Whew we made it!
We’re on the road making our dreams come true, but first I’d like to answer a few questions we’ve received from our readers.
Q1: What stress or emotions did you have before leaving?
The weeks before our departure were filled with stress – both good and bad. There was the excitement of the journey and the fear of the unknown. Additionally, we had countless things to do before we even left; sell our cars, prep the house for new tenants, pack, work on the website, etc. With so many things to worry about, it was hard for us to even relish the idea that we were headed to Brazil in just a few short days. Everything was bouncing around in our minds at 100 mph. One of the toughest times was during the day, where we had our 9-5’s, then worked on the site until we passed out at night. All of a sudden 40 hour work weeks turned into 100+ hour workweeks. The problem was when we laid our head down at night, all we could think about was our long list of “to do” items.
Besides the stress, we also had a rollercoaster of emotions. One day we were confident that we were making the right decision. The next day we feared we were making the mistake of a lifetime. One of the most emotional days was when I left work for the last time. Yes it was exciting, but there was a voice in the back of my head saying “This is wrong, go back to the security of your 9-5!” I literally screamed in my car with excitement and fear. I called everyone in my phone book because I couldn’t be alone with those thoughts. Fortunately, my dad picked up and without any coaxing said the perfect thing. He said, “I’m so glad you’re doing this. I want to support you in any way I can… We’ll be praying for you” and just like that I realized, Yes, we were making the right decision.
One to two weeks before departure – don’t be afraid to use something to help you sleep; benadril, melatonin, Zma, theanine, Gaba, or wine just to name a few. You don’t want to be exhausted or get sick before you leave.
You will have feelings of doubt. Cultural norms force unknown pressure on you and your decisions. Whenever you think, “this is wrong, I shouldn’t be doing this” Picture yourself with you bag on your back, stepping onto your first plane. Also, picture all the other travelers who have done this before you. We had to do this several times to settle our nerves and reconfirm our decision.
Q2: What problems did you have that you didn’t foresee?
One of the bigger problems we thought would be easy was selling our cars. Unfortunately, Collette was t-boned by another driver 2 years before. We didn’t think this would ever be an issue when selling our car since it was properly repaired. Well, the wreck was on file and when the dealerships inspected the car they noticed that there had been frame work. Once they noticed this they dropped their offers by $2-3k. Ouch! This was a major hit to our pre-takoff budget.
It also took much longer than expected. We visited 4-5 dealerships to get quotes some took 20 mins to give a quote and others took an hour and a half.
Dealerships shouldn’t take more than 30 mins to get you a quote – unless they’re very busy. Also, some will ask “what are you looking to for your car?” This is a standard sales tactic to set the first ‘ceiling’ for your car. Whenever we were asked this we responded “I just want to get a fair price for my car.” I normally had to restate this several times before the dealer gave me an offer. The better dealerships gave us an offer without asking us that question.
If you’re ever in a major accident and they have to repair the frame. You may want to pursue them for further damages since this lowers the value of your car substantially.
Q3: What was easier than expected?
Renting our place. Since we’re in a good rental market, Collette was able to rent our place in one day! This was one of our biggest fears in the beginning. We weren’t sure if we would be able to rent it out and cover our mortgage. Fortunately we covered the mortgage, plus a little extra and we had numerous offers so we could chose the perfect tenants!
If you own a home, don’t sell yourself short on the rental value. At first we thought we could only get the mortgage value of our home but Collette posted it on several sites (Air BnB and Craigslist) for above what we thought we could get and we received numerous offers. If you don’t get any offers, you can always repost it for a lower amount.
Q4: How was packing for this trip?
This was one of the most stressful parts before we left. The thought of living out of 2 bags for 7 months will stress out even the Dalai Lama. Both of us packed our bags several times before settling on the final inventory. One of the things that helped the most was Eagle Creek Compression Cubes. As much as we stressed about fitting every “important” item in our bag we both realized we didn’t need everything once we landed in Rio.
When packing – don’t stress too much about it. Simple and light is better than having more. Yes it’s very important, but things that are important at home hold no value on the road.
This is my biggest dream. I want to do this so badly that I literally want to come out of my skin. My question, if it’s not too personal, is if you had a large sum saved up before quitting your jobs?
Thanks for your comment. Glad to hear you share the same interest! We saved up around $40k USD and had 600k airline miles saved up for our trip. To save the airline miles, my wife traveled a lot for her job and we purchased everything on a United airline card. These miles are very helpful when certain flights are too expensive. Some people have traveled for much less and others have traveled for more. If you have a tighter budget we recommend spending more time in Asia (Thailand, Bali, Vietnam..). There you can stay much cheaper than places in Europe.
Collette (and Scott),
My first thought after reading this: why only 7 months? This is WAY too short!
I did a 1 year (364 days to be precise) backpacking trip around the world in 2006-2007 (see http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/patrick1973/rtw_2006-2007/tpod.html) with my wife at the time, and time flew sooo quickly. I can relate to this post as we lived exactly the same preparation stress (except that the car went up in flames instead of being sold. Got more from the insurance than I would have from actually selling it).
Then back to 9-5 job for 2 years, and my feet started itching again. Came TYW and that’s when I really quit my desk job to become a professional skipper.
5 years later, after having worked on other people’s boats, I decided to buy my own sailboat and quit my 2nd career again. I am now in Newport, RI refitting an Oyster 55 ad preparing to travel again around the world, by sea this time, but for… 3-4 years!
I got the domain name driftinstyle.com, but need to find the time to work on the blog, as the 100+ hours work weeks are just not enough 😉
I hope our paths will cross and I would be happy to have you both onboard for some sailing (Caribbean this winter, then Panama Canal, and going West through the Pacific to NZ, Oz, SE Asia, and then we’ll see.) I’m serious! Airplanes are good for quick long distances, but you need to add some sailboat travel in your trip 🙂
Congratulations on your decision, and keep moving!
PS: In your “related posts” section on pages, make sure you have the same picture height, as this comment box has been jumping up and down the whole time I’m writing this
Patrick, all this sounds amazing, especially traveling by sea; though I don’t know if I would be cut out for being on a boat that long. But just reading about your destinations has me drooling. I friend of mind and I are seriously considering a move to France to pursue our goals/dreams, which would allow us to travel all around Europe on the cheap.
Just throwing this out there Patrick, but I’m a writer. If you think you’d need a ghost writer for your new domain, let me know.
Safe travels to you and best of luck with your 3-4 year plan.
Thanks for the comment. Your trip sounds amazing! Yes, you’re correct, 7 months is too short. We’re are considering extending it to a year as the time is flying by too quickly for us as well. We’ve been on the road for 3 months now and it seems like yesterday we were leaving for Rio. We’ll be in Europe for another 6 weeks and then we head to Asia for ?? months. We would love to sail with you if you have room. Let us know if you’re near Asia in the next few months. We both would love to sail, neither of us are very experienced (only a few short trips) but we love sailing.
Also, let us know when you get driftinstyle.com up and running, maybe we could do some site sharing.
P.S. Thanks for the related posts comment. I’m working on getting them standardized now.
I’m amazingly inspired by your lifestyle and by the fact that you dared to quit your jobs. That makes life worth living.
My question, if its not rude, how did you manage all the financial stuff? I’ve just read thay you saved up 40k but can you continuously live by blogging? My fear is that I wouldn’t have a stable income after I quit my job and since I’d love to see it all, i wouldn’t even possibly stay in a country long enough to get some money! Big big THANKS in advance. Lots of love!
We’re in the process of increasing our income so that we can continue indefinitely. It’s not an easy task but we’re learning as we go. One thing we’ve learned is you don’t need as much income when you live in inexpensive places like Bali or Argentina.
We’ve started making income through marketing on our site and by creating content for other websites. Check back in a month or so, as we have a lot of options in the works that can start generating income for us.