Leaving "Life" for Travel

Photos: Natasha Lo

Photos: Natasha Lo

I had met Kristy through a mutual friend last summer in which our conversation topics were career paths and occupations. Lovely, but often too common in society today. Fast forward to now - I got an email from Kristy mentioning her interest in this project and her plans to travel for a year with her husband. I was shocked, excited and extremely curious. There was so much I wanted to know! I was lucky enough to spend some time with her before she left for her travels, so below is some learnings from the interview in which I hope you find inspiration, answers or just simple joy in what she had to say. You can follow her blog here

Photos: Natasha Lo

Photos: Natasha Lo

- Whether it was through renting their place on Airbnb or visiting a new country, seeing others travel for long periods of time made this idea seem realistic - when before it seemed impossible. It was other people traveling that was her main inspiration to do the same.

- December of last year is when they decided to pick up their lives and travel the world for a year. Ideas like this do take time (7 months for them).

- Timing is key. Kristy knew that her current job wasn't what she wanted to be doing long term and Conor was going to be finishing up his 2-year program with Teach for America so their timing was perfect. 

- The entire process was gradual. Partial luck and good circumstance, but overall it took initiative from them to start planning. Kristy did tons of research looking at other travel blogs, studying different countries and figuring out a budget.

- Budgeting: Such an important component. They figured out that it takes about $20,000 to $35,000 per person saved to travel for a year. They factored in travel expenses, lodging, food, activities, fun and emergencies.

- Staying on Airbnb was going to be a must in order to get the local experiences they were looking for. She had already booked her stays for the first couple of stops.

- They were going to make their way through the states to visit family then from NY fly to Oslo on Norwegian Air, which was and still is the cheapest option to Europe. Internationally there were only two stops they had planned so far - so traveling for a year doesn't require planning for the year.

- Be flexible. They wanted to leave room to stay longer in places they enjoyed. So again, just plan the beginning and let life lead the rest.

- Packing. A huge fear she had especially knowing she was going to be gone for a whole year. They decided on one backpacking backpack each, along with a purse and a smaller backpack. The main theme was neutrals with 1 or 2 of each basic. Since they were going to Europe first, they didn't bother with any summer clothing that they would need for Asia towards the end of the trip. 1. Buy what you need when you're there. 2. Replace clothes as you go!

- Go for it once you have the idea in your head because it'll never leave you alone. These decisions don't just take a week, but if you just slowly plan and set your mind to it - it can happen. They are the perfect example.

- This whole experience challenged them to start living as simple as possible, getting rid of excess stuff especially while you try and pack your life to leave for a year. You honestly end up realizing what you truly need.

- This trip was not only to experience different cultures, meet new people and have a great time - it was really to learn. It was a learning mindset for each place they visited as well as a chance to learn more about themselves.

- Make goals. They each made a list of personal goals to really get the most out of the trip. Traveling can have so much more purpose than most plan for.

- Reading to fill the extra time. They each bought kindles in order to read and learn about the next place they were going to. Think about it - incorporating plans to just lay in the park and learn. How amazing...

- Extremely grateful to be able to be in this position to take off and travel for a year. She couldn't stress that enough and knows she can't take anything for granted. No one should, but anyone can make it happen if they set their mind to it. One month to a year. The timeframe to travel is flexible.

Kristy will be blogging about her travels and we've already planned to chat in a couple of months to see how things are going. Honestly can't wait. Hope you're smiling right now as much as I am. Ready to plan your next trip?