Regret. One tiny little word with so much influence, it can cause you to alter your entire life in a heartbeat. No one wants to live a life of regret, so each day we set out to make the most of life. Our story revolves around that little word and how we navigate the waters of avoiding the impact it can have on you when you don’t reach for the things you want in life.
As a kid I dreamed of two things, far off places and horses. Up until now I have made horses my life with a side of travel. Of course it wouldn’t be right to not mention the handsome husband, fancy car, country house and career. I have been living the American Dream. So in pursuit of these dreams I have spent most of the past 12 years juggling my passions of advancing my career, showing my horses and seeing as much of the World as my PTO time allowed each year. It has been exhausting.
I first learned about backpacking in 2007 and quickly took to the freedom of travel with only the pack on your back. I planned a trip to Italy with my sister and best friend and away we went to stay in hostels, travel on the train and live out of our backpacks! What I didn’t prepare for was the love I would acquire for this type of travel.
I was hooked and the years that followed involved many more backpacking adventures and as my ‘need’ for travel grew, so did the research of how to make more time for it. Of course, coming home from Italy led to many conversations about taking a summer off to travel Europe for 3 months. This never did become a reality, but my research opened the door to an even bigger idea, Round the World travel. But it wasn’t really until David and I spent 3 weeks backpacking around SE Asia on our honeymoon in 2010, for us to start talking about the possibility of making that a reality.
At that point in time we found ourselves in jobs that we enjoyed and we were pretty well settled with life in general but something on that Asia trip changed me and once I was home I pretty much obsessed over how we could incorporate more travel into our lives. We both wanted to explore more of the World, but weren’t ready to take the leap into making that a reality. So we spent the next 3 years traveling as often as we could and squeezing every last minute out of our PTO time to juggle travel, horses and hunting. It seemed like the perfect solution for us at the time and we have been lucky enough to have many adventures visiting 31 countries and 35 states all while working full time jobs and living the American Dream.
The one thing that didn’t stand out at first but is now very obvious, is as the 3 years lapsed we began spending less PTO time on horses and hunting and devoted all of our precious hours to travel only. This was the wakeup call for us. We sat down one day with the intentions of discussing some upgrades to our house and horse facilities. This snow balled into a discussion of what we wanted to accomplish in 3 years and where we wanted to be at the end of those years. I couldn’t help but bring up World travel. It was at that moment that we decided if we didn’t take a good hard look at this dream, that we may miss the chance to do it and in time, regret that we hadn’t.
Fast forward to today. We are 195 days into planning the next ‘phase’ of our life. Our house is for sale; we have been selling all of our possessions, padding our bank accounts and are planning to embark on our dream of World travel in January 2014. Yes, we are forgoing the American dream and living a dream of our own.
I won’t sugar coat it for you, this decision was one of the most difficult we have ever made. Leaving this current life means selling our self built house and horse farm, giving up our jobs we have worked so hard to advance in, putting the hunting trips on hold and selling our beloved horses. Why you ask? Because life is what you make it and if you have a desire to do something you should reach out and grab it, before it’s too late because there is never a right time to make a big life change.
As hard as it will be to leave these things behind, we are beyond excited to have the chance to make a life change, seize the moment and live our dream of exploring the World. The way we see it is there will always be another house, another car, another job, another chance to show horses and another time to hunt. But it isn’t every day that you get the chance to watch your stars align and offer you a chance to make a change to your life that will eliminate that tiny little word from your future. There won’t be any regret here.