Posted by Lois on -
|Take the plunge!|
What if we ran out of money?
Will we lose our sense of identity along with our jobs?
Is what we're doing pure selfishness?
These fears were paralyzing and we felt guilty every time we made progress with our travel plans. A lot of friends and family supported us although others were shocked and concerned about our daring decision. But last February, we took the plunge anyway. Now that we are almost halfway into our 6 month Asian backpacking trip, we've realized the upsides and downsides to our decision of exchanging our careers for the gypsy life:
|Photo Credit: By .krish.Tipirneni.|
Every time I logged on to Facebook on the weekend, I always see at least one status message : TGIF! We used to look forward to Fridays. Fridays meant Freedom. Not anymore. Living our dream of traveling full time means that time and date generally become irrelevant. No more waiting until the clock strikes 5 before we start enjoying life. Every day can be amazing!
Work Becomes Play
Traveling and writing for the blog are the main things that fill our days. There is no limit to the energy and creativity that we dedicate to this blog. We're constantly overwhelmed with a gazillion ideas about traveling and tinkering with the blog that we can't keep up. Why? Because we're in love. We're enamored with what we do. And this love affair ain't gonna end anytime soon. This 'job' of ours at Sole Sisters is something we can't stop doing. Even if we were paid to stop doing it!
Lose your Sense of Identity
At first, it was really difficult to leave a day job we enjoyed doing. Chichi and I had both worked in Training and Development. We met many interesting people, talked a lot (this is the main draw) and got to be part of employees' growth in the company. We each had invested at least 5 years into our careers- only to give it up for a life of traveling and writing? You can say it hurt to step off those platform heels and into those hiking boots. But we learned that losing your sense of self isn't so bad. It just means you can reinvent yourself, push your limits and learn so much in the process.
It's not a Quick Fix
If you're going on a journey as a means of escape, you'll realize that your backpack will be a heavy load. We learned this the hard way. We still carry the same problems and insecurities with us on the road. Sure, the streets of Hoi An and the temples of Angkor were are a nice distraction. But we still get confronted by the same worries. Fortunately, we have more time on our hands to reflect and deal with our issues.
|Photo Credit: By *autumn leaf*|
Think about the critics you interact with on a daily basis. Then multiply that number by 100. Putting our own lives online meant more people can observe how we choose to live. We've learned that a lot of people will rally behind our decision to choose an alternative lifestyle. But they will be the minority. The reality is that most people will still choose the same comfortable home, job and life they have. And they tend to feel that those who want different things are either foolish or deviant. But as long as you have a good sense of who you are, you have nothing to worry about.
When we first envisioned our life as full time travelers, we only saw the beauty and pleasure of it. We imagined riding a junk ship on Halong Bay, standing agape at the majesty of the Taj Mahal and seeing a postcard-perfect sunset over Angkor Wat. We failed to realize that traveling is a brutality. The research, planning and logistics that go into a long term trip can be daunting. Then factor in the actual toll on your health and finances while on the road.
There are always pros and cons to a decision. But we constantly ask ourselves this question: Is this what we really want? It's so easy to get caught up in an alternate lifestyle by reading books, following blogs like Chris Guillebeau's Art of Non-Conformity and seeing how other people's lives are played out. But we couldn't just use trailer hitches to latch on to their dreams. What mattered in the end was that we were true to ourselves. Knowing what you want is the first step in the goal of living the life of your dreams.
But our journey has only started. Can we say we have become fearless? Did we overcome all the negativity and insecurities we have had since embarking on this trip? Definitely not. It is a daily struggle that we face. We still wonder about what we're gonna do at the end of this adventure or when we run out of money. (Whichever comes first.) We ask ourselves if people see us as selfish or self-centered. But of all the fears we struggle with, it's the fear that maybe what we're doing is trivial and will eventually amount to nothing.
Are you contemplating a step that will change your life in a big way but are afraid of what others may think? Are you struggling with the decision of following your passion and dealing with obligation? Are you in a place where you're constantly looking out the window to your freedom? Know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
We invite you to share your story and struggles with us by leaving a comment below.
Sole Sister Lois
If you found this post helpful, do consider Supporting the Sole Sisters While We're on the Road. If you have any questions about the Sole Sisters and our adventures, post on our Facebook Page and we will compile a massive Q&A post every end of the month.