when we told everyone we were quitting our jobs to travel the world we got a mix of emotions. Some surprised us, some didn’t – it was interesting becasue as much as everyone wanted to be happy for us, you could tell there was a mix of thoughts and feelings behind their reactions!
I’ll miss you: sad
If one of my close friends or family members told me about their own RTW trip I think this would be one of my first reactions so I understand it. Although I would want to be excited for them, selfishly I wouldn’t want someone I loved to leave me for an entire year. Even though I know we will be in close communication via email and skype we will miss out on a lot of the in-person events in 2012 and we are also sad about this!
What about your jobs: confused
This is a very honest reaction considering the unemployment rate and economic situation. Yes, we both spent many hours talking about our career situations and what to do about our current jobs and if there was any type of plan when we came home. I understand that we are taught to graduate college and get a good job and start moving up the ranks as quickly as possible, increasing your salary and position in order to consider yourself successful. We have been following this plan our entire lives up until now. Yes, your job provides security along with consistent income and benefits but it can also take a lot of time and energy away from what you are passionate about.
We have always both believed that life is meant to be lived to the fullest, and while our jobs both helped support our travels – we didn’t hesitate (much) in taking ourselves out of the grind for a year to experience life away from our normal 9 to 5.
Caroline is leaving a job she truly loved and is going to miss a lot of the great women and men in Chicago she has been working with. Luckily, she has a lot of support from all of her clients, plans to keep in touch with them along the way and will hopefully have a full schedule when she returns 🙂
Not interested: bored
Just like I am not interested in sci-fi movies (Josh is) or dressing up as Star Wars characters (Josh isn’t either, sorry to those who are) – I understand that some people simply aren’t interested in traveling. It is my obsession, not theirs, and that is fine. I don’t take these reactions personally, but it is usually a short conversation. They don’t have questions to ask and I typically don’t elaborate unless interest is reciprocated.
The conversation usually looks something like this:
Me: I am taking next year to travel the world!!!!!!!!!!!!
Other: Oh…that’s interesting
Me: Yeah, we are really excited! We leave the end of January!
Other: Sounds exciting. Good luck.
People usually aren’t rude, they just lack questions or excitement as they answer in a monotone…”that’s interesting”. No hard feelings, I don’t expect everyone to have the same goals and interests.
Hearing “we are taking a year to travel” isn’t a typical Monday morning conversation. Almost always everyone’s first reaction is disbelief that either turns into excitement or concern. Some people just sit there silent and I can literally see the gears turning in their head until all their questions come crashing down on us like a tidal wave. We’ve gotten pretty good with our answers. 🙂 Most people are settled in their jobs and communities and would love to travel but can’t fathom leaving the life they have built for an entire year. Most people are extremely excited for us and are overly supportive of our travels which is fun for Josh and I.
I know someone who did that: understanding
Almost everyone we have talked to has either traveled themselves to an area that we are going or know a close friend or family member who has been to one of our destinations. This reaction is always a fun one and informative because we are either connected with some great people who have been there or who are currently living abroad where we can hopefully run into along the way. These people seem to understand our motives behind the trip and appreciate the thought and effort that has gone into it.
I would love to do that: envious
These are people who have the love of travel and have maybe considered the idea in the past, but like us quickly dismissed the idea of long term travel. When people are envious and say “I wish I could do that,” we usually respond with, “why not?”. They usually give us the typical responses such as money, time, job, debt etc. We try to inspire and encourage them to start saving now and paying off their debt so to set themselves up in a good spot to leave. We send them our post on what pushed us over the edge to travel, and hopefully they understand that if this is something they truly want to do that they have to commit to it and believe there is never going to be a good time, but this trip is something that you will never regret!
What is your reaction?