“So what are your plans after graduation? Are you going to grad school or getting a job right away?” asked my classmate (we’ll call her Jenna) one April afternoon as we wandered out of a two hour lecture on East Asian cultures. “Well my boyfriend and I are actually planning on traveling for awhile before we settle into jobs. It’s something we’ve both wanted to do so we figured this was the perfect time.” “Oh wow that’s so exciting! I’ve always wanted to travel! How long are you planning on going?” “A year.” I braced myself for her response. “A YEAR?!?! OMG you’re crazy!”
This is almost always the reaction I receive when telling people about the grand travel plans Anthony and I have laid out. After getting over the initial shock of two people doing something for an entire year (crazy) almost everyone is impressed, most are supportive, and some inevitably just don’t get it. “What if you guys get mugged?” “What about getting a job?” “What if you get bed bugs?” “What if something bad happens?” What if, what if, what if…what if we both get jobs, keep putting this off, and wake up one day with nothing but regret at wasting our opportunity to see the world while we had the chance? Now don’t get me wrong, we have a lot of supporters, but for some reason the thought of a year of travel just seems to make people uncomfortable in general which is fascinating considering it’s actually the norm in so many other countries. Every hostel I’ve ever been in has at least five Australians who’ve been on the road for six months or more with no plans to return home anytime soon…it’s just what people do and it’s totally fine. I can’t wait to be like them.
To be totally honest, yes I will miss my bed, central air, and the ease of a routine I currently take for granted. I hate that I’ll be missing not one but two of my close friends get married, and obviously if the Patriots go to the Super Bowl it won’t be the same cheering them on anywhere besides Boston, but I’ve made peace with the fact that I have to give up a year or two of my routine to gain a lifetime of experience. A year sounds like a long time, but how many times have you looked around on New Year’s Eve and thought “wow that year flew”? How often have you put something off that you truly wanted to do because “there will be time later” or “it wasn’t the right moment”? We’re just doing what makes us happy instead of talking about it, and right now that means living out of a backpack for 365 days. If that’s crazy I say bring it on. Hopefully we inspire someone else to do something crazy along the way.