How I Fulfilled a Lifelong Dream to Travel the World

I knew deep down inside that something was missing.

It was 2006 and my career was very promising. I was married and owned a home. Overall, life was feeling pretty good.

Though my one regret in life was that I had never taken time to travel the world. And I don’t mean for two weeks on vacation to a tropical island somewhere; that I had done.

My dream was to take an entire year off and travel around the world and experience what life was like in other countries.

There was so much I wanted to do and see before having kids. I knew that if I was going to take a trip like this, now was the time. The next opportunity might be once I retired, but there is no guarantee that I would be healthy enough or even want to.

So, I created a plan and together we saved $75,000 in cash. We sold almost everything we owned and left on a plane bound for Fiji in February 2008 with only a backpack on our backs.

I was 29 years old… and ecstatic.

3 YEARS, 22 COUNTRIES, 6 CONTINENTS

The first stop was Fiji. I remember sleeping a lot the first few days, as if I was letting go and sinking into this transition to a work-free life.

I couldn’t stop smiling!

For the first time ever, I could live moment-to-moment without anything to do or anywhere to be. Stress was a distant memory. Freedom was here.

Time passed quickly. I did things like…

  • bungee jumping in New Zealand.
  • learning how to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • riding a motorbike in Bali and Lombok to cool surf spots.
  • indulging in $3 massages in Thailand.
  • playing games with kids in Laos.
  • helping regenerate the native rainforest in the Amazon.
  • trekking to the bottom of Colca Canyon in Peru.
  • dressing in a dirndl for Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.
  • volunteering on an organic farm in southern France.
  • sipping my favorite wine in Montepulciano, Italy.
  • resting on the beach on the Greek islands.

I spent a lot of time in personal reflection while walking, reading, journaling and being in quiet meditation. I connected with hundreds of people around the world, talking about life, their struggles and their dreams.

Every day was filled with a sense of wonder and awe. I was living in the present moment. I felt deep compassion for others in a way I’d never experienced before. I had a new and improved perspective on life. My vantage point shifted and my views widened. I felt humbled and grateful.

I wasn’t ready to stop traveling, so I began marketing consulting work and was able to extend my trip from one years to three with just my laptop and a wifi connection.

Finally, my dream was fulfilled. I believed in myself and that anything was possible.