Most people we know live very similar lives – not necessarily because they want to, but because they are led to believe by society that this is what life is all about. Once you hit the age where you are no longer dependent on your parents, life consists of finishing school/university, finding work, buying a house, getting married, having kids, settling down, saving for retirement and finally retiring. Obviously it’s not that simple but I’m sure that sounds familiar to quite a lot of you out there.
Personally I was heading down a similar path and 99% of people would think I’m heading in the right direction. In fact, most would look at me as being “successful” and far ahead of most people my age. The following quote resonated very strongly with me:
“You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to”.
– Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity
A few months ago something clicked – I decided that this average life just isn’t for me. Eventually, I’ll buy a house, get married, etc, but that’s what my 30’s, 40’s and beyond are for. At the moment I’m in my mid-twenties and need to do something before I get too bored with this mundane 9-5 working life and/or too firmly entrenched within my chosen career path.
So long term travel it is!
For Amy and I, four weeks per year of holiday leave just doesn’t quite cut it. Compared to those in the USA, this allocation is reasonably generous. But I guess it’s a true sign of a traveller that 4 weeks out of 52 on the road just isn’t enough for us.
We have been on three overseas holidays in the past three years – Bali in 2007 (10 nights), South East Asia in 2008 (21 nights) and West Coast USA in 2009 (16 nights) and while these trips have been extremely enjoyable and we’ve seen and done some amazing things, they’ve also been extremely rushed trying to fit everything into such a short timeframe.
Now is the perfect time for us to start seeing more of the world and doing it slowly enough so that we can sit back and really enjoy it. On past trips we’ve been overly worried about squeezing absolutely everything in which takes its toll very quickly. The decision to go for a full day tour at Universal Studios less than 24 hours after a long haul flight was one we have definitely learned from – suffering from terrible jetlag in the searing LA summer sun isn’t fun at all!
We’ll discuss our possible destinations in a future post, but the number 1 priority at the moment is to make it back to North America and see a lot more of the USA and Canada. A journey through Europe is also on the agenda, as is spending some time working in a foreign land.
In 2011 – North America, Europe and the rest of the world – be ready, we’re coming to see you!
We would love for you to follow our journey and hopefully we can inspire a few of you along the way. To keep up to date with Don’t Ever Look Back, please subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter. Oh, and we’d love to see a comment or two as well! 😀
Flickr Photo: Zoagli