We have always loved to travel and experience what our wonderful world has to offer but I would never have actually imagined, that I would one day quit my senior management job to travel permanently…..
As we sat on a beach on the beautiful island of Mabul, in Sabah Borneo, Marianne and I listened with envy as a couple told us they weren’t on holiday – they were just travelling. Here we were, having saved up all year, for a 3-week rushed trip around the far east, cramming in as much as we could, talking to a couple, who seemed to have no stress and we’re casually talking of their plans, saying maybe we’ll head here or there. They weren’t the only people we had met on our travels that had such a lifestyle, and deep inside it planted a seed that grew over several years.
Both Marianne and I are from hard working career minded families. I was brought up to study hard, (although as a child I didn’t really- sorry Dad!) to work hard, go for that promotion and save to get a mortgage for a nice house. As we went through life together, we worked hard so we could afford the mortgage and all the wonderful belongings we have accumulated over the many years since we have been married.
I spent many years working every hour possible in 5 star hotels in Singapore, Australia and England. In this time we had even bought our own pub and set up an internet business called Martial Mania selling Martial Art training DVDs (as one job was never enough!).
I spent the last 9 years as the Head of Catering Services at The Shrewsbury and Telford NHS trust. Marianne also works for the NHS and it highlights the fact that life is very precious and every moment should be enjoyed to the fullest. As you get older you do realise that none of us are guaranteed a long-life journey.
One day, it hit us like a bolt of lightning. So here we are in our late 40’s, with a nice house full of beautiful things, most of which we don’t use. We both started questioning our purpose and goals in life. What’s next? Do we keep working for another 20 years until we reach retirement age and during this time we can pay the numerous bills and buy more stuff?
We both work very hard, to be able to live in a nice house and buy things that we think make us happy, but do they really? Is there not more to life than doing the same routine every day, and chasing the latest gadget or updating tech because your TV doesn’t have 4k (which none of the TV channels currently televise anyway)
I know, that when I am on my death bed, I will not be lying there saying that I wish I had more money in the bank, I wish my house was cleaner or I wish I had worked harder. I can however, see myself wishing I had walked the great wall of China (or the great wall of Mexico if President Trump ever builds it) or wishing I had dived with a school of hammerhead sharks off Galapogos. Yes, we both like diving with sharks, who are misunderstood, but I’ll save that for a future blog post.
So, Marianne and I got into a discussion, what do we want to do when we retire, what would we do if our numbers came up and we won the lottery and what would we do if we knew we only had a year to live? The answer for all of these questions was that we would quit our jobs and travel the world forever more.
But was it possible? How could we afford it when we haven’t had the fortune of winning the lottery? The research then started on how could we do it. The details on how it’s possible will appear in a future blog post (after we have started) but the key was not to sell our house and initially to live on the rent.
So, as I sat in a meeting, under pressure to get action plans, forecasts, reports, audits etc done, my mind started to drift back to the conversation we had on the beach. I walked out of that meeting knowing that I would draft my resignation and I emailed it to my boss that night.
It is the interactions and experiences you share with people that will give you a much greater sense of fulfilment rather than buying the latest gadget which will only give you short term satisfaction (or so you believe). The more gadgets and equipment you have, the more it seems that something breaks and needs replacing.
Although travelling and the dream of selling all the belongings you have spent your whole life accumulating, is not everyone’s dream, I would urge you to live your own dream, whatever that is, as expression says “life is not a dress rehearsal its real”!
The first chapter of our new life is beginning, as we plan on quite how we are going to empty our house (yes, we have an attic and garage like many of you – full of stuff) we will initially be blogging about and promoting the wonderful locations and events we have here in the UK.
Stay tuned for our next post as we get ready to TREAD the Globe.
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