Bon Voyage

This isn’t the craziest thing we’ve ever done. No, quitting a great job, selling all of our stuff and moving into an RV has this beat by a long shot. But right now, spending two months backpacking through Central America feels like the craziest thing we’ve ever done. I’m not really sure why.

In my head I know that countless other people have done the same thing we’re about to do. I know that we have tons of flexibility and can change our plans completely, even on a moment’s notice. If we choose to, we can spend the entire two months sipping cocktails on the beach; or hop a plane back home.

This should be easy. But it isn’t. Not going, that would be easy.

It amazes me how quickly we unlearn things we thought we knew. It was less than a year ago when I wrote 7 Lessons from a Year on the Road, where I discussed the challenges of hitting the road.

Lesson #1: How easy it is to not follow your dreams “Inertia is an incredibly powerful force. It’s far easier to follow a routine, even a hated one, than it is to do something risky, unfamiliar, and meaningfully different.”

I wrote those words. I thought we owned them. When in reality we had quietly slipped into a new routine. It was a routine based on constant travel, but a specific kind of travel. We always spoke the local language and always had our house and things with us. We were comfortable. It worked.

Now we’re leaving our comforts behind and heading off into a new unknown. Nobody said this would be easy. Nothing worth doing ever is. I guess that is entirely the point; to push ourselves toward worthwhile experiences that are easier just to skip. Dreams, after all, exist to be chased.

There comes a moment when those dreams are ripe for the taking. Our moment has arrived. It’s time for us to go.


12 Comments on “Bon Voyage”

  1. Carol Deminski February 10, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Hey Brian,

    In reading some of your other posts, I think it’s fair to say you are an uber-planner. Also, having your RV and familiar stuff around you can be a comfort, even if you did take the huge leap of leaving the “regular lifestyle” most others know from day to day.

    Now you’re really jumping off, and -again, from your own previous postings- you may have some residual worries about getting stuff stolen, or being mugged, or what have you. I think you’re going to be more than incredibly pleasantly surprised by Central America and its incredible people.

    If you haven’t read the Trans-Americas blog, you need to go do that immediately and find some way to communicate with that couple while you are on the road. They’ve been traveling in Central America for maybe 2 years now, and they quit their jobs in New York City and gave up their life there for a life on the road. Sounds familiar, right?

    I went to Mexico (Puebla and Oaxaca) last year and traveled alone for 8 days. I never had any problems,and people were incredibly nice. As a woman alone, walking around center-city Puebla or Oaxaca at 10pm at night, down the winding streets, I can tell you that if I never had a problem, you will not have a problem either as long as you trust your gut and be sensible. I even went to places I was told “tourists don’t go there” and I was also fine. More than fine.

    Be open to all the new people, foods, places and adventures you’re going to have and jump in because the water is fine.

    Have fun!!


    • Brian February 10, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

      Hi Carol,
      Thanks for the detailed comments and the pep talk. I know perfectly well that things will be fine – great even – but there is just something unnerving about doing something different. It’s not rational. It can’t be reasoned with. It just has to be confronted.

      I’m continually surprised by how much harder these things are in the doing than in the thinking. I’d say it’s just me, but I don’t think so. Otherwise there’d be far more people doing these kinds of things.


      • Carol Deminski February 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

        I agree Brian – things will be fine, great even! I look forward to seeing how your journey evolves.

        Don’t forget about Trans-Americas, they could be an invaluable resource for you.


  2. Marcia Clarke February 10, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    Have a very safe and fun trip, keep us posted!


  3. Ross February 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Best of luck on this NEW adventure! I like the way you re-invent your plans to pursue your passion.


    • Brian February 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

      I like the idea of reinventing ourselves. Gone are the days when you work for one employer and live and die in one town. I say good riddance. There is so much to do and see in the world I’d hate to think I’m limited to what I’m doing today, or last year. We plan to do stuff as long as it suits us and then make changes as soon as it doesn’t.


  4. hobopals February 10, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    I’m so glad I read your 7 Lessons. I wish you could share them with everyone. I will mark the site and refer people to them when the subject of fulltiming comes up. Great stuff. Have a great time on your new adventure.


    • Brian February 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

      Sharing makes us happy. Thanks for doing it.


  5. Fluent In Frolicking February 11, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    I love that nervous feeling I get in the pit of my stomach before any trip. It is more excitement of the unknown than fear. I have a feeling that is the case for you as well. Enjoy Central America!


  6. baidanbi February 11, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    It’s both scary and exhilarating when we stray from out comfort zone. Congratulations on taking the plunge! South America is one of my favorite places to travel and I’m looking forward to reading about your future adventures.


  7. Nomadic Samuel February 14, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    I’ve yet to try backpacking in Central America. Looking forward to all your updates 🙂



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