I was a little afraid this might happen. And by a little I mean a lot, and by afraid I might actually mean mischievously hopeful.
In my inaugural post on the blog, I talked about my inner Jekyll and Hyde. My Jekyll is dependable, introverted, timely, craves routine, and is focused on reaching financial independence as soon as possible. He’s a good guy to have around. My Hyde, on the other hand, is spontaneous, extroverted, adventurous, craves change, and is focused on living an emotionally honest life, no matter how unconventional it seems to others. Also a good guy. Fortunately they usually take turns ruling the roost, and for the most part have managed to live pretty harmoniously in my head.
Jekyll has been working like a crazy man lately. I picked up a third job for last summer, right about the same time I decided to wanted to start this blog. Learning how to build the site and thinking up content took up most of what was left of my free time, but Jekyll was so happy with his productivity that he kept going full steam ahead. And learning so much so fast has been a blast.
But with all this writing about all the awesome things there are to do in life, Hyde took a nice big stretch after his long 3 year nap, opened his eyes, and stated “Dude. It is time for Adventure. I’m thinking…nine months in South America.”
He said this, I might add, with a fair amount of authority.
Jekyll was prepared for this though, and countered with a qualification of his own. “I actually approve of a South American Adventure, but I refuse to let it come at the expense of our emergency fund. If we want to go, we have to come up with the money first.”
The husband agreed but also had a condition. “If we are going to do this, I want to do it right. I’m fine eating from food stalls and sleeping in hostels, but if there is a mountain trail I want to climb it, and if there is a ocean I want to dive it, and if there is a freakishly cool ruin with a freakishly steep price tag, I don’t want to skip it just because it doesn’t fit in our daily budget.”
Now, before you get excited, I need to explain something else. This little exchange actually happened months ago. Let’s call it version one. With such a fantastic idea came the need to do research. So we did. I mean, we’ve done this before, so it wasn’t nearly as overwhelming as it seems and has actually been a lot of fun. Research rocks! We checked out a lot of guide books from the library, checked out every South American documentary on Netflix we could find, and started googling all the best things to see and do and eat in South America. We had quite the list going! Travel research is like crack.
Then one random day, Hyde got a very mischievous grin on his face, looked up and said in a deceptively nonchalant manner, “You know, how about we visit Asia instead?
My husband sighed, grinned, then went to the library and checked out a new stack of guidebooks. Holy crap I’m lucky.
But in the meantime I was keeping busy too, learning WordPress and CSS code and reading blogs and books and more blogs. And a new idea started to take shape.
I became an actor almost by accident. I was a shy kid, and acting was a strategy to dig down and get in touch with who I really was, and as I got older and started getting professional work, I just kept doing it. I learned a lot, I had a lot of fun, and I miss it. But my decision to go into nursing was pointedly deliberate. Hyde was demanding a change after 5 years in NYC, so I made lists of what I wanted from a new career and nurse fit the bill. Three weeks after making the decision I was sitting in a classroom in Albuquerque. (Hyde doesn’t beat around the bush.)
Once again, I feel like I’m at a crossroads. One pattern is clear – I like moving. A lot. Not just to a new part of town, but to a different state. Maybe even a different country. I crave that kind of adventure, that kind of freedom, that kind of challenge. I’m ready for a change again, but this time I’m looking forward and finding myself more and more attracted to the concept of ongoing location independence. Is there a business I could build for myself that is something that could be run from anywhere? (This is not a rhetorical question. Really, is there?)
At the same time, David has gotten re-focused on his art. He has dabbled in many mediums over the years, but this time he wrote a children’s book. And then another. And then he started playing around with some construction paper and before we knew it he had illustrated one of them and is now busy working on the second. We have no idea where to go with this, but he has been on fire and is just pumping out the artwork so we are trying to figure it out. And my totally unbiased opinion is that what he has come up with is really quite special.
I don’t know what any of this means, exactly. My life rarely moves from A to B and then to C. I like using all of the letters. In random order. The last few months have been crazy, bursting with excitement over whatever it is coming in 2014, but hesitant to share the news with anyone because we knew the whole plan was in such flux.
But at some point you have to take a step up, and just go with what you have.
We’ve got the World Domination Summit scheduled for July, that much we know. After that, it is a wide, wide world of possibility. Convincing the two of us to stick with a plan long enough to book plane tickets is the only thing holding us back. We’ve talked about Columbia, about Taiwan, about Jordan. We’ve talked about starting some kind of online business and settling in Bali or Chiang Mai to sit and work, or maybe just continuing to explore the idea while we backpack around and enjoy some more travel.
So, I don’t know. Exactly. Which, at this point, is fine with me. But we’ve been talking about this for six months, and considering the successes of my previous trips (I spent a year traveling Australasia and the US in 2001, and we both spent six months in Central America and Peru in 2010), I’m rather impressed with Jekyll that he has managed to keep us stationary for what will be a full year after the time we first started discussing the idea. A year is an eternity for Hyde once he’s decided he wants to do something.
There are a lot of big discussions happening in our household right now. Luckily we are experienced enough travelers that we aren’t really worried about where we end up. Whether we find ourselves in Laos or Venezuela or Nepal, I know those details will work themselves out. Really the biggest obstacle for the travel itself is going to be booking plane tickets using frequent flier miles – the longer we wait to book, the fewer choices we are going to have as the availability decreases. Though limited options, frankly, might not be a bad thing, because right now there are so many possibilities it is a little overwhelming. ::grin::
Adventure is in the air. This is gonna be a good year.