home, or snack in the park. Let’s sit at a cafe for an afternoon and read (or blog hoping they have WiFi) while watching the day go by. Let’s have a freelance trip without having to budget every minute to guided tours.
3. We’re going to try to budget our money and time for flexibility. David and I want to be able to change our plans as needed. If we want to stay longer or shorter somewhere, we can do that to maximize the wanderlust. There will be places we want to stay longer and others just for the sites. We’re eating from grocery stores and food vendors, rather than restaurants for every meal.
In preparation of our departure, David and I are going to do some major purging of the household of shit. I mean wonderful things that have made our house a home. Our current housing situation is a 3 bedroom 2.5 bathroom with a 2 car garage. The bonus for us that will help make all this happen is that we have a 1 bedroom apartment over the garage that we’ll keep as a base for us. We’re hoping to rent out the main house which means David and I will need to consolidate our lives into the apartment. So whether we end up back in Steamboat, or who the hell knows where when we get back, we’ve a bed, bath and kitchen to get us back on our feet. And there are somethings we’re just not ready to part with. Mostly artwork, grandmother’s china, and the more functional like a coffee maker, bedding and towels. Plus a few amazing wedding presents. The consolidation of furniture and rental income will partially help pay for our travels.
So here we go! We’ve talked with our friends and families, left our jobs and getting this show on the road. There will be bumps in the roads and a few mishaps, tempers will flare and we’re bound to get lost. But David and I are going to have an amazing adventure and extraordinary tales to tell when we get home.