How does one get to a particular place in life? Very slowly. And with many starts, stops, and blind turns along the way.
Ryan and I didn’t just wake up one morning with the inspiration to travel Europe for a year. If that had happened, I am convinced we (read: I) would have immediately excused the idea. Because who goes to Europe for a year without a million dollars in the bank? Who goes when there’s a professional career to build, family to dote on, and possessions to collect? Honestly, who would be that irresponsible and crazy?
Our journey started with an idea and a hope and evolved as we gained new information and perspective. The initial idea was that we knew we wanted to go to Europe one day. We were just having trouble getting there.
The excuses were many–all at opportune times. One summer, there weren’t enough corporate vacation hours to go around. Another summer, Ryan took a leap of faith on a perfect-for-him but highly competitive university program–which required that he go to school nonstop for a year and a half.
And we had another problem: it bothered us a bit that we didn’t understand our purpose for going to Europe. With no purpose, how would we decide our small helping of areas to see? With no purpose, it was also hard to justify spending all that time and money and energy to go JUST BECAUSE.
Then something happened. The most hesitant of us–that would be me–got an opportunity to go to Europe for free and get paid to do it. Once I’d been once, I knew I had to go back–and take Ryan with me. Suddenly, at least for me, the idea became an ambition. Nothing could stop us now.
Continue the story…
April 2011: A Change in Perspective