It seems about every 2-4 years, I go through a big transition. Just when things get comfortable in my life, I either decide it is time to shake things up or the Universe does it for me. There is something about routine and comfort, that I just can’t handle. As soon as I start to feel settled and content, I know something is wrong. I have to leap into the unknown. It is in my blood.
Transitions are always scary, but for some reason I choose to constantly pursue them. Ethan and I have been settling into our life together in Portland. We watch Jeopardy and make dinner together. We open our calendars and schedule our weeks. Every Friday we get happy hour at one of three restaurants near our house. Occasionally we go on a weekend adventure with friends. Our life is simple and relatively easy. We both work Monday through Friday. Life is good.
So, why are we choosing to pack up everything, quit our jobs, sell our cars, and take off on a 6-9 month honeymoon? Simple answer: We are crazy! I’ve always been crazy like this though. I have sold my stuff, quit my jobs, and put my routines on hold several times to take off on a journey across the world. The first time was Europe right after I graduated college, but it was only for 3.5 months. Then it was Ecuador for 3 months. My last trip was 4 years ago with my sister and we traveled for 7 months in Australia and SE Asia. I’ve also moved clear across the country to Oregon just to pursue something new and start all over.
For Ethan, besides the military, he is less comfortable with big transitions like this. He is excited, but terrified. I get it. Jumping out of an airplane is scary. You know you most likely will land safely, but there is that small percentage that you may die. Luckily, our current transition isn’t life or death, but it is shaking things up and it is tough to take that initial leap and trust that everything will go smoothly. The past year has not been easy. We’ve been trying to save our money and secure everything here at home before we leave, but we’ve hit many potholes along the way.
I won’t let it stop us though. This trip is happening. We’ve invested too much into it, to give up now. I am not a quitter. I dodge what life throws at me, but I always stay on course towards my dreams. This has been one of the biggest dreams, I’ve manifested. It started with a message from a strange guy on the internet wondering if I wanted a travel partner and it lead to a ring on my finger and me and my husband packing up our entire lives to take a chance south of the equator. We are doing this!
There’s been lots of fights over the past year and a half pertaining to this trip and there have even been tears. It is a big deal. It was easier in the past, because I was unattached. I didn’t own a home, most of my furniture was from craigslist, and I could leave my boxes with a friend or family member or in the basement of my apartment. I had no huge obligations. I could pack up my books and clothes and say goodbye. This time around, I’m married and we own a lot more stuff and a condo. We have credit card bills and student loans. We both own cars. There is just a lot of things to settle before we can go. Even then we will be worrying about if our tenants are going to pay the rent on time, and whether we will have work when we get back.
It keeps us up at night. Our secured renter for our room fell through. We are scrambling to fill it within a weeks notice. So, why torture ourselves when we could have just stayed in our condo, kept our jobs, and continued our lovely routine? We do it, because life isn’t meant to be simple or easy. Life isn’t meant to be a routine. It is meant to be lived. It is meant to scare you, excite you, and make you feel in awe. Challenging ourselves and dealing with transitions, so that we can reach something higher and better, is what it is all about!
I want to live. We want to live. Life is more about the experiences and memories we make than the possessions we collect. I’m sure one day soon, we will be changing dirty diapers and feeling sleep deprived and we will look back on this trip and be happy that we took this crazy chance. We will have all the memories of our adventure to keep us sane during the tough parts of parenthood. When we are laying on the beaches of Central America, sipping caprinhas and have nothing on our schedule for the day, we will know it was all worth it.
Even though that wild abyss between the airplane and the ground is scary, it is the adrenaline that fuels us forward. We need that sense of fear of the unknown to push us towards our dreams. You have to harness that feeling and use it as a motivator not an immobilizer. Sure, you can stay where it is comfortable and routine and life will move forward and the days will blend into years and things may work out fine. You may feel content and this is an okay way to live. Some of us just choose to live it more on the edge. Taking leaps and bounds towards the unknown, because it is exciting and rewarding in the end. It is scary, but worth it at the same time.
We do it for the adventure, the experiences, and the feeling of living fully. We do it to feel alive. I’m so happy I found a partner as crazy as me, to take a chance like this and throw all caution to the wind to take off on a life adventure. He challenges me in all the good ways and I am challenging him to give up all of his comforts, in order to see the world with me. Hopefully we land on our feet!