In July 2012 Brock and Kathleen quit their jobs and sold their possessions to live a life of travel.
Their big adventure started with a 5 month, 4300 mile bike ride across the US! Then, they crossed the ocean to New Zealand and have been house sitting while they explore the beauty that is NZ. Here is their story…
What changes did you make in order to save money for your travels?
To be completely honest, we knew for a while that we weren’t cut out for the white picket fence life so we always lived below our means in order to be able to save as much as possible. When we finally made the decision and set a departure date we pretty much never ate out at restaurants anymore, eventually suspended one cell phone before ultimately canceling it and for a month before we left we moved in with Kathleen’s parents which enabled us to save a lot quickly.
How long did it take you to plan your epic adventure? What was the most challenging part of the planning?
Our lease on the condo we were renting was up at the end of April 2012 and that was our deadline to be ready for whatever our first step of the epic adventure was going to be. Making the decision about what to do first was probably the most challenging for us. When the sky is the limit it can be rather intimidating to chose! We finally decided to stay in the U.S. and do a cross-country bike trip before setting off for indefinite international travel! Once we agreed that the bike trip was it the planning was probably a solid 4 months prior to departure.
What was the hardest thing to leave behind when you left home?
The thing about us is that we don’t agree on a lot so we are going to answer this question separately. Brock misses his bike the most, for Kathleen the hardest thing to leave behind was family and friends.
What has been the most moving or emotional experience you’ve had while traveling?
At this point the most emotional experience we’ve had while traveling has been completing the 4,300-mile bike trip across the United States. We took five months to pedal from the coast of Virginia to the coast of Oregon and it took a lot of hard work and we overcame a lot together. Completing the trail was really an awesome feeling for us.
What advice can you share for those who want to travel full time but are scared to take the leap?
This is our advice: You have to believe you can actually have it and do it, and then you have to believe that the universe will conspire in your favor to help make it happen. Once you declare that you want to travel full time and believe it can happen and forget dwelling on all of the reasons it won’t or can’t or might be too scary, it will all fall into place in such a way that you will be shocked. There were so many times that things didn’t seem like they were going to work out for us, and somehow the universe came to our rescue and everything turned out better than we had planned. There will always be excuses to do it tomorrow or next year, or your friends/family that don’t understand you, but if it is your dream you should make it happen!! So DO IT!!
Did you make any rookie mistakes when you first started traveling?
We are still making little rookie mistakes. I think in a year or so we are going to look back on some of the things we did this past year and laugh, but right now we are still learning to communicate better with each other. No funny stories really to share, but because our travel experience is so different one of us thinks we should do one thing while the other is trying to do the exact opposite. We are learning very quickly never, ever assume ANYthing while traveling in other countries. Like, for example, Australia didn’t need to see our visa information at customs so we assumed New Zealand wouldn’t either….we were right, but Australia wouldn’t let us on our plane to New Zealand without a hard copy of our visa information and we didn’t have the confirmation printed out. Just don’t assume anything.
You housesit while you travel – What do you like most and least about this method of travel?
So far we love everything about house sitting. Kathleen has always said she wants to travel the world, and not like visit-the-main-tourist-attractions-in-a-city-and-stay-at-a-hotel more like, travel-and-live-like-a-local-and-shop-in-their-grocery-stores-and-learn-about-the-culture-that-way. We had no idea how we would afford to travel that way, to live like locals in countries all over the world for extended periods of time, and then house-sitting fell into our lap and it was the answer we were waiting for! What we like most: having a kitchen to cook in, having a free place to stay, a clean bathroom, a car, access to wash you clothes whenever you want, getting to know a culture by watching their news/reading their newspaper/shopping at their stores.
What is the best and worst thing about traveling as a couple?
The best thing about traveling is that we happen to like each other a lot, so we are really happy we get to spend so much time together and it is while we are traveling the world so that makes it even better. It is awesome to be able to travel with your best friend or other half because we know each other better than we know ourselves almost, and we take care of each other. A thing that works out well for us is that our oppositeness helps a lot with traveling because what one person doesn’t like to do the other loves and visa versa. The only not awesome part of traveling as a couple is trying to finding alone time while never actually being apart, but that isn’t even a big deal!
Quick Fun Five:
Favorite country and why?
New Zealand is Brock’s favorite country because there are so many National Parks to explore and hike. Kathleen’s favorite is Ireland because it is so beautiful and a lot of her family is there.
If you had to chose a country other than your own to settle down in, where would it be and why?
This is a great question, and if we had the answer we would be living there probably! We truly believe we will visit a country and both fall so in love with it that we won’t leave, but we haven’t been there yet.
If you could travel with one celebrity, who would it be and why?
That’s a tough one…we think Michael Weatherly would be fun to travel with cause he is funny and would probably do a lot of ridiculous things to keep the trip interesting.
What has been the weirdest thing you have eaten (on purpose!)?
Brock has eaten octopus, like the little ones you can put in your mouth in one bite. Kathleen doesn’t eat weird things, she is a wimp.
What was the first overseas trip you took?
This trip right now is our first overseas trip together! So the answer would be that our trip to Australia was our first overseas trip for Our Favorite Adventure. For Brock this was also his first overseas trip ever, and Kathleen’s first overseas trip was when she was 17 she traveled to Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France with a student group.
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