“Hi, it’s Jimmy!! If you can dream it, you can do it!!” ~ Jimmy MacElroy from Blades of Glory
This post is directed towards friends and family members who may not encourage or embrace your decision for a career break.
Once the seed of an RTW trip was planted in our minds it was all we could think about. Eventually, we realized that we had to do this or we’d regret not pursuing our dream. Now, it was time to share our plan with others. This is really one of the first steps in making a RTW trip a reality. At least for us, once we announce we’re going to do something there’s no backing down. In other words we knew we’d be accountable when we began sharing our plans with family and close friends. Many RTW-ers have enthusiastically shared how supportive their families and friends were of their plans. Us? Our dream was met with dirty looks and cold remarks. Oh, this is a good one folks.
On Thanksgiving 2013, over dinner, Harry had opened up to his family about our plans for our RTW trip. We had dropped hints and made mention of the notion of quitting our jobs and traveling freely around the globe. I don’t think anyone was taking us seriously..until we dropped our reality bomb. At first, everyone kinda just took it in and didn’t say much. Maybe it was due to the fact that we travel so much and are often away for holidays and summer vacations. However, when asked, “Well, when would you do this?” and I stated, “I want to be outta here by October 2014” that is when shit hit the fan. Here are just a few of the wonderfully “inspiring” remarks that followed:
1. “The world is a dangerous place.”
2. “When we travel, we always feel so good to come back to Chicago. This is home.” (Ummmm, not the same feeling for us!).
3. With a glare and a glass of wine in hand, “I’m DONE with you two!” (Yeah, that’s my favorite too)
4. “What about your job?”
5. “You don’t have that kinda money.”
6. “I never really felt like seeing the world. Well, maybe just to sit on a beach.” (BOOORRING)
7. “You can’t leave your momma.” (GAG!)
8. “I’ll just die if you leave.” (Great, now what?)
What’s a RTW couple to do?
I’ll be honest. I feel bad. I feel bad that we’re so passionate about travel and seeing the world but some family members have selfishly put their needs before our own. I also feel guilty. When someone who has depression says, “I’ll die if you leave.” How do you move forward?
One thing I did was contact the experts. The Talbots from marriedwithluggage.com do a weekly podcast and I had submitted the question, “How do you avoid the guilt that comes with long-term travel?”, that they answered on their podcast that focused on answering reader questions. They offered some great advice. You can listen to it here!
Another great tip is begin to develop positive relationships with others that share in the same dreams. For some time, I had been following the Meet, Plan, Go! blog and Facebook page and eyed their events. We recently got an invite for the Chicago area meet up and immediately decided to make plans to go. It was time to find some people who understood why we needed to do this and share in the excitement!
The event was great! To me, Meet, Plan, Go is like a support group for travel addicts and career breakers. We got a chance to have some 1:1 time with fellow career breakers Dabble in Travel and meet the Chicago Host Lisa Lubin. We left the event on cloud 9 making some new friends and getting some great advice.