If you found your way here, you are probably curious about how and why Todd and I decided to leave our everyday lives and travel around the world. Well here is our tale.
When I met Todd in 2003, I had done a fair amount of traveling. Mostly in the US, but I was lucky to have spent one semester abroad and briefly experience life in a different culture. He had also been all over the US, but his only experience out of the country was Canada. I wanted to explore so much more and bring him to places I knew he would love; in short, to travel around the world with him. I was also in my mid-twenties and totally broke, with a good amount of credit and student loan debt.
So the travel waited, except for a brief trip to the Bahamas to celebrate a dear friend’s wedding. Instead, we camped and took mini road trips all over Oregon and Washington. Todd and I explored islands in the Puget Sound, hiked all over the place, crossed over to Victoria BC several times and had a few excursions to Vancouver BC as well. We saved and paid off debt and bought a house in Portland. He asked me to marry him on a cliff overlooking the Pacific after seven years of being together.
2011 and 2012 were big years for us travel-wise.
One of my best friends and her husband moved to Belize and opened a tattoo shop. We went to visit, finally getting to Latin America and enjoyed two weeks of islands, ruins, and just plain beach life. It was wonderful and we were so jealous of our friends and their ex-pat community, living the dream abroad.
When it came time for us to decide on a honeymoon, we wanted to go somewhere new and exciting. We were looking for warm weather, stunning architecture, wine, and adventure. Everyone thought Europe, but no we went to South America instead. Three glorious weeks of exploring Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile. Todd and I thought it would seem long since most of our trips were four to five days. We fell in love with the people and the way of life. Don’t even get me started on the wine and copious amounts of steak we ate. Those three weeks went too fast. We made immediate plans to go back and explore Brazil for the world cup in 2014 or if not then, surely for the Rio Olympics in 2016 (which are going on as I write this!). We schemed on possible ways to move there, but life had other plans for us.
The next four years went by in a blur of working, family and lots more road trips.
Oh and concerts. We have a concert habit, live music often taking us to new locales!
When we moved to Hood River in 2015, our intention was to sell our house in Portland and buy some land to live on. Bus as soon as the house was actually on the market, the what-ifs started. What if we took some of the money and used it to travel for a while? We could still buy land and settle down after we went away. While we loved owning a house, we knew the responsibilities that come with it – the maintenance and the various projects that keep you occupied. Suddenly being free of that tie made something click. The more we talked about it, the more it seemed like the opportunity was presenting itself to us.
Our unique job situations helped us make the decision as well.
While we love the restaurant industry and plan to have something of our own someday, it has its differences with a lot of other occupations. Pensions, 401K, and healthcare are rare. Even when you love your job, it makes it easier to leave when you aren’t giving up huge benefits. On the other hand, because we each have over 20 years of experience, getting a job when we get back shouldn’t prove too difficult hopefully. In the industry, people tend to live a more transient lifestyle. Re-entering the business after an extended break is not necessarily looked down upon if you can prove to be a good, hard worker.
In January of 2016, we finally got out of the country again for the first time since 2012.
Sayulita, Mexico was a great reboot and fueled us to make a final decision for the immediate future. Our time there made us realize that getting away every few years was just not what we were looking for. We felt that life is too short to wait until retirement to do what we have been dreaming about for years. We came back determined to do something about it.
Once back in Oregon, we started planning for the future, this time embracing a big change and an eventual trip around the world beginning in October of 2016.
That, in a nutshell, is our tale.