Why? Why on earth are you traveling for a year?
We think the better question is, Why not? We believe in the value of travel and the knowledge you gain from it. Beyond that, it’s just really friggin’ fun. For us, there’s nothing like coming to a new country, learning new customs, trying new food and meeting amazing people. And really, what better time than when we’re both young, ready for a location/life change and don’t yet have a family or other responsibilities to tie us down?
Don’t you think it’s strange that you’re giving up a comfortable life to roam hostels and take flip-flop showers?
(Hi, dad!) Comfortable is certainly the operative word. Things can sometimes get a little too comfortable. It’s easy to go through the motions of life—work, friends, meals, gym, drinks, etc.—without stopping to really appreciate it. Everyone has a way to shake things up. For us it’s through travel.
You got fired, right? Traveling seems to be the answer for recession-plagued 20-somethings these days.
Hardly. We both left our jobs. After working in finance, Eaman knew business school, the next normal step, was not for him. As for me, I was actually promoted around the time I was going to give my notice. Thankfully my co-workers were supportive, caring and encouraging, so the transition couldn’t have been smoother.
This is so Eat, Pray, Love!
Ew, no. This idea was founded independently of that book and the shoddy film adaptation. (And if you want to talk about pop culture inspiration, Vicky, Cristina Barcelona had a hand in getting us seriously thinking about living outside the States.)
How are you paying for this? Parents are rich, eh?
We saved, saved, saved! It’s all us! Eaman isn’t much of a spendthrift, so pocketing money each month wasn’t too hard for him. With my less-than-fancy salary, it took a little more work. Check out the details of how I made it work here.
What are you taking?
One carry-on backpack each. It’s actually liberating to live with only the bare essentials. Here’s a more detailed account of what was in our packs.
What camera do you use?
Eaman used the Canon Rebel T2i with the Canon 15-85mm zoom lens and the fantastic Canon 5ommf/1.8 telephoto lens. I carried a Canon PowerShot S95, which is as close to a DSLR as you can get in a point-and-shoot size. (We’re not Canon reps; we just happen to like their products!)
Aren’t you worried about the perils of traveling as a couple?
After six years together, one year of long distance, multiple vacations, road trips, family meet-and-greets and co-habitating in Manhattan, we felt so ready to do this. That’s not to say things were rosy every day, but at least we were prepared to handle most situations. Plus, we really wouldn’t want to go on this adventure without each other.
When are you coming back?
We’re guesstimating fall 2012. Check out our itinerary here. Update: We’re back!
But what about when you’re back in the U.S.? Where will you live? What will you do for work?
Easy there. There will be a time when we’ll have answers for that. (We think about living in sunny San Diego, Eaman working on his own business and me doing job TBD.) For all we know, we could be back in Manhattan or living in Paris or continuing to be nomads. We believe that everything will fall into place. For now, we are going to have fun, be inspired and share our stories with you. Update: We‘re living in San Diego as of January 11! You can follow our adventures on my new blog.