So perhaps you're considering shaking things up and making a big change. We were there too. While we're lucky to be surrounded locally by many like-minded people, the combined effects of many of these blogs, people, and documentaries, gave us that final push to go for it.
Stop. Don't scroll any further until you watch this four minute video. This is what initially influenced us deeply well over two years ago. While the whole "I quit my job to travel" has become a bit of a cliche, this guy's explanation of why he's doing it hits the nail on the head.
Director, Kenny Laubbacher says: I hope that this film is a healthy nudge for people to shake up their lives a little bit. Jed's radical choice to attempt to slow down time by riding his bike across the world is a perfect challenge to the rest of us to get out of the routine and make some scary decisions. "If you're afraid of a decision ahead of you, you're probably on the right track." Choose it!
On rare occasion, I'll watch something that makes my eyes water and my nose burn. I look around, hoping nobody is watching me. It ends, and I immediately click the play button to watch it a second time. This is one of those videos. Read below, then enjoy!
Author from Take Part, Taylor Hill explains: The short documentary follows Forest Woodward’s father, Doug, on a 28-day rafting trip down the river some 43 years after he first ran its rapids as a young man. This time, his son joins the 70-year-old on the voyage—two men at different stages of life, recapturing a poem Woodward’s father wrote for him in 1986, the year he was born.
It reads: “In youth, you will learn about the secret places; the cave behind the waterfall, the arms of the oak that hold you high, the stars so near on a desert ledge—the important places. And as with age, you choose your own way, among the many faces of a busy world, may you always remember the path that leads back; back to the important places.”
Family of four driving around Central and South America in an old Vanagon. I binge-read the crap out of this blog when I randomly stumbled upon it one evening. The journey is epic, the photography is beautiful, and the writing is excellent. Further, most "#vanlife" things you stumble are either written by single people or couples. Seeing four people thrive on the road in a small VW planted the seed of possibility in my brain. Every time I would sit down and read a post, I'd start further planning our own trip. Nothing else gave us as strong a drive to "go for it" as this blog.
While we're neither "financially free" nor "badass", this site helped us get our financial affairs in order. It pushed us to some huge steps in that direction by paying off our student loans and scaling back other areas of spending. None of it is rocket science, but it's written so well and humorously that the advice seems obvious and is easy to follow. This trip would not be possible if we hadn't made some of the simple changes recommended here.
Chip stumbled upon a message in The Samba (an online VW forum) from a couple who were looking for a random VW part for their van. Over the course of their messages, he ended up inviting them, Peter and Shruthi, to crash in our yard for a few nights. This may seem normal to some of you. My initial reaction was a combination of "Well, this could be interesting. And are you sure you want them staying in our backyard?" But over the course of several late night dinners (which included homemade cookies and bread thanks to Shruthi), they further opened our eyes to the possibility of hitting the road. While reading blogs and watching short films are inspiring, it's extra influential when you have the chance to hang out with someone who's actually out there doing it. We appreciate their stories and stoke that got us moving in the right direction.
I imagine the trip we're planning, multiply it by twelve, and you get these guys. After fully kitting out their van, they spent three years on the road across several continents and now live on a boat. Suddenly a year travelllng North America feels totally doable and even passé. More than that, these folks are very specific on exactly what they spent (~30k per year) and how. It helped immensely in our ability to imagine the possible and then evolve that into our own reality.