We have been dreaming about an independent lifestyle for so long. Talked about it hundreds of times. And the conclusion is that there’s no better time than now, so now we’re doing it: We have quit our jobs and bought one-way tickets to Mexico City for January 2019. When will we return? We don’t know…
It all started 4 years ago. Just before our wedding. I had had a birthmark checked by the doctor like many times before (I have many birthmarks by nature). A routine check like any other. But this time the doctor called and asked me to come back for an extra check. They might have found something that possibly could lead to cancer in the future. It was just 3 weeks before our wedding.
The day I received the call I remember saying to my husband to-be: “If they find something bad, if it is cancer, then we’ll quit our jobs and travel the world”. He agreed without blinking.
A week later I got the results of the test and it was negative. Thank God. But the experience had started something in us. Because that day when it suddenly hit us that life could stop earlier than expected, it became very clear what we wanted from life: We wanted to go out there and see the world together.
Fast forward to 2018
Time has flown. We both have good jobs, we have travelled a lot, we have bought our dream apartment and had our little baby boy. Life is good. Our jobs in the hotel industry are flexible and leaves time for family and friends. And travels. Can’t complain. We could easily continue like this for years and it would be what many people dream of.
But is this it? Is this how we should continue next year, and the next and the next? It’s good, but we feel there is more to life than this. There must be something bigger. Something more exciting. Something more challenging. We are not restless, it’s not that. We are both good at settling down and enjoying the moment. And we do enjoy our everyday life now, but just because now is good, doesn’t mean that we should stay in it forever.
Since the episode back in 2014 the idea of quitting our jobs in exchange of travelling has been latent in the back of our heads. And this spring when I was home on maternity leave with our little one, I started feeling a need for re-organizing our lives. Only having the scheduled holiday seasons together as a family didn’t seem that appealing.
We were not the kind of parents who always knew we would be parents. We didn’t get married with the aim to have children. We married because we wanted each other in life. With or without kids. And we talked about both options: life with kids and life without kids. Obviously I can’t see myself without my little monkey now (best decision EVER to have him). And as we took that very conscious decision to have a child, we want to enjoy life with him. Time goes by so fast and he’ll probably only be attached to us the first 12 years or so, so we’ll prioritize him now.
And what is the most precious we can give our son? What is the most precious we can give to each other?
Time is the most valuable thing we have to give. The rest is just stuff. I have never heard of someone who regretted having spend too much time with their kids when they were small. Only the contrary.
Taking the decision
I consulted my husband about these feelings in spring and oddly enough he had had the same thoughts (not to the same extend as me, but still thinking “there must be more to life than this”).
Then we started talking about it more seriously. Should and could we quit our jobs in search for a different path than the one we were already on? We started looking into the possibilities. Talked to the bank. Checked the rental terms in our building. Started researching and I started listening to a bunch of podcasts with people who had done the same. People who had defied the ordinary for a more independent lifestyle. Especially a Danish podcast called Den Digitale Nomade inspired me to research about how we could work online (it is made by Mille, whom I interviewed here). Unless you’re extremely wealthy, you don’t just quit your job, so we needed a plan. And little by little, we realised that it could be possible. I started writing travel guides to see if I could get a little income that way. I sold my first article back in may/june, which was a huge step for me towards fulfilling our dream of an independent lifestyle (not that I earned much money, but hey, you gotta start somewhere!).
The day we bought the one-way tickets to Mexico City it felt real. It was done. We were doing it and from that moment it just felt like the most natural thing in the world. It’s funny how buying the ticket can be so symbolic. It’s just a ticket. You’re not forced to board the plane. But somehow, you feel committed once you have the ticket.
Continuing our everyday good life would be easy. What we are doing now is not the easy way. We are redefining our lives. We are going out there to see the world, to be inspired and to learn about ourselves. To get more out of life than the ordinary. We don’t know exactly for how long. And we don’t know what we will do when we get back. We are planning to work online and gain some flexibility that way. We hope we can continue like that once we return. Work online, freelance or just project based and not be fully attached to one specific work place. That way we can travel to Bali, Spain or somewhere else and work from there a couple of months in winter and rent out our apartment in the meantime. And maybe spend a couple of months in summer on the Danish island of Bornholm. That’s the longterm dream. If we can inspire others to follow their dreams too, it would be amazing. I’ve already been contacted by someone who saw my post on Instagram and wanted to know more about long-term travelling. Wauw, what an honour to help others fulfilling their dreams too!
What if it doesn’t work?
Maybe we’ll miss having a 9-5 job with a steady salary and colleagues. And if we do: Well, then we’ll just come home and apply for new jobs.
And that’s totally okay. We just need to try this. Need to challenge life. Make memories. And give our time to each other. The more you give, the more you get back. The more I invest in my son and my marriage, the more will I get back. The more I invest in my own passion, which is travel writing, the better person/wife/mother I will be.
In the upcoming posts I will write more about the practical details, about the places we plan to visit, about the future of this blog and much more. Now that we’ve taken this step towards a more independent lifestyle, I will also start writing more about that way of living, how we feel about it, how we progress and so on. Let me know if there are any topics in specific I should cover 🙂