Get Out There!

We've been writing a lot of posts lately about our recent travels out west to the national parks. There's still a bit of that to write, but I wanted to get in some other thoughts too. Sometimes when we write a lot about our travels, I start to wonder if you all think that we're just gloating about our lives. Now, I do recognize that we are pretty awesome. But this is not the point. The point is that we hope to inspire you to get out and see more and do more. Also we want to show that there are a lot of amazing things to see right here in America, easy and cheap to drive to and camp at for a weekend, a week, or a month.

One thing that I've been thinking about throughout this sabbatical is how much there is in the world to see and do and experience, and how little time we have to do it in. We have accomplished a lot of what we wanted to do this year, but every time we go do something it just shows me how little I've done and seen, and just whets my appetite for more. I learned how to make cheese and ski backcountry powder in Colorado, and now I just want to do those things all the time. We went to two carribean islands, and have dozens more to visit. We went to eight national parks, and have 51 more to go. And thats not to mention hundreds of national preserves, monuments, and historic sites.

I know that it is not possible for most people do what we are doing. We were lucky to have the support to get the education that we did and worked hard to save our money for this year off. Obviously we've had to make sacrafices too. We would both like to have a house, pets, and children, but we can't have any of that doing what we're doing. However, we also recognize that once we have those things we won't be doing anything like this sabbatical again until we're retired.

Knowing this, I'm so glad that we made the choice to do this now. And this is the point: if you don't do it now, you never will. I hear so many people say, "I just want to do XYZ some day..." My answer is: do it now! Life is short and none of us are making it out alive. Its not as hard as you think either. It doesn't have to be a month long or year long trip. It starts as easy as making the choice to turn that 3 day weekend into an awesome camping roadtrip instead of sitting in front of the tube.

You will have to make some sacrifices--maybe not buying that new TV, or keeping your old car for another 50k miles. But I guarantee that you will have more enduring happiness after going travelling--especially if it is a more adventurous trip and not the tour bus/cruise ship kind of trip. You'll save money, and have a more exciting trip. Things will go wrong, but that's what makes for the best stories anyway! And if you're lucky enough to travel with your spouse, family or friends, you'll get to re-live the trip for years. So I hope that you get out there, and I hope that we've given you a few ideas to help you on your way.

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