As of today, we have both officially notified our employers of our impending plans, which we have affectionately started referring to as our “pretirement”.
These are plans that have been in the works since March (and, really, even longer if you count all the times we visited a place and spent the subsequent weeks researching what it would take to move there), but it hasn’t felt real until now. Sure, I’ve built a website, snagged an Instagram handle, and started putting “keep it”, “store it”, “sell it”, and “burn it” post-it notes on select items around the house. And, yes, I have strategically leaked parts of the plan to the friends I know will encourage it. And, maybe I’ve already drawn up meticulous blueprints for converting our hatchback into a camper and researched every place in America where we can camp with a dog. But nothing was, you know, definite.
As I’m writing this, we’ve told…well, practically none of you. We’re getting to it. And, as we do, you will smile and say things like, “That is so awesome!” and, “OMG, jealous!” But then you will leave the restaurant/party/office/coffee shop/nail salon, get in your car and say what you really think, which is probably something along the lines of, “what the actual fuck?”
We know that, which is why we will have also casually given you the link to this site, so you will do what you’re doing right now, which is trying to get some answers to the questions you weren’t sure you should ask. So, let’s start with…
Seriously – what the fuck?
Here’s the short version: traveling permanently – or, I guess, indefinitely – is something we’ve always talked about doing. The opportunity to be able to do it comfortably recently presented itself. We are lucky – we have a good life and it’s hard to consider doing anything that might disrupt it. So, we did some risk-reward math: is the reward of maintaining our status quo worth the risk that we would eventually regret not doing this together when we had the chance? For us, right now, in this moment, the answer is no. Our degrees and careers and qualifications will keep. Our foundation of friends and family will be present no matter where we are. But, we’re not getting any younger or healthier. Basically, we had a classic “if not now, when?” decision to make.
So. That’s the fuck.
What is the plan?
For the rest of 2018, Nashville will still be home base, but we will spend weeks or months at a time on the road exploring the U.S. and visiting friends and family. We’ve got some unmissable celebrations and traditions that will take us back to Nashville from time to time. Taking those things into account, the rough sketch of our 2018 travels looks like this:
Early August to early September: Texas and the Southwest
Early September to late October: Pacific Northwest and California
Early November: Northeast
Thanksgiving to Christmas: Southeast
Exact dates yet to be determined, but the plan is to land overseas sometime in early 2019. Ireland here, UK there, maybe a little mainland Europe – maybe a summer Iceland road trip thrown in? Exactly what that will look like or what will happen afterward, we don’t know. And for once, that’s the fun part.
How can you afford this?
Maybe one day it will make sense to share specifics about the financial facets of this decision, but for now, I’ll just say this: neither of us is a risk taker. I might even say that we are both rigidly risk-averse. Read: we are total wet blankets. And, no matter how much you think you care about us winding up penniless and destitute, I can assure you: we care way more. The point is, we would never commit to this without being certain that we couldn’t screw it up. Beyond that, we can spare a few vague details:
- We’ll be renting our house on Airbnb;
- Joe will still work as an accountant;
- I have a tried-and-true ability to survive on nothing but water and strawberry sour straws. Ask any of my college roommates. And send sour straws.
Is Moxie going with you?
Would Harry and Ron drink Butterbeer without Hermione? Would The Dude and Walter go bowling without Donnie? Would Cher and Dionne do a makeover without Tai?
(She’s coming with us.)
So, are you a “travel blogger” now?
I like to write and I like to travel. So, it would be très dope if I could make money doing both. I’m not above spamming your feeds. I’m not above doing sponsored posts (SugarBear Hair Gummies hmu). I’m not above asking for free places to stay (but, that’s mostly just going to be me begging to stay with you when we’re coming through your town).
This site is, first and foremost, a way that we can stay connected to friends and family. We hope you like it enough to follow along with us and share this with your friends or your book editors or your family who own hotels in beautiful locations. But, we’re happy either way.
I can already tell these posts are going to be too long. How else can I keep up with you?
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