If you put an optimistic statement onto a beautiful backdrop you can almost guarantee internet browsers of all ages will stare at it longingly, wondering how on earth they could make this statement their reality. Most Pinterest users will add this to a travel board in hopes that 'someday' they will find a way to actually quit their job, buy a ticket, fall in love & never return.
I also blame this 'pin' for the scrutiny I get for my decision to backpack Europe for the next 40 days.
My response to this? GET REAL!
1. Quit your job - Yes, I did this. After 2 years of working at one of the top pediatric hospitals in the world, I've given my notice. I'm walking away from some inspiring families, resilient children, brilliant surgeons & life-long friends. Did I quit because I can pluck Benjamin's from my money tree while sipping my morning tea? HELL NO. I did what grown-ups do and I got another job!
(Side Note - I understand that there are "grown-ups" out there who make money while traveling & I think they are inspirational and fascinating human beings. Honestly, I follow most of them for advice before I hit the road! But as far as MY life goes? I like paychecks & double-like health & dental insurance. Strep throat, a cavity & an empty bank account would be one hell of a combination.)
2. Buy a ticket - The minute you book a flight or make elaborate travel plans everyone assumes you're rich. Let's squash that idea right here and now. Traveling is my passion. I save money for this specific purpose because at this stage in my life I am able to. When most 20-somethings save up a decent amount of money they think - student loans, new car, or the (rare) savings deposit. I think..next continent! This time around I booked Boston to London for $320 and gave myself a pat on the back.
3. Get a tan - When we were younger my little cousin Michael asked, "Why is Kerri brown when the rest of us are white?" Enough said.
4. Fall in Love - LOL.
5. Never return - My family used to worry that on any one of my adventures I would avoid my return filght & settle down in a foreign land. I would tell you how far-fetched and ridiculous this theory was but I was the one who instilled the fear in them.
"Mom, I think I'm going to stay." - From a catamaran on the Whitsunday islands off the coast of Australia.
"Mom, this is so much more important than college." - From a Children's Convalescent home in Cape Town, South Africa.
"Mom, I think I could really have a great career here." - From Sunset Blvd in Hollywood.
"Mom, I wasn't made for the cold." - From a campsite in Hana - Maui, Hawaii.
"Mom, I heard real estate is cheap here." - While sitting next to her on the beach in Aruba.
(Mom & I in the Gaslamp District - San Diego, CA June 2012)
Like 'the boy who cried wolf' none of these scenarios ended in my never returning. My big sister recently got engaged on the ski slopes and now, more than ever, my family knows that Boston will forever be my home. You hear that Mom? I ADMITTED IT.
The moral of the story is, practice what you pin - but do it on YOUR OWN TERMS!