Leaving everything behind is easier than you think
What looked like a giant bubble dream 2 years ago is about to turn right into reality. Tonight, I’ll be spending my last evening at home with my wife, my 3 children and their 30+ friends, our own friends and our family. Then, tomorrow morning, we leave after having breakfast with close family member. First stop: Ottawa. But as they say: it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.
A Journey to Find Myself
When was the last time you asked yourself life-meaning questions? When is the last time you sat down and truly thought about what you want from life, about where you want to be in 5 years, in 10 years?
For me, it probably has been nearly a decade since I asked myself these questions. Somewhere in my 20s, I asked myself what I want from life. It was clear and simple: I wanted a wife, kids and a big job. I was lucky enough to marry my first and only love and to share my life with her since the age of 16 is a real blessing. I couldn’t be prouder of my three children, I love playing with them and hear what they have to say at the dinner table. As for my job, I hit a low 6 figure income at the age of 28 and never looked back since then. But the thing now is that I’m 34 and I’m not sure this is all there is to life. I’ve been on the fast track for the past 10 years and I’m not sure I’ve had time to see all the beautiful scenery outside. This is why it’s time for me to take a pause, get off the train at the next station to see where I am at.
I don’t feel like I’m in the middle of a life crisis, but I have a feeling I must do this to shape my life in order to avoid the so called midlife crisis.
Right before I left, I was offered an important promotion upon my return. My boss struck me with this opportunity that I can almost not let pass me by. Still, My boss and I agreed that I will take my decision only in January next year in order to give me time to think about what I want for my future. While this decision is an important dilemma for me, I can’t complain to have to make the decision between two bright futures
The Trip by the Numbers
Some people asked me how much does it cost to do a trip like this. The simple answer would be it’s priceless. Unfortunately, we live in a society full of numbers and money has to come out of your banking account if you want to realize your dreams.
I expect this trip will cost about $75,000 once we have arrived home and everything is done. During our journey, I expect us to spend between $3,000 and $3,500 per month. This includes not only the travelling expenses (gasoline, food, activities, etc), but also fixed expenses such as the RV loan payments and insurance (health, life, car). Therefore, our 12 month trip should cost around $42,000. Unfortunately, there were several others expenses related to this trip. Between the moment we bought the RV and the moment we will sell it when we come back, I expect to lose $20,000 in the transaction. Then, we definitely spent a good $10,000-$13,000 in preparation costs. It’s hard for me to figure how much really we spent since we have all kinds of expenses since Day 1 of our project:
Healthcare: vaccines, antibiotics and other drugs to build a strong pharmacy
Mechanics: Necessary stuff to be able to change a wheel during the trip
RV upgrades: a new battery and solar panel to avoid camping lots most of the time
RV maintenance: verify all silicone joints, change the 6 tires + full inspection
Traveling and camping gear: we didn’t have much camping stuff at home
The biggest portion of the $10-13K is definitely spent on the RV upgrades and maintenance. Today, I’m leaving without a doubt as the RV is in mint condition, and it was very expensive! On the other hand, when I think about everything we spend here, this year of my life will not be more expensive than my regular life at home. The main difference is that I will be able to enjoy every minute of it!
The Complete Itinerary
I had published the first part of the itinerary from my home to Costa Rica. Now, here’s the full trip with our way back:
This totals about 20,000km or 15,000 miles. I feel lucky as we will go see pretty much everything we wanted during this trip. We mixed in many activities we enjoy such as hiking, visiting big cities, going to the beach, tasting wine and visiting museums.
I’m very open to suggestions if you think of anything that could be part of my itinerary We haven’t booked anything, as the goal is to go where life guides us.
Is Leaving Difficult? Not for me
Since we have been working on this for almost 2 years, I feel I have invested too much energy and too much money to do anything but leave tomorrow. Even taking the decision was relatively easy. It seems that when you take what you have and put it aside, a whole new world opens up to you and you simply have to pick and chose what you want from it.
I still don’t know what I will do when I come back, but I know I’m doing the right thing to shape the rest of my life according to what I really want…