When we first started thinking about going travelling, we totally expected most people to think we were just a little bit mad. At 37, we aren’t exactly the gap year student types. We’ve both been fully paid up members of the work for a living club since we left College/University, racking up a good 40 years of working life between us. We’ve been surprised that most people think its a great thing to do, though there have been a few who consider us irresponsible. So what would make us decide to give it all up to see the world?
“It came down to a really simple thing for me. Whilst I loved the people I worked for and with, and recognised that in my industry, I worked for one of the best, my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. No matter how great the company, and no matter how great the people, working for someone else involved compromises, and I was getting tired of making them. For example, I’ve never been to Glastonbury, because I can’t take holiday at the end of June. Last year I ended up on a conference call on Friday night at 9pm in the middle of a campsite with my friends all looking at me like I was crazy, and I didn’t think anything of it because that’s just ‘how it is’ in my job. We consciously book our holidays around when deals might or might not happen so I don’t feel like i have to work on holiday, and when we’re on holiday we’re both so tired that we don’t get a chance to properly see the countries we’re visiting.
Then there’s work email. I have, until recently been surgically attached to the email on my phone and even now, in my last few weeks in my job, with frankly very little to do, I still check my email when I first wake up”
“For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to go travelling to see different cultures, meet people from all walks of life – both locals and fellow travellers and yes even party a bit too (We’re not THAT old). I’m always saying to Sarah ‘ there must be more to life than just going to work every day, watching TV, going to the Gym, waiting to go to bed so you can do it all again, and then, the final insult- retiring with a crap pension, if any and not having the money to do the stuff you always wanted to do. So when I realised Sarah really wanted to do it to, It was a pretty easy decision for me. Of course I’d miss my friends and family a lot but they have all been so supportive and thats made it so much easier and I know we would both like to thank them for that, besides the internet is everywhere now and has made the world so much smaller so we can easily stay in touch with everyone”
Admittedly giving it all up and going travelling for a year is an extreme way to rid yourself of an email addiction, or relieve the boredom, but at the same time as we started thinking about this, the world went a little bit mad. Leicester won the Premier League which was great for everyone except Spurs fans and well guess what? (What the hell btw) Us Brits voted for Brexit, which in itself is not a mad move, but does seem to have led to some mad stuff. In the UK now we all seem to hate the people that voted differently, forgetting that it is okay to disagree on stuff and still get on, and suddenly, it’s okay to treat immigrants appallingly, even though most of them are here to treat us in our hospitals, or look after our elderly, or are here because our government decided to bomb them. Its got to the point where we hardly recognise the country we grew up in. It was beginning to get us both down. Also, I promise we won’t talk about politics loads in the rest of our posts. Everyone needs a break from that at the moment!
And then, just when we thought Britain would win most stupid country of the year award the US elected a full on crazy to be President and Leader of the Free World. This did help us on the budget front as we decided not to go there as a result, so you know, swings and roundabouts!
There are of course lots of things we could have done with a year off but both of us have a real passion of travel, and seeing new things. When we started discussing where we would go and what we would do if we did this it turned out we had lots of the same ideas. It seemed silly not to take the opportunity to see some new cultures, try some new food and tick a few things of our joint bucket list.
As it gets closer to us leaving, and its getting real, we are more than a little terrified about the whole thing. But mostly we’re excited to see some new stuff, meet a whole bunch of new people, and let go of a whole lot of baggage.