When we first started talking about our decision to give up work for a few years and travel, we were met by many interesting reactions. One really amazed me ”why would you travel now why can’t you wait till you retire?’ This made me actually sit back and question our decision…why aren’t we waiting until we retire? I mean it is obvious that is what most people do either they travel when they are young, before career, marriage and children, or they wait until they are 55 (or in our case it will be 67) drawing a pension and head off around Australia with a caravan in tow. But that was not our dream, ours was to travel overland, exploring the world by motorcycle.
Doing It For Those Who Can’t Travel
I then started thinking about the friends I have had over the years who would never get to travel when they retire…the ones who had died young, the ones who are now committed to raising grandchildren and the ones who physically due to ongoing health issues can no longer do their dream holiday (let alone the type of travel we wanted to do). I realised then our journey was not just for us but for them too and we needed to live our lives to the fullest while we can.
Travelling Before You Are Too Old
The reality was we were already 50 when we headed off, this meant a few more aches and pains everyday anyway…. Towards the end I was having trouble getting on and off ‘the Princess’ some days, but still enjoyed the journey. I can’t imagine what I will be like at 67 when I was allowed to retire (if that does not change of course there is already talk of it being moved to 70). In general our health is pretty good, some days we felt like crap and would just take things slowly but we were able to do that as we knew we have the time to do so.
Why We Chose To Travel Before We Retired
We made the decision to live our dreams not die with them, as by not travelling when we did we would have not been true to ourselves, It did mean some friends fell by the wayside as they just did not understand our need to do this but most of our friends and family supported our decision. There of course were some who did not understand our need to do this they encouraged us to live our life to the fullest. Our children especially were really supportive and that was the most important thing for us.
So now we are home do we have any regrets……NONE AT ALL. Since we left home tragically two close friends have lost their husbands, another friend of 30 years died suddenly and we have had numerous friends diagnosed with life threatening illnesses. While we wished we were closer to provide support to them and their families we know our decision to take this journey was the right one. We may never go away for three years again but we already have plans to do more overland travel in the future….the bug for this type of adventure has been well and truly planted…