our most frequently asked question.

travel chiang mai, thailand“what was your favorite place?”

we’re both getting asked this multiple times a day.
and it’s a fair question. probably one that i’d ask as well.

well, it was a place that took us a long time to get to.
and it wasn’t on the original itinerary.
but before i tell you what it is, let me explain.

about half-way through our excursion, we started to take destinations for granted.
it had me pondering the potential downside of longterm travel adventures.
i struggled with the idea that we weren’t maximizing each destination
or giving it the attention and the level of excitement it deserved.

as much as you’ll probably want to punch me in the face for saying this,
by the time we landed in indonesia, bali was just another island with pretty beaches.
we honestly weren’t that excited because that had simply become our reality.

but somewhere along the way, about 3 months in, the lightbulb went off
and the most cliche quote of all time became the mantra of our current existence…
longterm travel is not about the destinations, it’s about the journey.

when i said it out loud to d i wanted to throw up (damn you pinterest),
but it was so true. it hit me like a ton of bricks.
the journey itself had started to rise above the beautiful locations
that had originally lured us to asia.
we’d seen everything on repeat… ethnic villages, white sand beaches, jungle waterfalls…
it wasn’t about the places anymore. it was about our journey. 

remember on day 16 when we were a little freaked out by not having any plans?
our pre-planned itinerary expired and we had nothing but time.
and these two american bred, corporate kids kinda freaked out.
no emails coming in. no social obligations. no guilt. no texts to return.
no errands to run. no house to clean. no work pressures.
looking back, we had no idea how to control our time: of every minute of every day.
it was almost too daunting of a task to fathom.
so at the time we craved “normalcy” in the form of jam-packed activity schedules to
help us feel productive and less guilty about “wasting time.”

and then months later without realizing it, we’d allowed our mindset to shift and let go.
for the first time in our adult lives, we were actually 100% detached. stress free.
cheesy, i know. but for real. we didn’t have to answer to anyone about anything.
we’d had enough time away to let go of the past plus enough time to not worry about the future.
the only pressures we had were the ones we put on ourselves.
we were comfortable living a simplified, uncomplicated and freed existence. 

we were chilled out to the max.
mentally. emotionally. physically.

it took us a long time to get there…
to discover the best place of them all.
and once we got there, we never wanted to leave.
it was unlike anything else.

so you want to know our favorite place?
this amazing place called carefree.

 

i’m not sure there’s an exact amount of time to get there, but i know for sure it’s longer than a typical vacation. why? because on a normal holiday the countdown to the end begins the day it starts. there’s a pressure to cram as much in each day as possible… even those “relaxing” beach vacations give you guilt pangs if you didn’t do enough x, y or z. cell phones still work. there are upcoming dates on the calendar. subconsciously you know that your work inbox is filling up as quickly as you can turn the page of your beachside novel. that’s the magic of a longterm adventure… the freedom that comes from a big chunk of time. so listen up, if there’s even a little bit of you that’s ever wanted to book a one-way ticket somewhere – anywhere – and explore, we urge you to seriously consider making it a reality. you’ll never regret it. the time is yours for the taking. 

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