The decision to drop everything and travel the world for a year was not an instantaneous one. What started as a “what if” conversation (after a couple glasses of wine) back in 2014 evolved into my go-to form of escapism: scouring travel blogs, gawking at National Geographic’s Instagram, daydreaming of authentic Thai curry. My boyfriend Jeff has always had round-the-world (or RTW, as they say) travel ambitions, but the idea remained an idea — an awesome, exhilarating and ambitious idea.
But a series of events changed all that. First and foremost, in May 2015, Jeff suffered a cardiac arrest while running the Pittsburgh Marathon. After eight heart wrenching and uncertain days in the hospital (nearly half of which he spent in a coma), Jeff managed to make a full recovery. He left the hospital with a implantable cardioverter-defibrillator and, perhaps not surprisingly, a renewed sense of gratitude and zest for life.
All of Jeff’s loved ones were deeply affected by that experience; I think it helped each of us reestablish our perspectives in some way, and certainly reminded us of how precious life is. I made the simple resolution to consciously live in and enjoy moments, no matter how big or small. It’s amazing how a tiny shift in your mindset can more or less upend your worldview; I have felt more free (liberated? unburdened?) in the last year than I ever have.
Anyone who has lived in Washington, D.C. knows how transient the city is. Having lived here for six years, I’m basically considered a lifer — but that was never my plan. I’ve been lucky enough to start my career in a place I love, but the place (and quite frankly, the career) are losing their sheen. And, compounded with the fact that our lease is up in December, the “what if” conversation turned into a “if not now, when?”
So we’re taking off in a couple short months, and have a lot of planning to do! I hope this blog will be useful and/or interesting for at least six people (hi parents), and I look forward to documenting the whole adventure.