Once In a Lifetime

[Audio https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9901364/03%20Once%20In%20A%20Lifetime.mp3%5D
On Life Change

The decision to travel isn’t just about travel. It’s a decision to take your life as you know it and lock it up in a 5′ by 10′ storage container. Everything you identify yourself with: your career, your community, your family and friends, in a way they get locked away too.

This is not easily done. I’ve recognized for a while though that life has a way of moving fast and slow at the same time, and despite my attempts, I have never been able to slow time down or speed it up. So failing at that, Tim and I are making a change.  One where the days are so different that they won’t be able to pass us by.

A long time ago, I heard a John Lennon quote: “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” This especially resonated with me – I am a planner. I spend so much time thinking of the future that the present just manages to keep slipping by. While Reading a book called The Happiness Project I realized that I’m not alone in this phenomenon. Gretchen Rubin writes:

My friends and I joked about the “beautiful house” feeling, when, as in the David Byrne song “Once in a Lifetime” we’d periodically experience the shock of thinking “This is not my beautiful house.”

So for us, the answer seems to be to hold off on the beautiful house and the life stability that naturally comes with it. Nothing has ever been as hard as quitting a job with no plan for where we could be living in 6 months. I like to have 5 year and 10 year plans. This is definitely outside my comfort zone. I wake up sometimes in the middle of night worried about the silliest little things that we will have to think about when we come back home; “will it be hard to find hotels that accept dogs if we have to move our stuff across the country?” I’ve gotten better at telling myself to knock it off and let it go.

I decided I’m more terrified of life passing us by then of the consequences involved in taking a risk. There’s never a good time to make an entire life change either – if there was, more people might make that leap. I will say there is an advantage in doing it as a couple. The support system that we are to each other is invaluable.

Tim luckily subscribes to the “life is short” game plan too. Although he wants to get the house and kids part into the game plan eventually. I want those things too, and wanting those is actually a catalyst for traveling now. We know home-owners with children aren’t usually good at being nomadic, although I’ve heard of a few families that have even made that work!

“Does thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”
–Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, June 1746


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. missy
    Oct 08, 2010 @ 16:56:42

    Love…”I decided I am more terrified of life passing us by then of the consequences involved in taking risk.” Well put. This is great. We wish you all the luck on this journey. I admire you both. You always have a place to stay here with us:) And we hope to have a place to visit with you guys!! Lot’s of love!! What an intruging story this will be! xo Missy


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