Exactly one year ago today, my husband and I quit our jobs to travel the world. Over the course of six months, we circumnavigated the globe, passing through, in order, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, India, Nepal, Jordan, Israel, Greece and Turkey. The trip, as chronicled in this blog (still in progress), was the culmination of almost two years of saving, planning and researching. We have absolutely no regrets – except perhaps that we didn’t stay gone longer and travel more before returning to “the real world.” I still desperately want to see Africa.

We’re back in Florida now and can confirm fears we wouldn’t find gainful employment seem groundless; We are blessed that Him, as a marketable software engineer, now has several job opportunities before him, and we should know our future whereabouts shortly. Personally, I’m not sure what career path I want to follow, but it must allow me to be creative. I don’t have to adore my job, but I will not dread going to it every day. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this experience it’s that life is much too short to waste on a job one dislikes. I’d rather make peanuts and be happy than a fortune and be miserable.

If you are contemplating long-term travel, don’t hesitate: Make a plan and save your wages until you can support yourself, and just go! Or, better yet, leave the second you graduate college. Traveling internationally will undoubtedly help you learn about yourself and maybe even reveal what career you would most likely enjoy/excel at as a full-fledged adult. And you have your whole life ahead of you to work. From personal experience, I can confirm it’s much easier to swallow the grime and poverty and lack of privacy afforded by international travel as a 19-year-old college student than it is as a 29-year-old used to creature comforts like clean sheets and a flushable toilet.

When you decide to set out on your own adventure, you will undoubtedly encounter numerous naysayers – family, friends, even strangers – who say you’re crazy for abandoning the security of your 9-to-5 life, but ignore them. Completely. They will eventually come around to supporting — even admiring — your decision. Plus, you’re not getting any younger. Do you really want to wait until you’re 65 and retired to explore the world? Arthritis and cataracts are going to set in. You may not even live that long. What are you waiting for? GO NOW!