Ryan and I have been talking about 2016 basically since we met. Not that we knew the exact year of 2016 would be a big year for us, but we did know that we had big plans to travel and make some big changes in our lives. 2016 just so happens to be that year. The purpose of this post isn’t to boast about what we have going on–my hope is to inspire you to stop talking and start doing (beyond traveling).
I’m fully invested in the idea of “If it doesn’t make you happy, get rid of it.” I’ve purged my closet, items in our house, freelance clients, some work opportunities, etc. I’ve come around to the idea that shopping and buying new things is an immediate emotional reaction, but not something that will last and sustain my happiness. So while I still love to buy things here and there, I’ve majorly cut back on the old habit that got me into some nice credit card debt in college.
We’ve saved our money, not a ton, but enough. We have purposely decided not to have kids anytime soon. We have tried to simplify, but also take on challenging projects that make us better and provide some extra income. We are cutting out going to concerts, eating out at fancy places, and buying unnecessary items. These small changes are making a big difference.
We have deemed this year the Year of Travel, and YOLO (“you only live once” for my lingo-challenged readers). For us, this is a big deal. In the past, we’ve come up with excuses to not do things (money, time, our dog, work, etc), but this time, we let go of the excuses and said “F it, we just need to go.”
We are both dreamers. Neither of us have traveled much, though we both have major wanderlust. We like to talk about things we want to do later in life and places we want to see. We’ve just changed the narrative a little to, “why not now?” instead of “later in life.”
So in two weeks we’ll be heading to the Cayman Islands with my whole family (my husband, mom, dad, bro, his wife, and nephew). It’s a trip for my mom’s 60th birthday, and while traveling with your fam may not seem totally YOLO, for me it totally is. Our family has never truly taken a family vacation (usually golf shows or trips to see Grandma) so this is a big deal. Ryan and I plan to take full advantage of all the water sports and experiences that we can. Maybe I’ll even let him jump off a cliff (I hear there aren’t many in Cayman so hoping there’s a small one to fill his desire).
A few months later, we’ll be heading to Nashville for a long weekend to see my best friend, her husband, and their baby. I was so proud of my husband last night when I told him that flights were super cheap on Southwest and that the sale was ending soon. He was totally cool with deciding right then and there to book the trip–something two years ago he never would have done. He would’ve wanted to think about it, talk about it, then inevitably, probably not do it because we’ve then talked ourselves out of it.
The big grand finale of the year comes in September when we try our luck with the Irish and head to Ireland. This is a dream trip that I have always wanted to take and I couldn’t be more excited for it. We may pop over to Scotland for a day or two while we’re there…but we’re doing something I’m not usually comfortable with–going in without an agenda. We want to drink beer, see the sights, but most importantly, mix and mingle with the locals. We want to feel fully enveloped in the culture. Experience new things. Get uncomfortable. Learn something. Come back with an Irish accent.
While three planned trips may not seem like much to some, for us, it is. It’s out of our comfort zone to leave this much and to spend this much money. But like I said, 2016 is going to be a big year. Beyond traveling, we have a lot of other exciting things happening…but more on that in another post.
Take some chances. Stop thinking so much and start doing. Stop talking about it. F it. Just do it. Go. Explore. Grow.