Around the world travel, Backpacking, long term travel, Travel, Travel Wishlist, Uncategorized

Some Background…

On Wednesday night, I spent my evening driving our creative team home from a client meeting in Pennsylvania. During the journey, the art director proceeded to tell me how he had missed his daughter’s birthday. I couldn’t help but think that there was something so fundamentally wrong with this. A similar thing happened two weeks ago. I was pulling an all-nighter at the office to prepare for a creative presentation the following day, and the studio director proceeded to tell me about his failed first marriage, which he blamed on the number of hours he was working at the time. Well, I say life is too short! Don’t get me wrong, I work hard, but there comes a time when you have to say are you living to work? Or working to live?

I wouldn’t be able to work the way I am right now if I didn’t have a light at the end of the tunnel, which is my travels. So Thursday morning, after my long drive from PA to NYC, I confirmed my around-the-world ticket with Delta. Now, any amount of time I spend on preparing, researching, or booking this trip assures me that my current situation is only temporary. It makes the present a little more bearable.

This trip has been something I’ve been tentatively planning since my senior year of college. I remember working in the International Studies office during the summer between junior and senior year, sitting on costing out a number of different itineraries. Fortunately, since then, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places and meet some incredible people, but for some reason, the around-the-world trip has been put off again and again for a number of reasons. Money (or lack of), time, school, work, leases, reltaionships, etc. The list goes on and on, but there came a time when I realized if I didn’t make it happen, it was simply going to be a dream growing dust on a shelf. With my lease up at the end of July, three torturous years of grad school behind me, a career path that has me less than excited, and the itch to travel like never before, now is the time.

Some may say it’s a little unrealistic and impractical to quit my job during an economic slump, to give up the steady paycheck, benefits, and insurance. Some people ask me if I can afford to do this, and my response to them is, “Can I afford not to?” Most people are thrilled for me and want to hear every little detail. But there are the skeptics too, the ones who give you a funny look and say, “You’re doing what??” Fortunately the people who know me best find this far from surprising.

Unfortunately I was bitten with the travel bug at a very young age, and well, there’s only one cure. So on July 21st, I will begin my around-the-world journey, which as of now will last until December 2nd. Planned stops along the way include England, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Australia and New Zealand. Oh, and if you count a very, very long layover in Moscow, add Russia to that list.

The only similar experience I’ve had is a backpacking trip I took after high school. At the age of 17, my best friend and I spent six weeks traveling Europe by train. I have traveled quite a lot since then, but not for such an extended period of time, nor to the types of culturally diverse places I will be going.

Some of you who are following me on my travels hope to one day take an around-the-world trip and others are quite content to just read about it. I hope for the former this can be the encouragement you need, and for the latter, you can live vicariously through me. Either way, I hope to relay the highs and lows, and bring you on what I anticipate to be a life-changing journey.

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