This is one of the most common questions our friends ask and so I thought I could talk about it more.
You probably have heard of this before, and it resonated with me very much in the past few years. It goes something like this: when you are finally done with college, you have no money but you have time to travel; after you finally landed on a job, you now have the money but you no longer have the time to travel. I truly felt that when I started working. Adding onto that, since we got married in 2015, our annual vacation days are basically split three ways: time for family, time for in-laws and time for ourselves. I count it a blessing to have 15-18 vacation days a year, but in the beginning of every year, I had already planned it out how I can maximize my days by combining weekends, holidays and stretching it as much as I can. And can I say that it is not enough? Plus, I am always exhausted from packing vacation days with a long itinerary and rushing to places after places. It takes more time to recover from vacation than to truly enjoy them.
Then my wanderlust started a couple years ago. It is very natural to have traveling desires when you have a working life. You want to work hard, play hard. On weekends, We take camping and climbing trips to nearby national parks and beautiful places within California, Oregon, and sometimes even Washington. There are just so many places to go to and activities to do in the west coast alone; not to say, the amazing scenery that each place has to offer. But I wanted to see more! I wanted to go farther and visit all the amazing places that I’ve heard of and seen on Instagram.
So I started dreaming of a cross country road trip and sometimes that’s what I daydreamed about while I sat in my cubicle at work. The thought of exploring all the beautiful places in this country without counting down on number of vacation days and having the freedom to do anything I want is just so liberating. But ironically, I am a person who worries a lot and likes to list all the pros and cons and then let the cons outweigh the pros. I worry about what family thinks, finances, safety and career outlook. So this road trip idea is really just a nice thought. I was becoming jaded at work and ready to take a break. I did not want to do this alone, but Min’s job situation was not ideal to take a long trip like that.
A year or so went by, I found myself talking about this nice thought more and more. I was also building up a list of to-go places on google map. This nice thought is growing stronger and stronger that it could really become a reality. Then one day, during a casual conversation about our future, Min said that he would go with me on this road trip! My eyes lit up and I couldn’t believe what I heard! We had a serious talk for a while and made a decision that we are going to do this. So we went and made this nice thought come true. I left my job. Min took a leave of absence. We bought a used mini van. We packed up our apartment to a storage. Took a look at the google map and off we went!
So, was this road trip spurred out of a moment? No.
Was it a good decision? Heck yea!
Honestly, this is the bravest decision I’ve ever made in my life. Quitting my job, moving out of a home, living in a car, and just letting life takes me. If you have met me a few years ago, I would tell you that I just want to have a job and a stable income. Now as we are counting down the days until our trip is over, I only wish that we can keep going and continue to do explore after we get back to the normal life.
We heard lots of people say that they wish they could do a long road trip, and the fact is, you certainly can! Make a few plans and JUST DO IT! Every one can take a few months, or just weeks out of their life to do something adventurous.