If you’re new, hi there! If you’re a returning reader, hi there! And also, yes, we lost some of our previous posts. Let’s just call our previous blog…a trial run. So, let’s start over…

We have done what a lot of people have suggested against (and, to their credit, what a lot of other people are supportive of): we have quit our jobs and decided to travel. This has been a long time coming, honestly.

When Abbey was younger, she always dreamed of traveling the world through one occupation or another. The longest standing career dream of hers was becoming a journalist and reporting all over the world. As she got older and studied more, she switched career ideas to physical therapist, teacher, non-profit, UN, and lawyer. All pretty all over the place, but still the common thread was that she wanted an avenue that would allow her to travel.  Ask her today and she’s still a little unsure – but she’s confident that she wants to work with or for underprivileged women and children around the globe. She got a taste of international travel several years ago when she visited good family friends in Ireland. She loves the idea of eventually growing old and writing about her past travels on a cliffside cottage in Ireland.

Kevin spent a few weeks in Ethiopia the summer before he started college and that was what sparked his want to travel more. He has always been interested in other countries and will spurt random facts about them (he especially loves to do this when Abbey is trying to work…). One of his proudest accomplishments is spending time memorizing the locations of all the countries in the world and is still able to locate all of them on an unlabeled map. He can recognize a country’s flag about 85% of the time and is currently working to be able to recognize all of them correctly.

Over the years, while we were friends and then later when we started dating, we talked extensively of travel. There were always those delirious conversations after an all-nighter before a college exam where we would look at each other and just say, “What if we just traveled instead?” It’s seemed that over the years that phrase became more and more serious. Culminating in us starting to formulate a plan. We started seriously saving money, started researching places to go, figuring out how long we would go for etc. And then, one evening after work when we were supposed to just be researching flight prices, we pressed “Purchase” on two one-way flights to Iceland. We knew if we didn’t do it then, we would find a reason to keep putting it off. Making the initial purchases (flights to Iceland, a night in the Buubble hotel in Reykjavik, and flights to Copenhagen) made our dream actually seem real.

That was back in May. For the past seven months, we’ve been counting down the days, hitting milestones along the way. In August, we quit our jobs and moved back to North Carolina. In November we finished our TESFL certifications. In December we purchased travel insurance. Now, as we are less than two weeks out from departure, we can’t believe that this is finally happening.

In 2018 we are concentrating on Europe. We are starting in Iceland and moving southeast for the first 90 days we have in the Schengen Zone.  Then we will be checking out the British Isles and Ireland; taking about two months to walk the Wales Coast. That should reset our Schengen time at that point, and we’ll be back to mainland Europe and focus on moving southwest through the continent. (More details can be found in our 2018 Map.) We made the decision to travel mainly by train, which we’re actually pretty excited about. We’ve spent time using Amtrak in recent years and actually enjoy it more than flying – less stressful when it comes to weight, liquids, and room.

Thanks for joining us in our countdown to departure! We’ll probably have a couple more posts up before we leave, but we’re really concentrating on spending time with family and friends and making sure everything is in place, so the schedule may be a little hectic. Once we’re abroad and get the lay of the land, we’ll have an update on when you can expect posts from us.

We post on Instagram daily, so you can follow us along there for more regular updates. Bare with us as we get used to Twitter and if you would find Facebook easier to use, let us know and we’ll create one! We have post ideas about our preparations for our trip, but if you have anything specific you’d like us to talk about, leave us a comment and we’ll do our best to answer any questions!