/ WHAT SPURRED THIS? / Two things: planning for retirement and to see what happens when we diverge from “the plan.” Our financial advisor asked us what we envisioned ourselves doing during retirement so we could plan accordingly. Turns out, travel is our big goal. But by the time we’ll have saved enough to retire, will we want to travel like this? Does life have to be a long period of working ridiculously hard, a shorter period of elderly leisure, then death? What if we’re hit by a bus next month? It doesn’t make sense to wait. Plus, “your life is always a balance of deliberate and emergent — what you plan, and what pops up through serendipity.”
/ WHO WRITES THIS BLOG? / Tamara updates this blog on most days. We tried to keep it pretty organic, and it evolved this way.
/ WHAT WILL YOU DO ON THE ROAD? / We plan to travel slowly. At first we thought that meant we should stay in places for a few months at a time rather than constantly being on the move. Now, we’re realizing that 3-4 weeks is our sweet spot. Slow travel means a richer experience in each place, as well as makes the year more affordable. In terms of how we’re spending our time, that’s evolving. The first couple months were about learning how to relax. We’re still relaxing and sightseeing, but we’re starting to add projects to our plate. Chris now works on SEO in a location-independent job. Tamara published an online class and book, and has compiled her projects on a separate website. We did some volunteering when in Mexico and would like to find another opportunity to do that. We’ve both taken classes to improve our Spanish. And, slowly but surely, we’ve been meeting people during our travels to spend time with.
/ DO YOU SPEAK OTHER LANGUAGES? / Sí, podemos hablar español. Chris está aprendiendo y Tamara solo necesita practicar. Pero podemos hablar mejor que este cantante. Y Tamara puede negociar con burócratas mexicanas, así que no estamos preocupados.
/ ARE YOU RICH? / No, but it would be disingenuous to omit we are college-educated DINKs. That said, we are believers in the philosophy that — once basic needs are met — money is about priorities. Since we’re traveling the way we live instead of vacationing, our dollars will take us further…hopefully. So far, we’ve found ways to keep costs down on the two biggest expenses: food and shelter.
/ YOU QUIT YOUR JOBS IN THIS ECONOMY? / Yes. There will always be excuses for putting off your dreams, but they’ll only stop you if you let them.
/ WAIT, YOU’RE TAKING THE DOG? / We know, it seems wild. See the previous answer. How horrible is it to stare at your dog and think of them as a barrier to your dreams? We love Holly and she’s a part of our dreams! She’s small enough to bring as a carry-on in an airplane cabin, and we’ve researched countries where we can bring her with minimal fuss and no quarantine. Dog Jaunt and Pet Travel were really helpful in setting our expectations and getting a sense of the requirements. Bringing her is an added layer of complication — we cannot overstate this — but what matters is that we want to be with her and she wants to be with us. We’ll share what we learn.
/ ARE YOU COMING BACK? WHAT’S THE PLAN? / We plan to come back to San Francisco, but who knows? That’s like saying, “Please tell me exactly what your life will look like one year from now with absolute certainty.” We’re open to whatever possibilities we come across or make.
/ ARE YOU CRAZY? / Maybe. We’re certainly not the first people to do this, and not the first Chris and Tammy to do this, if that’s any consolation. We like to think it takes equal parts of crazy, recklessness, belief and bravery.