Four years ago I planted the seed, we saved, researched, wrote itinerary after itinerary (which still isn't complete by the way), got vaccines, purchased backpacks and clothes, and bought our first flight to Lima. But there was one big step left to make the trip real. On May 15th, 2018 the final step was taken to make our Round The World Trip a reality, I quit my job. Emily, my wife, and I, Jesse, are really going to embark on what we hope will be the adventure of our lives. This type of trip is not one that you decide to take on a whim, it has been years in the making.
So how did we come to quitting our jobs, selling our house, moving everything we own into an old shed, and committing to travel the world together for a year?
In the beginning Emily and I fell in love with travel in two very different ways. Emily spent her semesters studying abroad in Spain, England, and China. Spending months in each country and really getting to dive into the culture. I went on two different backpacking trips through Europe, spending at most five days in a city. Each trip was about six weeks long and were a whirlwind of cities, people and experiences.
After college Emily and I both moved to Baton Rouge for our jobs during the summer of 2013. We met in the spring of 2014 playing volleyball at Mango's (a bar that has 15 volleyball courts on which a league plays on each court each night of the week, its a way of life). From there we had our first date ballroom dancing followed by drinks at Radio Bar. We discussed our families, experiences and love of travel. We hit it off immediately - But timeout for the formation of the IDEA:
At the back of my mind I had a hunger to see the whole world. I was looking for the best way to see as much of the world as possible. When I looked at my three weeks of vacation I realized that if I wanted a meaningful trip, I would need to use all three weeks at once. This would mean cutting short holidays with family and not taking trips with friends. Also taking smaller trip over a large period of time would mean that I wouldn't see very much of the world and by the time I got to some places I wouldn't be able to enjoy them to the fullest. Taking a leave of absence from work for a month or two at a time seemed like a great idea, but this wouldn't be practical in the long run since my work would constantly need to cover my position. The idea of a round the world trip began to brew. It would allow me to see huge portions of the world, and spend large chunks of time in each area to really get a feel for the different cultures. Seeing this much of the world in one trip would be the most cost and time effective.
Back to our story, Emily and I had been hitting it off in a big way and the idea of a world trip had been growing in my mind. Emily left for a month to walk the 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago, and by the time she got back the world trip had become a dream for me. One week after her return I went to a family reunion, and all of my generation was sharing the dreams and hopes of our lives. I stood and told my grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts and great uncles, first, second, and third cousins "I want to travel the world. I don't know how I'll do it but I will."
When I returned I sat with Emily on her back porch and told her that if were going to be serious that she needed to start saving for round the world trip. There was a moment of silence.... She looked thoughtful and asked if I could help her set up her savings accounts. And thus was born a Beginning.
"The beginning is the most important part of the work."