Many people we know and meet are envious of our lifestyle. They think we are lucky. They think we are brave.
Yes, there is an element of luck in how we have ended up together free of debt, free of commitments, free of responsibilities wandering the world wherever the fancy takes us. I suppose it did take a bit of courage too. BUT – we are not rich, we did not win the lottery and we do not finance our travels by any sort of criminal activity!
In this series of articles we will take you through the process that got us to where we are today. Our circumstances, though not unique, will not always be the same as yours. Nevertheless, if you want to change your life believe me, it can be done. We did it and we’re not special.
The first step I would recommend to anyone contemplating such a change is stop buying the lottery tickets. Statistics indicate that you are more likely to die in the queue for your ticket than you are to win the jackpot. Start saving that money. What do you spend on the lottery? £2 per week? Thats £104 per year. You can live for a week on that in SE Asia. £5 a week, £260 a year? We recently paid less than that for both of us to fly from Malaysia to Hong Kong for a five-week house-sit and back to Singapore for another.
Enough lecturing for now. Back to the story.
The main piece of luck in this story is that we met at all. Maybe it was inevitable. We did have some mutual friends. We did follow the same national football team. And, on 11 October 2000, we did end up in Bar Donna, Zagreb after a magnificent 1 1 draw against Croatia.
Not so lucky was that we lived 536 kilometers apart (as the crow flies). Not being crows, this restricted how often we got together.
However, get together and stay together we did.
The first two years
We met in Berlin, Bydgoszcz, Brussels, Paris……and Glasgow. We travelled together to Greece. Occasionally, my job as a Training Consultant got me a freebie trip to London. We scoured the travel web sites for deals by train and plane to London and Edinburgh.
Our phone bills were enormous, our travel bills bigger than that! We were single, we had good jobs, we could afford it. But we started to realise that the money could be better spent.
An idea began to form. A year away from work travelling. We knew others who did it. What was to stop us doing it too?
By January 2002 the decision had been made. By May the Round the World flights were booked. By August we had both resigned from our jobs. A final football trip to Iceland and then in October 2002 we were off. First stop, Cape Town.