The alarm goes off. You pour the coffee and grab a piece of toast. You almost forgot to brush your teeth while running out the door to sit in traffic for the next hour. Clock in. Make calls and check emails. Eat a lousy lunch. 4 more hours of repetitive work, cubicle walls, florescent lightling. Head home in traffic. Eat dinner and watch Jeopardy. Read a book. Set alarm. Go to bed.
It’s amazing how different people are, yet life has been designed to create repetitive robots just moving through life. They slowly fill up their 401(k) and IRAs, never fully developing the amount of funds they would actually desire to. They get about 2 weeks vacation every year, and at the end of the day, don’t feel fulfilled in their lives. Is this really all that there is? Many ask this question, and the answer we give in return is, “then why are you asking the question?”
A RTW trip is not the answer for everybody. It may simply be to take a risk that generations of your family never took. It may be to quit your job and start that business you always wanted to. Who knows what it is, but whatever it is, you know what it is for you. Us going on this trip does not necessarily mean we know how to soak up our current lives because we could very well come home from this trip, jump right back into the robotic lifestyle we once lived and continue where we left off. The key is learning how to soak up your current life. We don’t have all the answers on how to do this, but what we do know is that your life is fulfilling when you’re acting on your dreams.
Stop and Smell the Roses
Learning to “stop and smell the roses” is an idea Americans simply don’t understand. It is really difficult, even for those who don’t work their tail ends off. The basis of rest Americans tend to understand is by watching television. This is so far from the truth. Rest comes by shutting off everything and letting your mind do absolutely nothing. Even though it’s a form of nothing, by simply admiring creation, your mind is at rest. By simply listening to nothing, your mind is at peace. When you have the golf game on in the background, the noise from it is preventing yourself from feeling full rest. You have got to shut it off.
Spend Time With People
Sundays are family day where we share a meal with my family and spend the afternoon relaxing and talking. We cherish these Family days but not enough. Life gets in the way and we find ourselves backing out sometimes due to being exhausted, having work to do, other obligations, etc. In preparation for our RTW trip, we are getting a small taste of just how precious and important these family days are because in just a few short months, we’re not going to have them if we want them. We do not want to have regrets wishing we would have made it to family days more when we are feeling lonely during our travels. The same concept can be applied to death. Yes – hearing the same old stories from Grandpa can be tiring, but there will be a day that you will miss them.
In addition to family days, we are trying hard to say YES to more coffee dates, dinner dates and game nights. We are richly blessed with amazing friendships and we know we will miss our friends terribly when we are gone. We ask ourselves a lot more now “what would we be doing if we didn’t hang out with our friends?” I will admit that my answer is usually sitting on the couch surfing the web or working. When it’s all said and done and we are gone for an entire year, we know we will regret time spent on things that prohibited us from living our lives now. It’s time to ask yourself: What would I be doing if I wasn’t spending time with loved ones? What is more important to you at the end of the day?
Travel to Your City
We currently live in Sarasota, Florida. It is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the southeast United States next to Savannah or Asheville. Sarasota is full of natural beauty, awesome city life, interesting museums, and gorgeous beaches. We have realized that over the last two years we have not soaked up our city at all. What a shame. We live 10 minutes from the beach yet hardly ever go. We complain about the sand and the work that it takes to get set up. This must change and is changing. Thousands of people spend tons of money to come visit OUR city. Why on earth do we take it for granted? Take time to explore your city and soak it up! Try local restaurants, go to your local farmer’s market, visit your favorite local coffee shop, go to the beach or lake. Ride a bike, hike, explore. Change your mindset of “we live here” to “we get to soak up and explore this awesome city!
Enjoy What You’ve Paid For
Enjoy the luxuries you have at home. Your comfortable mattress and bedding, your dryer, your big screen TV, the gym down the street, your own dishes and silverware. You will be dreaming of these “little” things when you have one suitcase to your name and are staying in a funky smelling hostel in Europe. You have worked so hard for the things you have, and so many people refuse to enjoy them because of the work they have to do or the other “more important” things they have to do. We love the idea of a staycation: a vacation at home and in your city. Take a few days off from work and commit to no projects, yard work or cleaning. During the day, tour your city in the way you would like to if you were visiting it, eat at the restaurants or cook with local foods, and enjoy the peaceful areas of your home when you get home at night. Don’t just sleep all day – enjoy the aspects of life that your world has to offer you.
Will we love our adventure around the world? Absolutely! Will we miss our families, friends and at home luxuries? More than you know. Be a sponge: soak it up, and save it for later. You will be so glad you did!
This is a concept we have stuck to since our early dating days: no regrets. We hate regret. We fear regret. We both can honestly say that the only regret that we have today is not soaking up our city, our condominium complex and our home in the way we could have. Most people regret working too hard, not loving enough, not doing x, y, & z, and worrying too much. Stop regretting and start living. No regrets.