wander forrest journal1:11 AM, August 28, 2015

I’m not sure whether it’s the 2 cups of coffee I had earlier this evening or the plethora of thoughts running through my head, but either way I can’t fall asleep. I bought this journal with the hopes of documenting Danielle and my journey over the next year plus. Hopefully it can serve as a guide to whoever ends up reading this on how to get what you want out of life, regardless of your circumstances. Perhaps I’ll be the only one to ever read these words, and I suppose that is okay too. Anyways…a little over a week ago, I had a conversation with my boss that I had been dreading and putting off for months if not the better part of a year.

The discussion lasted about 5 minutes. We were sitting on leather chairs in one of the company’s common areas and I somewhat nervously, but still articulately told her that 2016 was going to be Danielle and my big year of travel. In January, we’d be in the Virgin Islands or somewhere similar that was warm and near the ocean. February would be Charleston or New Orleans, March was undecided.  So far my boss only looked a little nervous. April and May we would be in Italy. June split half in Spain and half in France. July would be spent in Michigan visiting family with a few days in Virginia for our friend’s wedding. August, September and October we’ll be in the U.K.   After that we weren’t sure. As I caught my breath and began to relax into my chair, I attempted to exude as much confidence as possible toward a slightly speechless audience. Realizing that she was still processing, I took a moment to explain that I would like to continue working for the company in a part-to-full time capacity. At that, I noticed her relax a little.

The following few minutes were filled with some questions I had already anticipated. Primarily how would we afford to travel like that and how would remote work be possible. My answers were simple. I can afford to travel and live abroad for less that it costs me on a monthly basis now. We have no kids, no pets, no house and can liquidate a majority of our assets quickly, allowing us to travel freely with the little extra expense AND even though I don’t believe this is 100% true my best excuse to close the deal was, the timing could not be more perfect. I think people tell themselves lies for a long enough that they convince themselves the lie is the truth. That particular lie, the “perfect timing” or “no real responsibilities to burden and prevent me from doing something life-changing” – at lie is what I used as leverage and justification…well sort of.

globe with pinsUltimately when I decided and committed to that 5-minute discussion with my boss, I accepted it might mean I’d lose my job. So saying the perfect timing bit was partly self-preservation. I say all that because it helps to articulate the crazy thoughts that run through my head. Often times some of my biggest fears can be squashed with a 5-minute conversation. That talk with my boss is what I consider to be the turning point at which I went from maybe travel sometime in life, to I’m going to travel with my wife, and it’s happening this year. In the last week, Dani and I have already made some good progress! We got a world map (suggested by a friend Dani networked with), and pinned all the locations we wanted to visit. My pins were turquoise and hers were pink. I took a photo of the finished pins (phase 1).

We spent time deliberating locations and settled on some slight modifications to the original plan. We’re still ironing out some of the details, but I’ll include an updated list once we’ve finalized it. I also started looking at places on Air BnB and Yelp that offered 1-month rentals for under $1,000. You’d be surprised what’s available and how much $1k can get you, even in big European cities! Dani also created a starting monthly budget with all the base necessities that seemed pretty reasonable. Her friend offered to use and store most of our furniture too so we’ll most likely just have to get a small storage unit for select items we won’t need while we’re gone.

My hand is cramping pretty now so I’m gonna wrap up. One of the things that helped me in finally talking to my boss was telling others. Most everyone responded the same way my boss did. Shock followed by concern, and once reassured, excited for us and a bit jealous. :0)

-R-