“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Paul and I share a love for travel, exploring the world, other people and cultures. We’ve done various tours but started talking about doing a ’round-the-world trip with a 5 year plan. We had a ‘rough’ plan of how we would come to that point and the things we wanted to achieve before then. We spoke about our dream often and focused on the things which were current or potential barriers to us realizing our dream.
A personal barrier for me was leaving my daughters and dogs behind. The thought of being separated from my ‘puppies’ or not seeing them again is pain I struggle with still. I have a close relationship with my daughters and we have had many times of separation when they have traveled the world, so keeping close to them feels less of a challenge. Paul is comfortable with packing up and going, knowing he can reach out to his children at any time.
With respect to barriers, two main themes emerged: debt and fear. It has been confronting yet wonderful to challenge ourselves about how we spend our time earning a living, how we spend what we earn and what it is we fear most. Paul is a whiz at math and soon had a proposal of how we could make it all work, simply by changing our priorities. We had recently bought a home together and were both doing well in our respective careers, so planning a ’round-the-world trip at that moment seemed insane. Once we realized that we could embark on our journey sooner, rather than later, that no time was perfect, we realized that it was simply a matter of just choosing to go. Choosing not to go, when we knew that we could … that would be insanity.
Why take the journey? Because it’s possible. Because we chose to say yes to the gift of this opportunity. Because we value experiences over things. Because we believe in the inherent good within people and we want to experience the world for ourselves and challenge the negative portrayal of the world through the media. Because we hope to inspire our children to think differently about the world and their place in the world.
We want to challenge this ‘transactional’ lifestyle born of corporate careers, earning money which buys comfort and convenience at a personal cost. We want to be open, vulnerable and explore the currency of trust and a deeper connection with others.
Ted Simon so eloquently describes the reason for his journey in Jupiter’s Travels: “People who thought of my journey as a physical ordeal or an act of courage …missed the point… The goal was comprehension, and the only way to comprehend the world was by making myself vulnerable to it so that it could change me.”