the excuses.

“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.”
-Alan Keightley

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?

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9 Responses to the excuses.

  1. Troo says:

    I have none. I quit my job in a recession to go freelance writing full-time 😀

    Thus I cannot agree more with this post!

  2. I’m actually planning to do the same thing next year, except it’ll be out east. with cats.


    What’s your ultimate destination?

    • conradvisionquest says:

      we’ll start in washington and work our way down before coming back to georgia. whichever way the wind blows…

  3. jen & aaron says:

    take the trip. don’t look back. the rewards are endless and daily. we’re 4.5 months in, have 4.5 months to go and look forward to every new day. luckily for us, we had no “real” responsibilities, jobs we were sick of, and for being homeless and jobless, it’s an incredible freedom. take it and fly.

  4. jen & aaron says:

    life is too short not to embark on an adventure like this. may our journeys overlap.

  5. Robyn Tara says:

    Great quote! Into The Wild is one of my favourite books and films OF ALL TIME and Chris had it right. I too just stepped into the unknown not by hitting the road but by cutting my hours at work and going back to school to become a teacher. Less money and a deviation from mind-numbing 9-5 routine feels so good. Find out what means a lot to you and pursue it, even if it means stepping outside your comfort zone. I think we can all agree that working directly with people, like children, guarantees an endlessly changing horizon. What an adventure… and I don’t even have to leave home (even though I’d have no problem doing that either, if I had the means). 🙂

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