“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
— Chris McCandless
There are always a million reasons not to do something like this. They are all rational. However, they are all created by fear. We decided we are done letting fear make decisions for us.
Ok, all the things you are saying in your head right now, I’ve said in my head a thousand times over. “I would love to do that, but I can’t because (insert excuse here).” Let’s address those, shall we?
1- “But I have too much responsibility.” This may come in the form of mortgages, family, pets, jobs, spouses, etc. I have all of these. You either need to eliminate the responsibility or incorporate it into your plan. I’m not talking get rid of your kids or turn the pets loose. You just need to do some creative problem solving. There are always ways around any obstacle. Mortgage? Rent out the house or sell it. Kids/pets/spouses? Take ’em with. Jobs? Highly overrated.
2- “But I don’t have the money to do that.” We didn’t either when we first had these crazy ideas. Not only did we not have the money, but we had debt. But if you make something important, the money will come. We totally revamped our budget, paid off non-mortgage debt, then did automatic saving specifically for this trip. I never thought we would reach our goal in the year or so we had to plan. We not only met it, we exceeded it.
3- “But what will we do when we come back to civilization?” I have always been a planner and a worrier. I would always worry about the next step. Everything had to be carefully planned out. If it didn’t go according to plan that was bad, and I must have done something wrong. When you are so busy planning for tomorrow, you are missing all the living right here in today. In my old age I am letting loose the grip I have on controlling everything. It’s a nice feeling. What will we do when we come back? Not sure. But maybe we’re not supposed to know. Believe me, right now I am not doing what I had “planned” to be doing when I graduated from college. Are you?
4- “Quit my job in a recession? Are you flipping crazy?” The greatest rewards require the greatest risk. I figure we will be immensely rewarded by taking this trip. Not with money or things, but with experience, with learned skills, with memories. That’s the stuff (real) life is made of.
“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.”
Believe me, I am terrified of being homeless and jobless and really doing this. But I am more terrified of the regret we will feel if we don’t do it. So, what are your excuses?