“Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost”
– Bilbo Baggins
From vows to voyage…
We’re a newlywed couple on a mission to get lost all over the world…for 12 months. No simple feat, and we’ll no doubt encounter many obstacles (including several inevitable wrong turns) along the way, but no fear, we do plan to enjoy ourselves every now and again.
We both took leave of our fantastic PR jobs, leaving the agency (where we met, no less!) for the adventure of a lifetime. As a couple in our late twenties (him)/early thirties (her, but who’s keeping track…seriously, don’t), we made the decision to take the “now” route of “now or never,” and haven’t looked back since! We plan to immerse ourselves in every experience possible, be it cultural, food exploration, social experiments, and basically any challenge to our comfort zones (our “bubble” if you will) we can find.
What everyone wants to know is WHY? Yes, leaving our steady paychecks and comfortable lifestyle surrounded by friends and family to live out of one backpack for a year while visiting unfamiliar places where we don’t speak the language might seem a little crazy, but the potential of the regret that would come with NOT taking this crazy adventure was stronger!
For both, it was a lifelong dream…but until we met, the trip was still a hypothetical “it’d be awesome if someday…” Early after we met and knew this would be a forever kind of thing, we started embezzling money putting pen to paper (and promptly destroying any evidence putting dollars in the bank), and eventually picked May 1, 2013 as our departure date. Here’s a more personal peek into each of our mindsets:He says:
If you’re reading this, you already know… I’ve left Chicago to travel the world with my bride and I won’t be back for 12 months. Excited is an understatement, but even as I write this it still seems somewhat surreal that my better half and I are embarking on this long journey together. While I could go into countless reasons to explain why we’re doing this, it boils down to a passion for travel and a desire to seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
I’ve done a fair amount of travel in my life. I spent a semester in Australia, a summer in China and Thailand and have seen a few places in between. But all of those experiences will pale in comparison to what m’lady and I are setting out to do. Over the next year, I’m hoping to fully take advantage of the opportunities this type of trip presents – to travel slowly, to really soak up the local culture in each place we go and embrace the uncomfortable moments and new experiences we encounter. I also expect to be uncomfortable many times (sometimes for no other reason than the excessive sweating that comes with being a Bauer), and I should apologize in advance to the my wife and any innocent bystanders for the inevitable and occasional meltdown along the way. I’m also hoping to gain a little more perspective on my day-to-day life. Oh, and I’m gonna grow a great beard.
At risk of sounding too profound, I think it’s a safe bet that this trip will change me and us forever, and for the better. That’s at least the goal. And with that in mind, here goes nothing…She says:
Although I’ve traveled abroad several times before this trip (Argentina/Peru/Brazil, half a dozen trips to Western Europe and many an island vacation – the latest, our honeymoon in Bora Bora!), it always felt like the trips were too brief, with schedules full of the “must sees”…not capturing the true cultural experience of each city. I want to spend more time walking the streets, exploring neighborhoods, and visiting local cafes, versus spending all our time in lines for museums and landmarks (which are still not to be missed!). This trip affords us the time to do this. I think it’s natural to experience a lack of compassion when you can’t truly understand anyone unlike you, by the mere fact of not KNOWING many people not like you. I’m determined to burst that darn bubble that growing up, going to school and working in the Midwest created. I want to gain perspective and challenge my status quo. Just a small goal, yes?
Being crazy in love with my travel partner? A (huge!) bonus. Knowing he’ll be by my side each day helped ease my fears about facing the unknown, and I’m excited to see what this experience will bring to our relationship. There is no one I’d rather get lost with (and if navigation is left to me, we will get lost, and likely not the best kind…which brings me to reason 2 why I’m glad Dave’s with me…).
The blog will highlight our experiences, share photos of the places we go (to assure family we’re alive and well, and we’ve to date resisted our true calling of becoming permanent nomadic gypsies) as well as include recommendations for others who happen to come down with the travel bug – we HIGHLY valued those who provided insight/tips from their travels and want to pay it forward!
Noelle & Dave