Life Less Ordinary

Here we go.

My husband and I are doing something insanely stupid. We’re giving up everything we have worked hard for years to achieve so we can spend the next several months being bit by mosquitoes, arguing in languages we don’t understand, and subjecting ourselves to some very ugly bathroom experiences.

And we can’t wait.

Today is the beginning, because it is the first blog post. It’s out in the world and we can’t take it back now. Of course, we have been mentioning plans to friends and family for years now.  The responses have been all over the place, but the biggest thing we hear is “I would love to do that, but…”    All types of things follow that…jobs, family, it just sounds so risky and scary.   They ask “aren’t you scared?” And the answer is – Yes! Scared s%!tless.  I don’t know why we tell ourselves being scared of something means we shouldn’t do it. It makes life more fun.

The idea for this trip started years ago. Tim and I were out to dinner one night and I was explaining that it would be hard to get to all the countries we wanted to visit by taking one or two-week vacations. He listened hesitantly while I mentioned long-term travel. I remember him saying “how about a month?” and I said “maybe,” but I always knew if we were going to do it we had to go bigger than that.

On the other hand, traveling is expensive and exhausting! We’ve all been on week-long vacations and spent way more than we meant to, and that is after hotels and airfare. Planning for long-term travel requires a PhD in both budgeting and packing, and a strong threshold for sitting still in tight spaces, bad smells, and things happening when they feel like it.  John Steinbeck says in Travels with Charley, “Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity … no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”

So we have excel spreadsheets and other fancy apps with daily budgets, plane schedules, visa requirements, and even all the bills we have to still pay at home. But we have still left many details open-ended. How can we decide how many days to stay in a place we haven’t ever been? We get to wake up in the morning and decide to stay or hop on a bus to the next town. How lucky are we? Some things are planned: major holidays, activities that must be booked months in advance, and meeting friends and family. This gives us check points along the way, and prevents us from staying in paradises like Bali permanently.

It’s impossible to say how much we’ll screw things up, and how many times we’ll long for home, but I will try as hard as possible to blog our every embarrassing moment and even all of our bad decisions. I mean that’s the fun part after all…

The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
– Jack London

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marie
    Sep 15, 2010 @ 23:23:07

    Hi Robin and Tim,
    I am all set to follow your blog. This should be fun! How do you do this? Anyway, best of luck to you both insane people. But I am loving it!
    Luv,
    Marie, Liberty and Jingles!

    Reply

  2. Travel saki
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 05:23:52

    This definitely is something that everyone once in his life dreams of,
    but never gets to try.
    I really admire your courageous decision, but please take best care of yourself.
    I’ve traveled pretty much part of the world, except Africa, so if you need my help, anytime you’re welcome.
    Also, if you can share your memories of certain places, please do so.
    http://everywhere-in-earth.blogspot.com
    Good memories shine when shared.

    Reply

  3. Gloria
    Oct 05, 2010 @ 19:39:09

    I feel the same way! I was actually going to blog about the f.a.q. and how overwhelming trip planning is. I have just about a month but I’m freaking out! It’ll be so worth it the moment to get seated in your (hopefully) window seat and wave good bye to the US for a while.

    Reply

  4. missy
    Oct 08, 2010 @ 17:22:26

    Speechless!! I just finished reading and I had to fight back some tears. Our talk last night and reading this, I get it! I can’t wait to follow you and live vicariously through this blog! You got one life to live and I love that your choicing to take this on together! Amazing!!

    Reply

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