Not your typical vagabonds, we’re too young to be retired pensioners and too old to be gap-year backpackers. So where do we fit in? We like to think everywhere and nowhere. In truth, we’re just a couple of travel junkies determined to live life on our own terms.
Runaways from an all-consuming corporate world, we got a late start on travel. But once bitten, no cubicle in the world could hold us. It took us five years of solid planning, saving, and re-prioritizing to break free, but we made it. You can too. We’re here to help.
We made our break in April 2010 and have been traveling non-stop ever since. Our original dreams envisioned us following well-worn backpacker trails around the world, but our two cats protested. Proving that obstacles are made to be overcome, we completely retooled our ambitions and set out on a North American RV road trip instead; kittens in tow.
How many times had we been RVing before we moved into one fulltime? Exactly never.
Wise men told us we should take it slow. “Get a pop-up trailer to try out camping,” they said. “Rent an RV before committing to a lifestyle you’ve never experienced.”
All prudent advice, but we knew a deeper truth. Living your dream requires commitment, sacrifice and no small amount of risk. But when the ends are true, the means are of little consequence.
Over the coming weeks, months and years we’ll put these ideals to the test and chronicle the results here. Follow along to see how we fare.
Shannon is a freelance writer and the co-author of Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen’s Bath to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West (National Geographic Books) and Writers Between the Covers: The Scandalous Romantic Lives of Legendary Literary Casanovas, Coquettes, and Cads (Plume/Penguin). She has interviewed President Clinton for an Arrive Magazine cover feature, written about Scotch tasting for Continental, and scenic Vermont for National Geographic Traveler, along with articles for other magazines and newspapers. She is a contributor to the book industry news publication Shelf Awareness and plans to stop at as many bookstores as she can along the way. (If you’re obsessed with literary travel like she is, check out her blog at NovelDestinations.com).
Nobody remembers why Brian, as an undergraduate finance major, registered for a class in Romantic Era poetry. Maybe he thought it was an easy elective or, more probably, it fit a time slot that satisfied his primary objective of keeping Fridays and early mornings completely free. Whatever the reason, it was a course that started him thinking more deeply about what he wanted out of life.
He discovered that the things he really wanted weren’t at all what the media and society at large told him he should want: bigger, better, more, excessive. Those things all had their attractions, but they could be acquired only by spending the one commodity for which there is no substitute or replacement – time.
At that early stage, though, the pull of career and success were stronger. Brian doubled down on his original path; working long hours and weekends in pursuit of traditional goals. In some respects, he set his sights too low. By the age of 35 he had basically climbed as high in the corporate world as he desired. Higher rungs existed, as always, but they held little interest for him.
Bored with work and tired of spending precious time pursuing the things he decided long ago weren’t terribly important he, and his wife Shannon, began devising an escape plan. Years in the making, the plan came to fruition in August 2009, the very day he launched this blog.