Over the last year or so, Yvonne and I have been toying with the idea of a world trip. We would like to make our way back from Beijing, China to Europe (Amsterdam, Paris, etc.). The idea is great in theory, but there is one big problem. I’m scared to commit. The problem is fear of the unknown and partly of the known.
A while back, I wrote about how my parents traveled the world for about 7 years living off of odd jobs and charity. What I didn’t write about was the rest of their lives after traveling. When I was growing up I was poor, not really poor, but my family would be considered low-middle class. One of the main reasons I felt my family struggled from time to time was because for most of my parents 20’s, they were traveling and not focusing on their careers.
Both my parents are highly educated and capable employees, but by the time they made it into the work force they were 10 years behind their peers. This caused many problems for my father in terms of promotions and advancement. On top of being ‘too old’ and ‘unqualified,’ traveling ruined my father’s personal view on life. He was unable to work in an office, pushing paper, because he knew what the world was like and he couldn’t justify sitting in a cubicle all day long.
Yvonne and I are currently considering a 1 year world trip. I know one year is not the same as 10, but I keep fearing that the same will happen to me. I know that if we travel for longer I will most likely enjoy it and not want to work in an office later. This is the fear of the known. I am scared traveling around the world for a year will make working harder and we might not adjust back into ‘normal’ life.
The second fear is of the unknown. There are so many things that are unknown. I currently have a good job and ‘career.’ I make enough money to pay our bills and save over $800 a month. This is a pretty good life. We can eat out 1-2 times a week and travel 6-8 weeks a year. When Yvonne is working we can easily save over $2,500 a month that can go to our retirement or towards a house. If we travel for a year, we will be forced to give up everything. After one year, we will not have jobs, an apartment, or much money. The unknown can be scary. On top of not knowing what will happen in the future, we also have a cat. If we travel for a year, we will most likely have to give up our cat.
There are two sides to this coin: one argument is we should travel because we don’t know the future. What is the point of saving thousands of dollars and never getting to use them. The other side is keep what you got because it is good and be content with traveling 6-8 weeks a year, which is more than most people. I currently get one month paid vacation and we have two weeks of national holidays.
To World Trip or Not to World Trip?
The main point of this post is I need help. I want your opinion. If you think we only live once (YOLO) and we should just let go and enjoy our lives while we are young, than leave a comment and tell me about your own experience. If you think we should be happy with our current situation and be content let me know in the comments.
How much time do you get off? Are we above the curve, average, or below average when it comes to time off? Too much to think about and we need outside feedback because we have gone over it 100 times together. So, help us out… leave a comment. 🙂