Big Announcement! RTW! RTW! RTW!

This is how I feel right now. 

The time has come to share my news!  I will be embarking on a “round the world” trip leaving my current life behind.  (Commonly known as a “RTW” in the traveler/blogger world.) I guess I should correct myself, mine might not actually be a RTW, it’s more like an AOTW, all over the world, I haven’t decided if I am going to circumnavigate, a key component to a RTW. So basically I am flinging off my current circumstances and jumping off a cliff into the sea of full time travel for a year-ish (timing always subject to change).  I have taken to the phrase “disassembling my life” because it seems to describe exactly what I am feeling and doing right now.  (I’ll discuss the particulars of that in my next post.) 

Excited to do some of this again, train writing. 

How did this happen?  It started with the decision to leave my job.  I have been unhappy for some time, feeling as though I had reached my ceiling in my position and company.  It came to a head last November (2012), and by the end of November, my mind was all but made up. By December I was actively projecting and planning. Now most people would just switch jobs and try to get a different position, that is obviously the logical thing to do, especially in the current economic times.  But me, I’m looking for more than a new position, I am looking to create a whole different  lifestyle  that encompasses the better parts of myself and uses my talents and passions in a more creative way.  To some this may sound like pie in the sky, an idealistic naive idea, I am aware of how it sounds. To others it might sound commonplace (I’m talking to you travel blogging community).  All I know is that it feels right to set back out on the road long term to explore, write and photograph all of those things that help me tick.  I need to fuel the anthropologist in me and study people and culture on whatever level I can. In doing so, I not only enrich myself but hopefully inspire others to do the same and see the world outside their little corner of the globe, to take an interest in everyone they find around them at home and abroad. It’s about the human interaction as much as it is about the sights, sounds and smells. We can become so complacent in our routine at home, wherever that is, that we never stop to explore the people and stories around us. Travel is about curiosity as much as it is about taking an interest in something you normally wouldn’t. 

One of my favorite sounds, old school train boards clicking. 
As I thought about writing up this announcement a lot of things came to mind. It caused me to think even more deeply about the reasons I am going, what I am doing, and what I am leaving behind.  I’ve thought about all of them, and I feel all of them, but it is different when you endeavor to write it up and share it with people.  You have to ask yourself, what your public reasons are and what your private reasons are and which ones of each you are willing to share.  The following are just a few reasons currently in my brain.  (Note: this is not a goals list that is a whole other type of post.)
 I   I have always wanted to travel all over the world.  Ever since I can remember I have looked at the globe longingly and plotted how to get everywhere.  I have had a globe or huge map since the time I could read. I don’t know if this was me wanting it or my parents being awesome and wanting me to get an idea of how small I was/am in comparison to the world at a young age. Or maybe they just gave them to me so that I could get an idea of where my father’s country was in relation to us, who knows, but it was certainly the first catalyst. These are probably the same reasons why I still love maps and globes today.
     This is the time.  I am in a unique position in my life to have the ability to do this right now.  I have been working for a while-ish now and all of the signs in my life are screaming that this is the time. I am unattached, which is quite uncommon for someone my age and I have miraculously paid off all of my debt. I have no desire to own property at this point, and am not sure if I will ever want to. I am emotionally ready to embark on this type of journey, and all of my trainings and classes and everything else have ended, seemingly all at once to open up some space for this type of life change.

-       I want to see the world through my eyes and everyone else’s. This is probably the most important one right now.  I want to see, smell, speak, hear, photograph, write and as much of the world as I can.  I want to hear more stories, I want to meet people, I want to help people, I want to inspire people to travel and I want to roll around in the grass.
         I want to expand my blog. This is mostly a secondary reason, almost a by-product of the other reasons. I like to write and photograph on the road… a lot. As such, I think expanding the blog is a great avenue to record, remember, and try to make a few bucks on the road (highly unlikely, but I am willing to try.) I have always liked the idea of sharing adventures on the road with those back home and the blog is a great way to do it. That is the whole reason I initially started the blog in 2007.  I also like the idea of the experiences and ideas I have on the road reaching a wider audience than family and friends. I like this idea because if just one person hits the road as a result of something I said or photographed, that is thrilling. I think lots of people are interested and don’t know where to start, so if they see someone they know, or a friend of a friend of a friend who is doing it, it makes it seem more possible, more in reach. I think the entire population of the world can be enriched by people exploring countries and cultures that are different than their own. You never know what someone will be inspired to do after travel.  Will they be inspired to open a non-profit, join the Peace Corps (or something like it), create a business that brings untold opportunity to an area that didn’t have it before, the possibilities are endless and learning on the road can open up a part of you that you never knew existed.  This is just one of the many reasons I encourage everyone I know to travel, be curious, and explore.  I’m not just an international travel proponent, I believe in traveling in your own backyard too. Especially if you are from the States. There are a million and one opportunities to experience different cultures at home all over the country, even in the next city or town. Get curious!

-       I want to create a new life for myself.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with my life, I am incredibly blessed.  I start each day in gratitude for everything I have and have already done.  I believe that in creating a location independent lifestyle for myself for a while, I can delve into new opportunities and experiences. I can create. I want to create. This means a lot of different things to me, art, photography, writing, and a whole host of others. I’ll expand on this more once I get on the road.

-        I need to get out of my comfort zone. Over the past 6 years, specifically, I have become complacent and sleepy with routine. I need to know that I can live another lifestyle and still survive. I know there are many different ways to live life and I want to experience another one. I want to continue to learn and grow, and for me that always happens to a great degree when I am out of my comfort zone. In undertaking a long term RTW, I will be in a different galaxy from my comfort zone and I am interested to see what that brings up. A lot of people might think I am running away, which is often thought of long term travelers, but I don’t see it that way. I see myself running towards life and the world. Running towards a more educated, creative and informed version of myself, mentally, physically and emotionally. I don’t believe I am looking for something, I believe I am creating something.

This quote sums it all up right now.

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."
~ George Bernard Shaw

 I hope you will all follow along on this wild adventure that starts in August.

Thanks for reading!