You've got questions, I've got answers.
First of all, a hearty thank you to everyone for the outpouring of encouragement and well wishes. It's been a reaffirmation of my choice to do this.
On to the questions!
Why are you doing this?
I'd love to say it's not about the travel, but I'd be lying. Travel is my favorite thing to do. But it's mostly not about the travel. Much like my move to Minnesota in 1999, my soul is just ready for what's next. And what better way to find what's next than to travel the world!
But what about Eli?
Have you met that guy? He's quite possibly the most independent person I've ever know (outside perhaps his mother). Eli has been ready for his first "what's next" for a while, and he's started that journey in Duluth. He's honestly one of my biggest inspirations in deciding to do this. His passion for improvement and drive to start his next chapter fills my heart with so much joy. Besides, how many kids get to spend their down time all across the globe?
What are you doing with all your stuff?
What stuff? But seriously, I no longer have stuff. I've donated or sold essentially everything I own. Eli has kindly agreed to keep two small buckets of my stuff. Mostly photos from his childhood, and my Phish ticket stubs. Beyond that, I own only 61 items including the backpack they all fit into.
Wait, did you say 61 items?
Indeed. I'll be writing a post detailing everything I now own, so look for that in near future.
Ok, so what's the plan?
The plan? The plan is to have no plan ... literally. I've got a one way ticket to London. I'll be enjoying about two weeks in Scotland with my parents and Eli, and then I'm in the wind. The trick is to surrender to the flow. If I'm going to be open to what's next, I can't much plan a bunch of stuff now can I?
Are you going alone?
Yep! Some are shocked when I say I'm an introvert, but I am. I'm sure I'll have moments of loneliness, but that happens to everyone at times anyways. This isn't to say I won't meet people, hang out and travel with people, but I'm looking forward learning about myself as much as learning about the world.
Will you be working?
Not in the traditional sense. I'm over the western, capitalist way of thinking. I've never enjoyed the lived to work mentality. Our time is a greatest asset, and I'd like to maximize my time and enjoy life.
But how will you survive?
I have various avenues for creating income when the times call for it. I'm thankful I work in an industry where freelance and/or remote work is extremely accepted. That said, the goal is to work as little as possible. I also plan to trade my time for accommodation using services like Workaway.
How long will you be gone?
Indefinitely. Until I meet what's next. What's next could be anything. It could be that this indefinite travel is what's next. It could be working in a coffee shop in Bali. It could be returning to the US in three months. That's the beauty in all of it. No time table, no rush, no pressure.
What about COVID?
Tricky one that. Not to come across as selfish or entitled (probably still will), but there's always an excuse not to chase your dreams. I'm fully vaccinated and boosted, mask up and am happy to do whatever each country requires in order to enter. Since this is indefinite, I don't need to worry about wasting an entire vacation sitting in quarantine, I've got time to chill. I've been cautious for two years now, and will continue to be. I will follow all WHO guidelines.
Details! I need details!
I've spent the last year pouring over spreadsheets and checklists, calculating cost of living and my daily budget. Reading blogs and watching YouTube videos to learn about visa requirements, global health insurance, taxes, phone plans, coffee shops in Tehran and the best spots for a Manhattan in Vietnam ... you name it, I've researched it.
Thinking I'll do a few posts in the future breaking down all the data and explaining my research.
What's the plan for this blog?
Your guess is as good as mine. I'm a creative person and know that I'll want to express my creativity. I also know I'm ADHD and will change my mind on how I want to express that creativity 1000 times, so I'm sure things will change.
My thinking is that the blog will be part personal journal, part travel advice, part storytelling and travel directory. Hopefully, you'll find it somewhat useful and perhaps mildly entertaining.
Can I join you?
Maybe! I am excited to see the world and would love people to join me in choosing these adventures. Come find me.
And that's that! If you've got questions about something I didn't address, hit me up on any of the various communication systems (I've got like 20 of them now), and I'll be happy to answer.