We touched on three of the common questions we’ve received when describing our decision to travel full-time: “What about money?”, “So, you are quitting your job?”, and “What about your apartment and things?” There are two additional questions we seem to receive quite frequently as well and we will attempt to answer them now.
What about your relationship? Won’t it be a big stress?
We certainly don’t have all the answers and we definitely can’t see into the future but what we do know is that every stage of this process has been something we’ve done together and has enabled us to spend time growing closer and strengthening our relationship. Our passion for travel is something we have shared all along and building the blog started as a hobby building websites together. With that in mind, we both hope and feel that the rest of our ventures and travels will continue to follow in that vein and will serve to strengthen us as a couple.
Having said that, we know that for a relationship to work you have to put work into it. Both of us will have to put in the effort. Staying in love and making a relationship work doesn’t happen through magic no matter where you are or what you are doing, and we both acknowledge that fact. Yes, we are stirring the pot up a bit by putting ourselves in a position where we will face obstacles and challenges that we will have to work out together but we believe that this will only lead us to grow stronger.
What about your family?
In our post Living Life Without Limits – Packing Up, Selling Off and Heading Out, we touch on the fact that it’s tough to leave family and friends but that it helps to have multiple forms of communication available no matter where we are. It does help to know we will be able to talk to our loved ones in some form, but it in no way replaces real interaction, so of course we will miss them terribly and we will think of them often, but we know this is something we need to do to fulfill our lives as individuals and as a couple.
Many of our friends and family don’t want us to leave but they are supportive nonetheless, and we are grateful for that. It’s never easy being apart from those you care about but as time goes on we believe we will learn to maximize the quality of our time when we are together and take advantage of every opportunity we can to call, email, Skype, and the like, while we are away.
We posed all of these questions, and more, to ourselves while we were making our plans and hope that after these two posts we have given a good idea of how we finally arrived at our decision and shown that what we are doing involves a lot more thought, discussion and effort than just deciding to “pack up and go”.
Comment below and let us know what would be the hardest thing, for you, about packing up and leaving.
We only recently made the firm decision to alter our life as we knew it, quit our 9-5 jobs, start a blog and travel. Even in these early phases we’ve had our ups and downs. We’re sure once we are on the road we will experience a new set of difficulties, probably ones that are much more challenging, as well as a whole new range of learning experiences and enjoyments. What we’ve learned from this process so far is that this is a time of personal growth, a time where we are able to learn more about ourselves as individuals and as a couple, and that whatever struggles we face, no matter big or small, we can overcome them with perseverance, communication and simply, each other.
Throughout the process of packing up, selling off and heading out, we’ve noticed there have been a few major lessons amongst the many things we’ve learned so far.
Packing up and selling your possessions in order to live minimally is extremely challenging and emotional but in the end, it is a liberating experience. It is emotionally straining to get rid of the stuff you have acquired and it is ridiculous how quickly stuff accumulates. We found a variety of methods to sell, donate or give away our stuff and each one presented it’s own set of challenges as well as benefits. For example, garage sales are dreadful and neither of us enjoy displaying our possessions for strangers to handle and critique before engaging you in a fight to the penny that hammers home the disconcerting reality that the items you possess often hold little to no real value to anyone but yourself. We didn’t like having garage sales and yet we held two, because although it was challenging for us, we knew it was an important step not only to minimize our possessions but also to learn a lesson about stepping outside our boxes and working hard for something we want, no matter the tangible reward at the end. By close of garage sale #2 we realized that in overcoming our dislike, we’ve learned to actually value garage sales and see them in a more positive light. In the end, we feel lighter and freer, even if we sometimes think about that rice cooker we no longer own or that extra computer mouse we sold.
We found that through every method we used to dispose, donate or sell our stuff, we benefited and learned something in the long run. Minimizing in general is great not only for the life lessons we’ve learned about the temporary happiness provided by material things but also how unburdening it is to eliminate the clutter and the accumulation. For that alone, we have benefited immensely from this entire process and learned a great deal about ourselves.
There is more support out there than you realize. There seems to be a tendency, as humans, to feel like we must rely on solely ourselves to survive. We’ve learned over the past several months that we have an enormous network of support that we never could have imagined or hoped. Throughout the process, more and more people have added their support. From complete strangers we met at the garage sales we mentioned above, to long-since friends from times past, to close friends and family, people seem to genuinely want to help in whatever way they can. This support is encouragement and motivation for us both and we’ve been fortunate to have that support come by way of: help with networking, places to stay, advice on finances, places to store our remaining belongings and just general words of encouragement. The most important thing we learned to keep in mind is that, as a couple, we must continue to be eachothers’ biggest support throughout this journey.
It’s difficult to leave friends and family knowing you will be missing milestones, but it’s comforting that technology affords us the ability to communicate in many different ways, anytime and virtually anyplace. One of the items on our cons list when we were making the decision to travel full-time was that we would be leaving friends and family. This was especially difficult when we considered the oldest and youngest members of our family (and of course those people in between!). We didn’t want to miss out on time we could spend with those older and we were sad to know we would miss the babies’ and children’s’ milestones as they grow. What we found to balance this was the knowledge that the ways of communication nowadays is almost unlimited. We may not be present in person but everyone we love is only a phone call, email, or videochat away. Once we started looking for ways we could talk to our loved ones, we found there are tons! We’re still looking for the best options as we’ve found some of the methods we’ve tested so far can be a bit glitch-y so comment and let us know what you’ve found to work best for overseas communication!
Venturing into the unknown is absolutely terrifying and at the same time, absolutely exhilarating!! We happened to start off with terrified. There we were, no longer employed, no longer salaried full-time workers with medical and dental benefits and we were going to put all of our time, energy and money into travelling the world and cross our fingers that people will actually want to read what we have to write and enjoy looking at the photos we take. And then we realized, wait a minute, we’re no longer full-time employees and instead are putting all our time, energy and money into travelling the world!! Sure the future is an unknown but it means the possibilities are endless and that prospect is as exciting as it is frightening.
All of the above: the minimizing of possessions, the missing of major milestones, the unknown and yes, even the support can cause stress and strong emotions. We have definitely been overwhelmed at times but we are learning to manage these better and better as time comes close for us to leave. We are following our dreams and venturing to see the world and we’ve never felt so alive. If you take anything from what we’ve learned so far we hope it’s that it’s not easy to follow your heart and your dreams and make a major life change, whatever that may be for you, but that in taking that leap you expose yourself to endless opportunities to learn about yourself and grow. We’ve only just taken that leap ourselves and we can’t wait to see where it takes us.
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After much contemplation and discussion, we made the decision to resign from our full-time jobs, sell our belongings and trade in our lifestyle as a dual-income, apartment dwelling couple for two 45L backpacks and a dream of seeing the world together.
We both came to the realization that our passion for travel could not be satisfied with a few weeks vacation time a year. We both want to revolve our lives around travelling and experiencing new cultures and countries. At least for now, for as long as possible. So, we’ve resigned from our jobs, told our family and friends, sold our possessions and are now finally able to make our plans public.
On September 17th, of this year, we will be packing up those 45L backpacks and heading to Asia to tour, live, eat, sightsee and experience the continent before continuing on to our next adventure. And we will be blogging about it here, on OneModernCouple.com. It’s through this lifestyle blog that we hope to express our excitement, our trials and tribulations, the lessons we learn, the amazing (and even the not-so-amazing) sights, sounds and tastes of all that we see. We aim to show the world through our eyes as a couple with a passion for travel and hope to engage others, those at home and those abroad, while writing about and discussing not only our life of travel, but our life as a couple in general. We also hope to motivate others to realize that it is possible to achieve their dreams, no matter how big or small and that sometimes all it takes is one giant leap.
Today is our giant leap. A leap into the unknown, a leap towards fulfilling our dreams and a leap into living life without limits, to the fullest, and without regrets. We hope you will follow us on our journey and perhaps get a taste of the world from our perspective and maybe, just maybe, we’ll encourage you to take a leap of your own.
Typically, couples are brought together, and kept strong, by similar likes and goals. Couples connect over the love of certain sports, playing video games, do-it-yourself projects, etc. For us, travelling is our biggest common interest. Like many people however, our trips have been limited to vacations taken off work and the odd long weekend – but we always long for more. After being together for almost two years, we’ve come to the realization that for both of us, travelling isn’t just a hobby… it’s a passion.
Neither of us envision buying a house or having kids right now and while many of our friends are making big decisions for just that lifestyle, we are taking big steps ourselves. We’ve made the decision to fully embrace our lives as, what we define to be, “a modern couple” and step outside the conventional. More and more couples are delaying making major life decisions like buying a house and having kids. More and more people are defining themselves as the modern couple.
Focusing our energy on web-based business ventures, we plan to travel and immerse ourselves in different cultures, meet different people, try different foods and experience new ways of thinking and living. And we plan to document this lifestyle here.
While we are taking the steps we need to make this plan a reality, we will still be writing about our lives as “one modern couple” and what this lifestyle really means. Whether travelling the world or staying in one place, the concept of this lifestyle remains the same: live life without limits, enjoy life’s simple pleasures and have no regrets
And so, the journey begins…