I’m sure that Erin will have her own thoughts and want to write about this as well, but I wanted to express a few of my thoughts on the impact of making the decision to go, vs. dreaming about when we will go..
We have some great family friends who recently picked up and moved to Argentina. They weren’t transferred or sent there, they decided to make a change and went for it. While we are going about our trip in a very different way with multiple countries vs establishing temporary residence, the impact on the life “back home” is going to be very similar.
While we were at their going away party, we had a discussion about our version of the journey and one of the things they kept telling us over and over was “set a date. Make it real”.
A few months later, we have finally set a departure date of August 2011 and they were right, it does change things. No longer is this a dream, it’s a future reality. We’re not talking about how great it will be when we eventually leave and travel, we’re talking about how great it will be NEXT YEAR to travel. Everything we do is now motivated and driven by this trip.
I’ll get into the financial side a little later, but in a nut shell, it’s changed the way we’re living. Everything we do now gets measured and weighed and debated in a healthy way. Whether it’s spending money (do we need this now? Can we wait till we get back?) to magazine subscriptions (we won’t be here in 11 months, so let’s not sign up for a full year), to pets (clearly no new pets in our future) etc etc. It’s been liberating for us. For the first time in a while, we are making 100% deliberate decisions and really starting to discuss as a family or at least as husband and wife the merits of anything major we buy, commit to and decide.
I like having a time frame. It’s made me think a lot as well though. It’s also caused some stress. It’s great stress for the most part, but as soon as we decided to make it real, the impact or the decision leads to hundreds of questions that we have yet to tackle. What do we do with our house for the year? Who will help take care of it? What do we do with mail for a full year? How do we pay the bills that do not come electronically? When do we talk to our kids school’s and tell them our plan? I could go on for days with the questions I’ve got floating around in my head. It’s caused me to not sleep a ton the last few weeks. The good news is that it is excited stress, not worried stress (for the most part) but either way, losing sleep is not any fun. I’m hoping that by writing about this process on our blog and by connecting with Erin about it that each one of those questions will either get answered or be questions we know we need to ask, but can let go of at this point in time.
It’s an exciting time, I can’t wait to plan, I can’t wait to leave. We’re on our way to that moment.