I (Laura) cannot say, when exactly was it that I realised that travelling the world for a longer period of time is one of my biggest dreams. Probably it was during my bachelor studies as many of my friends decided to take gap years for work-and-travel. For me it was never an option. My first priority has always been security, so the plan for my life was clear – first comes education, then the job and with it enough money to travel the world.
Today, I consider myself fortunate to have a great employer who provides many vacation days each year. However, as all of my family and many friends still reside in Estonia, it is important for me to visit them 3-4 times a year to maintain those cherished connections. Consequently, a significant portion of my vacation time is spent on these visits, leaving me with less opportunity to explore other countries. Thus, there are moments when I can’t help but feel a bit of envy when seeing others in social media travelling more frequently.
And although our longer road-trips typically last for 2.5-3.5 weeks (as our demanding jobs require a longer break to truly unwind), it still feels like an all-too-brief period. There are still so many more places I would like to explore. I also seldom feel homesick and returning home is even challenging for me at times.
I think this is why the desire for a longer adventure has been growing in my heart slowly and steadily. With Jens we have been sharing this dream for years.
What I can clearly remember, however, is when we made the decision that it is time to make our dream true. It was during the “covid times”. We have always been working hard, knowing that it enables us to have our dream vacations to anywhere our heart would desire us to go. However, as you may remember, the options for travelling was limited and we felt that an important puzzle piece was missing in our lives.
On that day, we were relaxing in a spa (we both LOOOVEEE sauna). We were discussing our future plans and realised that we both felt as we did not really have a real goal in our life anymore. For Jens it had always been about building his career, already starting working during his bachelors. For me the focus also had been on finishing my bachelors, then my masters, and then climb up the career ladder as quickly as possible (to catch up the delay caused by my longer-lasting studies, and to compensate for being a woman).
So, as we were there, sitting in the pool, it was suddenly clear to us – if we want to make our dream come true, we need to set a date and start working towards realizing it. It was now or never. We had the opportunity, enough resources and no greater obligations (as mortgage or children). This is when we decided – summer 2023 will be the new milestone in our lives. The time where we will take the plunge to start a new adventure, new lifestyle.
We did have a few follow-up conversations to decide on the question – for how long. Jens was sure it has to be for one year. I had many concerns in these regards. First of all – will we be able to save enough money. And then, of course, – what if I would miss my “normal” routined life too much? Would I miss having my own bed? Having my own space? Alone time? I was trying to convince Jens to rather settle for 6 months at first. After all, the experience will be probably quite similar – at leas what I thought. But Jens probably had better arguments. And now I do not have any doubts anymore. We are committed to take the maximum out of the experience. We can always come back earlier, but it would be much more complicated to elongate the duration.
So, here we are. One month before the Big Day. Extremely excited for the full year of adventure ahead. Free to do what we desire. Every day. For the next 360 days.