A recent night out for Chinese food ended with these fortunes – predictable and unoriginal and yet exactly in line with my expectations for the upcoming year. After years of talking, deliberating, dreaming and planning, 2016 marks the start of “what’s next” for my husband, Barry, and I. Someday in a future post perhaps I’ll expound on those years of talking, deliberating, dreaming and planning, but for the purposes of this post I’ll just say that we decided to make a change in our lives – not a change of jobs or a change of homes or a change of scenery but all of that and more.
Last spring, we embarked on this journey without quite knowing exactly where (or when) we were headed by putting our house up for sale. The market was better than it had been in years, and we knew that ultimately the house would not be part of our long term plans, so we thought we’d see what happened. Within less than 2 weeks, we were under contract and on our way.
As part of selling our house, we also sold (or gave away) about 80% of our belongings through Craigslist, family members and finally a wildly successful garage sale. Then, we signed a nine month lease on an apartment to wait out the winter and make plans.
Fast-forward to today which marks the first post of this blog. We recently both informed our employers that we would be leaving this spring, and in 17 weeks we will board an airplane to begin a bike trip through Europe. We will start in Germany and make our way through Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, and Romania to the Black Sea. Although we have both been cycling for years, this trip will be a challenge for us both physically and logistically and certainly in many other ways as well. This is just the first of what we hope will be lots of fun adventures in the years to come.
What makes someone quit a perfectly good job and live on a bicycle for several months?? Well, I guess it’s the realization that someday we may not be able to. Someday, we may be too old or too tired. Someday, life circumstances may conspire against us. Someday, our butts may become one with our office chairs. Or, honestly, someday we just may not want to anymore. Someday, this window of opportunity will be gone forever and we don’t know if that will be tomorrow or many years from now.
When life isn’t going well, change comes easily, even hastily. But when life is good, change can seem risky. “What if I hate it?” “What if I fail?” “What if I miss my old life?” “What if things go wrong?” So what?? If anything is a sure thing, it’s that all of those things will happen. No matter what we are doing in life, there are always things we don’t like, there are always failures, there are always decisions we would make differently in hindsight, and there are always, always things that go wrong. So, maybe it’s not so risky after all. There’s also certain to be plenty of good to come, plenty of fun to be had, and plenty of new experiences to share.