What death taught me about acting now

by Kim on December 28, 2010 · 12 comments

Soon my husband and I will be leaving our jobs and home to live our dream of traveling the world. Here’s why we’re doing it now.

1.  Because there will never be the perfect time

Though I’d be happy about it, I doubt there will come a day when the housing market recovers, the economy rebounds, my lottery ticket has all the right numbers, and the fortune in my cookie says “leave now.”  There’s never going to be a perfect time to quit our jobs, sell our house, get rid of all of our things, and take a gigantic leap into the unknown.  If we wait until things are just right, we’ll be waiting forever. 

2.  Because I actually DO know what I want to be when I grow up

Yep, unlike most of the world, I really do know what I want to be when I grow up.  It’s the exact same thing I wanted to be when I was a little girl wandering around the woods and writing poems about the sunset.  I want to be an explorer and I want to be a writer.  I damn sure don’t want to be someone who carries that around inside and never even tries.  So, this is my try.  I might fail, but I’d so much rather fail than sit in my cube for the next thirty years, dreaming of a life like this.


3.  Because we’ve got some experience under our belt

We’ve been working for awhile now, and have some job experience under our belts.  We’re both hoping that we can fall back on that experience in the event that we come back and want to pick up where we left off (Brian is more open to going back to cube-land.  I’d rather pop my eyeballs out with a spoon, but we shall see).  We also have experience weathering storms together as a couple.  I know that there are going to be times when being homeless and completely out of our comfort zones is going to push us to our limits, but we’ve been there before, and we know we can come out the other end of it. 

4.  Because, holy shit, we actually (almost) have the money to do it

Brian and I both worked through college and then worked as AmeriCorps volunteers and then moved across the country with $700 in our pockets to work some more.  While I always carried the dream of traveling with me, I never thought I’d actually have the money to do it.  When I was in college, backpacking across Europe or even taking an exotic vacation took on a mythical status in my mind, something that others got to do (normally thanks to their parents) but that I could never pull off due to my own financial situation.  After college, as we struggled to build a life in a new state, we couldn’t imagine a time when we’d be doing anything more than treading water.  But, thanks to time and a fairly frugal lifestyle, we are finally (almost) in a position to fund the dream. 

5.  Because tomorrow may never come

When I was 21, I watched as a good friend died in a car accident.  In that moment, a lot changed about my life, and since that day I’ve carried the gift of knowing that anything can happen at any time.  In my friend’s honor, I try to live without letting fear cast a vote in my decisions.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed.  If you have a dream, chase it now.


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca January 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Great post – good on you for just doing it! Look forward to reading as you head out on the road!


Kim January 8, 2011 at 8:36 pm

@Rebecca Thanks! I just checked out your blog and will be following you as well. It looks like you’ve already had some pretty grand adventures!


Torre (@fearfulgirl) April 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Beautiful and insightful as usual.


Kim April 9, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Thanks Torre. Appreciated as always.


Lisa August 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Kim, I agree whole heartedly. Both of my parents died far too young. My mom at 53 and my dad at 59. I am now preparing to head out on my third expat life adventure, teaching overseas. You have to live your dreams and do what you love. Life can be far too short. Enjoy your travels!
Lisa recently posted..Stalag 7a Prisoner of War Camp; Stepping Back into My Grandfather’s Time


Kim August 7, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Thank you Lisa. The only silver lining to losing someone you love is the constant reminder that life is short and not guaranteed. I hate that I had to learn that lesson at such a young age but it has shaped my life.


Mike March 20, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Just as with your other post that I read today, this is truly inspirational. It makes me even more confident that I’m making the right decision in teaching abroad and following my dream of adventure instead of playing it safe and following the norm. Every once in a while a doubt will creep into my head about whether what I’m doing is right, and when that happens I’ll be sure to re-read this!


Kim March 20, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Mike, I’m so glad that my posts can help you in those moments when you start to wonder “what the hell am I doing?!?” (Trust me, I had a MILLION of those before I left). Stay strong. I really don’t think you’ll regret taking this time to do something adventurous.


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