Technically, it was Jennifer’s suggestion. She just never thought Brock would actually agree to it. As it turns out, not only did he fully support her desire to travel full-time, he enthusiastically embraced it. He was even the one who talked her off the ledge that time she had a panic attack and got cold feet.
Once the initial shock wore off, we were blown away by the positive response we received from our family, friends and colleagues. Without exception, we’ve experienced unconditional support and encouragement from everyone we know and love. Especially our parents. They’ve been our biggest fans. (Even though we’re pretty sure Jennifer’s mom would much rather have a grandchild than postcards from every country we visit.)
Nope. For now, we’re childless by choice, being big fans of things like sleep and spontaneity. But we do love following the adventures of couples like Christine and Drew Gilbert, and Caz and Craig Makepeace, who remind us that starting a family doesn’t have to mean stopping your travels. That definitely gives us (and Jennifer’s mom) hope for the future. We are, however, the proud parents of one furry four-legged monster named Jasper. He’s currently enjoying an extended vacation with Brock’s parents in Florida, where he spends his days lounging by their pool and chasing the occasional squirrel.
Our journey started in New Zealand on December 1, 2014. From there, we head to Australia, followed by Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. We’ll then spend the first part of 2015 working our way through Cambodia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Japan, before returning to the U.S. for the month of May. Right now we’re planning to tour Europe in the summer, and targeting South America in the fall, but our plans are flexible and definitely subject to change.
As awesome as that would be, no such luck. Instead, we cut back on our expenses, lived well below our means and saved every extra dime for nearly two years leading up to our departure. Because of this, we now have a fairly comfortable monthly travel budget. Though it’s far from luxurious, it’s enough to allow us to seek out the best value instead of the lowest price, and won’t force us to pinch pennies at the cost of a great experience.
Before we left, we put a lot of effort into deliberately minimizing our possessions. Like many couples, we’d managed to accumulate a lot of “stuff” throughout the years, and it was weighing us down both physically and financially. So we sold what could help us fund our travels, donated what might bring value to someone else, trashed the junk and saved the items that mattered most. Everything we aren’t carrying on our backs is now packed away into a single 5’x10’ storage unit near our families in Jacksonville, Florida. So far, we haven’t missed a thing.
Right now, our plan is to keep moving for at least 18 months. After that, who knows? We’ve learned that sometimes in life, it’s best to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Brock is a political strategist and entrepreneur who owns a successful campaign management firm in Tampa, Florida. Thanks to worldwide Wi-Fi and other wonders of modern technology, he’ll continue to run his business from the road, heading back to the U.S. each election season.
After spending nearly 15 years as a marketing and public relations executive, representing some of the world’s most iconic travel and entertainment brands, Jennifer is enjoying her newfound professional freedom as a freelance writer and communications consultant.