So It’s Decided Then…

The decision has finally been made…I will travel.  Not for 10 days, not for my normal three weeks, not indefinitely…but for 6 full months, I will travel.

With encouragement from the love of my life (and a healthy dose of inspiration from the meet plan go meet-up), I have realized that this is something I need to do…and much of it needs to be done alone.  I know it sounds crazy, and it’s not a bucket list thing, or something I feel like I would never do if I don’t do it while I am young.  It’s really just that time.  I know how to sit in an office and work, I understand the responsibilities that I have thus far in life (though after announcing this decision, I’m sure some will think otherwise), I’m fairly settled in my routine…so why skip out for 6 months?

1. Because I can.  Six months isn’t that long, in terms of life; and the costs to spend that much time traveling really are not that high, especially in terms of life experience.   As far as my research shows, six months is doable on $10,000.00 (that’s less than I spend in six months at home).  I can save that in a year.  I can also figure out how to make money while traveling before I go.

2. I have a passion to do so.  The more I travel, the more I crave travel.  I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for a while, and had always assumed Damany would want to do it too.  Recently, however, he brought up that it’s obvious I want to travel for an extended period; that he realistically can’t leave for months at a time; and that I shouldn’t be held back from my passion because he can’t join me (though he may be able to meet me here and there).

3. I could use the time for personal growth.  My personality allows me to get stressed easily over petty things sometimes.  I know this, and others notice it.  It can make getting along with me difficult at times.  I feel as though exploring the world on my own, figuring out whatever the road has to throw at me can help me overcome this frustrating personality trait, and be mentally stronger through any situation.

4. I believe it will help me to realize and effectively progress towards other goals.  I don’t want to work for someone else for the rest of my life…and it’s really hard to motivate for yourself when you’re in another person’s office all day.  I believe that I can monetize my blog before I leave, and upon return from my trip (with a new ethic of motivating myself on the road) focus more time on my own company, Rare Beautiful Things.

5. I want to stick it to the American Dream (inspired by the post “Is the American Dream Holding you Back?” on twenty-something travel).  That’s right, you’ve been thinking it, but I went ahead and said it.  What kind of dream says you have to work 9-5 all year long, with two weeks of vacation, 5 sick days, and a few Monday holidays off?  Not mine…not even for that over-priced share of healthcare you say you’re “giving” me (if it’s offered at all).  Maybe it’s horrible of me to think that way…and I’m not putting down the thousands of people who come here to make their lives better…but maybe, just maybe, Americans can also have a better life doing something else somewhere else.

There is still much to figure out, and I’m excited for that.  First I’ll need a strategy for saving money, and really discipline myself to stick to the plan.  Second, I’ll need to figure out the details of how I’ll be making money on the road.  There’s the question of when exactly to depart (though I’m thinking next June) and, of course, where in the world do I go?  I’ve already got butterflies!

This should be fun.  Let the planning begin.

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About katrinamauro

Landlord in Brooklyn, antique rug dealer, food & travel junkie who loves to experience new cultures and customs. On a mission to do big things.
This entry was posted in ~Around The World~, ~Inspiration~, ~Reflections~ and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to So It’s Decided Then…

  1. Pingback: Film | The Art of Travel (2008) | DOTS.connected

  2. Erin says:

    Nice 🙂 Envious and fully supportive ! I pulled a trick like this back in 2005, though I didn’t know how long I’d be traveling, how much I’d need, or where I’d go. I reallllly enjoyed it that way. I bought a 1-way ticket to europe called an airpass or something, where I didn’t know what city i’d be landing in until the day of the flight. Super cheap. I ended up in Amsterdam.. backpacked around all parts of europe for quite some time.. met new friends, had my bf and a friend and a cousin meet up with me at different junctures, worked for 2 weeks at a hostel (rather, lived there and worked very little, having done a graphic design for them before heading abroad), etc. etc. It was lovely. I fully support. And while you could try to figure out how to make money on the road while traveling, I also fully support just going with the funds in the bank so that you don’t waste or use too much of your time traveling with the same daily stresses that encumber you here. You can let your creativity flow.. do some writing, investigate new ideas… etc. Especially if you’re in places that are cheaper than Europe, like say–central america/south east asia, the amount you might make or save by doing some extra work or hustle, probably isn’t really worth the effort compared to just busting your tail a bit more here before you leave. Just my thought! In the UK however.. different story.
    I totally agree about the american “dream” bit! I think there are so many of us who feel that way here, why can’t we have a workers’ revolution??? I guess because so many people are desperate to take our jobs if we are willing to give them up. Best of luck to you! Enjoy planning. One of my favorite parts of travel is anticipating it..

  3. katrinamauro says:

    Thanks for the support Erin! I clearly need to come pick your brain. I fully intend to save enough to live on for the time I travel, and some put away for my return, but would like to move forward into travel writing as my main source of income as well. So, I hope to do some “work” while abroad…though I’ll want most of my work to pertain to travel.

    Seems interesting to not know where you’re going until the date of the flight…keeps it exciting. I would kind of love to do that one day. It’s funny because South America and South East Asia are definitely the two regions that I’m considering for this trip, so I love that you suggested both!

  4. Kelsey says:

    This is great! Also, if you’re creative and flexible about how and where you travel, you can do this for considerably less than $10,000. For instance, I’ll be spending 10 weeks in France this summer for only around $1000. If you reduce the cost of the trip, you’ll get to your savings goal even sooner and be able to travel sooner, or you can travel for even longer than you anticipated.

    Good job on choosing to do this!

  5. katrinamauro says:

    Hey Kelsey, that’s very cool! Working on a farm is going to be a great experience! One of my tenants has been talking about doing something just like that. I’ll be sending her your link so she can check it out. Very cool.
    I am thinking I wouldn’t mind to spend one full month in Sicily with my family, though other than that I will probably avoid Europe. I’ve spent a lot of time there already, and am kind of “over it” for now.

    • Kelsey says:

      I’ve worked on farms before, so that’s nothing new to me, but it will be my first time to do so in France. The organization I will be going through is called WWOOF, but there’s also WorkAways, another great org.

      The tactics I mention in my post aren’t necessarily France-specific and be applied to traveling almost anywhere. Good luck with your endeavor!

  6. Alayna says:

    KATRINA KATRINA!!! It is so funny, we are always thinking along the same lines and can be so far away…When I came to Guatemala I thought it was for 6 months hahahha and now a few years later I am sold, I love it! So you can do it, who is stopping you, and what is so great about a JOB anyway….I would love to come and visit you as well when you are some place interesting, why not do like the really cool places like Galapagos and Timbuktu and that place on the tip of Argentina and Easter Island and oh my god you could do some really great things or like this new “Conscious Tourism” where you learn about the medicines being extracted from the world’s rarest plants in the Amazon. hahahaha of Katmandu and the top of Everest. The thing I like about travel is the culture. The roots that people have with the land and the connections with their spirituality that most of modern america has been so stripped of. I think we share this common interest thus we got taken into those tunnels in Tikal and found the fairy moss in El Yunque….Well we will talk more when I come up soon.
    I am happy for you Katrina, this is something you must do and I guarantee it will help everything else in your life fall into perspective….
    All my love! xoxo

  7. Alayna says:

    Oh..I have a contact for you about the guy who writes lonely planet remind me to hook you guys up….

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