We got married at the Japanese Botanic Gardens in Fort Worth, TX on October 17, 2015 (what a wonderful day!). We dated for 5 years prior and traveled together frequently. We were two TCU grads living semi normal/stereotypical lives with a mutual dissatisfaction and resistance to the typical path of getting married and settling down.
We have both had pretty itchy feet and we both love to travel, but landlocked in Dallas, TX, travel was hard and expensive for two twenty-somethings working to get by in the big city.
I think most people might classify us as hard workers. We both keep our heads down and find comfort in the satisfaction of being successful and accomplished.
Meg had just finished grad school earning her degree in Marriage and Family Counseling and was enjoying working (a little too much) at a fitness franchise startup teaching Pilates and training potential instructors. But the unstructured nature of the business often led to working well into the evening and many, many weekends.
Tyler was working as co-founder and creative director at an apparel startup for 5 years and while the company was expanding rapidly and gaining more and more traction, the 10, 12, and 14 hour work days had taken its toll after a few years and had reached a point where Tyler ultimately found it best to step away and begin his freelance business focusing on graphic design and branding: his true passion. While the first few months were up and down, eventually he found a manageable equilibrium and a steady stream of client work.
In December 2015, Meg decided to apply for PhD programs in Colorado, hoping that a move to a new state closer to the mountains might feed our desire to shake things up and change the scenery. Despite her competitive application, acceptance didn't happen and we needed a back up plan: a Panamerican adventure?
Don't worry, we thought it was just as crazy as you did when we started kicking around the idea. It began as a fun daydream we could enjoy, and blossomed into a sort of hobby for us to share research and blogs from other dreamers and explorers who'd transitioned to this lifestyle already. We quickly realized that if we actually wanted to do this, we were kind of in the perfect place in our lives to make it a reality: Tyler was freelancing, Meg was contemplating her next change, we'd just gotten married and were still renting an apartment, we hadn't entered the "nesting" stage, and we're a few years away from the baby era (Meg likes to think we're closer). So with little to lose, and some confidence that we could find similar jobs upon our return, we decided to stop researching and start PLANNING.
Through months of physical and mental preparation, we quickly began to realize this was not only feasible, but possibly our best option. It would allow us to escape the monotony of work culture, and the desire to be constantly striving for that "next professional level" (which for some reason never seems as satisfying after you attain it). The constant "grind" and strong work ethic we pride ourselves for, seemed to be disconnecting us from the world and from each other. We were using our hard earned money to consume goods and services that added little back into our lives and in many ways, created more stress than reward.
We realize we took this thought experiment to an extreme that is not realistic for every couple, or single person. But we hope to explore this life a little while and learn to live with less. Fewer things, fewer distractions, and less of a plan...I mean, we have a plan, but...you know what we mean.
Here's to hoping someone finds a sliver of happiness or inspiration by following our journey. Who knows? Maybe it will inspire you to set aside your fears (certainly a topic worth discussing down the road) and not be afraid to wander around and enjoy life for a while. We only get one after all, so let's see where this goes...
Vaya con dios!
Meg + Tyler