“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to
experience the world in the way they have been told to.” – Alan Keightley
As we began letting our friends and family know about our upcoming “sabbatical” (for lack of a better word), we got inevitable questions such as How did you get so much time off from work? and How are you going to pack for that long? But one surprising question we got asked, a couple of different ways, basically boiled down to Why?
It was surprising to us because, well, our first thought was…Why the hell not?
But I know not everyone thinks the way we do, and I think our first realization of this was on our honeymoon, an 11-day Globus bus tour of the UK given to us by my wonderful mother-in-law. Upon meeting the tour group the first morning as we gathered in the lobby of the hotel, we discovered that we were an anomaly. Every other person in our tour group was in their late 60s or 70s. And more than half had never traveled outside the US before. They exclaimed over our age. “You’re so young!” “Oh my gosh, how cute, I can’t believe this is your honeymoon!”
Over the eleven days as we got to know our traveling companions, one thing stood out: they all wished they had started traveling sooner, and could travel more. And we didn’t want to feel that way when we were that age. Now, twenty years later, we have been to 17 countries and dozens of cities in the U.S. We have made sacrifices in other parts of our life to be able to travel, and have never regretted a single penny.
So, back to that question: Why? What made you decide to do this?
The simple answer is, Because we don’t want to wait.
We often talk about when we could truly retire, and have started making plans for that, but that’s still a good way down the road. So when an opportunity presents itself to do a mini-retirement, as a kind of reset, to sit back and assess what the next decades will bring, why wouldn’t we jump at the chance? I don’t think anyone from that Globus tour would have disagreed.
Life is short. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Don’t wait.