RTW {digital} dinner party

by Kim on February 29, 2012 · 15 comments

Our friends Bethany and Ted over at twoOregonians are hosting a {digital} dinner party– and we’re invited!

What’s a {digital} dinner party? Basically, it’s an opportunity to mix and mingle with other world travelers– digitally!  You can find the backstory here.

Meet and Mingle:  Hi, we’re Kim and Brian, two 30-somethings originally from Ohio.  For the past eight years we’ve been living in Portland, Oregon.  We’re completely in love with the Great Northwest.  

In 2009, we hatched a plan to sell our stuff, quit our jobs, and set out on an around the world adventure.  Three years later, we’ve sold our stuff, our jobs have been notified and our trip will begin on May 22, 2012.  

We’re not sure exactly where we’re going or how long we’ll be gone.  We do know that we’ll spend June-August, 2012 road tripping the U.S., visiting friends and family, and backpacking around the National Parks.  In August we fly to Quito, Ecuador.  We’ll overland through South America, reaching Buenos Aires, Argentina by Christmas.  In January, 2013 we’re headed to India.  After that, Nepal?  SE Asia?  Europe?  We don’t know yet.  

Kim and Brian at Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon

What we’re bringing to dinner: I (Kim) am a terrible cook.  Brian is a bit better, but we don’t want to subject you fabulous guests to our unappetizing meals.  Instead, we’ll bring the beer!  We won’t bring just any beer, we’ll bring the best of the west– some fabulous Oregon microbrews.  

You may have noticed that Brian wears the same shirt 98% of the time — he is a minimalist!

Table Talk:  We definitely have a lot to discuss, especially because most of the other guests are already traveling, and we’re on the brink of leaving.  We love to hear stories and advice from those who’ve gone before us.

Without a doubt, Brian will always converse about the universal manversation: sports. Football, futbol, basketball, baseball, rugby- it doesn’t matter.  Somehow, Brian knows a bit about it all.

I love to talk about my three loves: running, reading and writing.  

But, since we’re at the table with traveling couples who inevitably understand the highs and lows of leading a slightly unconventional life, I’d love to talk about the things that touch us deeply: setting aside career, home ownership, and children to seek a bit of freedom at an age when we really feel the pressure to settle down.  What does it mean to do the “right thing”? What do you think your life will look like five years from now?

Thanks for the invite twoOregonians.  Follow the rest of the #rtwdinner party here.

 

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany ~ twoOregonians February 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Kim, so glad to have you join the party and bring up thought provoking topics of discussion for our fellow travelers…

You ask a challenging question.

I remember answering “What will you be doing five years from now?” when I was living in New Zealand in 2004. I wrote something to the effect of, “Trying my best to return to NZ…” At the time, five years seemed like eons, and I was so confident that I’d be able to coordinate my life to accommodate that wish. Turns out, five years after that was three years ago: and I was certainly trying my best to return to NZ, but not yet close enough to buying the ticket.

Together, Ted and I have so many hopes and dreams, but we’re not at all sure how they could possibly weave together into reality five years from now. Travel and writing and exploration; bringing truth to people, refusing to settle for average; being open to possibilities and free to pursue them. Then again, five years is half a decade, and so much could morph and change in that time…

We love being free to pursue possibilities; we love the comfort of roots.

We want to have children and grow a vegetable garden on soil that belongs to our community; we want to engage with far off lands.

I suppose the answer is this: we will pursue “the right thing,” as you say, even if it appears quite different than others’ expectations. Five years from now we will be pushing on possibilities and trusting in Guidance. And hopefully hosting dinner parties and sharing life with fine, fine company willing to encourage us and share our dreams!

Very interested to hear others’ thoughts on this…

Thanks again, Kim, for living candidly and sharing your experiences with others! Cheers, Bethany

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Kim March 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Hi Bethany. I think that’s all we can really do- pursue the “right thing,” even if it is different than we imagined. Brian and I also have so many dreams, and they seem like they are so varied that we could live three lifetimes and not see them all come alive. I try to remember that, as Oprah says “you can have it all, you just can’t have it all at once.” I try to remember that the next step will always present itself (the right thing) and I just have to be brave enough to take it.

Thanks for your amazing insight.

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Shirlene & Jeremy from Idelish February 29, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Great RTWDinnerParty post, guys! We both still have full time jobs and have always dreamed of selling everything, quitting our job and traveling the world. We know it takes a lot of courage to do what you’re doing so kudos to both of you for taking that giant step! Since we’re not traveling full time, we don’t have advice to provide to you for what you’re about to do. All I can say is that you’ve already made the hardest decision. Everything from now on should be smooth sailing :)

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Kim March 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Hi guys!!! Thank you! Are you thinking of taking the leap to full-time travel? I agree that so far the hardest part has just been committing to the decision. Once we did, everything else eventually fell into place.

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Bisa February 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm

For the past 20 years my answer to that question has been working for a company that offers advancement opportunities blah blah blah. The so called “right thing” For the first time I’m excited about the next 5 years. I’ve started my savings plan. I’ve set a date. In the next 5 years I plan to be exploring the world and enjoying life on my terms. Reading your blog and others has made me believe that the right thing is following what is in your heart.

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Kim March 1, 2012 at 8:00 pm

YESSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot tell you how happy this comment makes me. One of the big instigators of this trip was the moment I realized that I could look into the future and see exactly what it held- good job, middle class, children. It’s a nice life, but I wanted… I NEEDED, more. I am so, so, SO glad that I have had just a tiny piece in helping you realize that the “right thing” is following what is in your heart. I believe that with everything I am and more. A MILLION GOOD LUCK CHARMS TO YOU.

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Tran February 29, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I have a few thoughts on your question. The decision to travel long-term was something we also struggled with for exactly the reasons you mentioned. How will we save? Will we ever own a home? What about children? What will we do when we return? Like so many others in the travel community, we chose to break free of our old lives so that we could pursue possibilities we consider to be more meaningful. Through our online business we’ve been able to use the skills we have and hone others so that we can prepare for the life we ultimately seek. If you believe that you can realize the things you want–meaning, security, family–even on an unconventional path, the decision becomes less about “what” and more about “how.”

Glad to see you two at the dinner party. Didn’t realize your trip will be coming up so soon!

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Kim March 1, 2012 at 8:02 pm

11 weeks until we depart- so soon!! The future is still murky- how will we make money? Can we really make a living doing what we love? I am learning to be comfortable with the “what ifs” and to love the process. The future will work itself out. As long as I make the true decision and work hard I have faith that things will fall into place.

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Andrea and John March 1, 2012 at 3:21 am

Yay! It’s a beer party – we love any craft beer and hardly ever get to have any American ones. Huge congrats on your decision to quit your jobs and travel – you won’t regret it. We did a few months in South America last year as part of our RTW sabbatical and loved it! So much to see there. Good luck =)

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Kim March 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Ohhhh man, I wish I could sit down and have some Oregon craft beers with you- they’re the best!

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Sarah Somewhere March 1, 2012 at 6:08 am

Wouldn’t it be nice to sit down with all those RTW travellers and hear their take on those questions?! But I guess this is the next best thing! Very much looking forward to sitting down to a paneer curry (do you eat cheese?) in India with you!!! :)

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Kim March 1, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Heck yes it would!!!

Sarah… do I eat cheese?!??!! Whaaa haaa haaa. Short answer: YES!

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A Cook Not Mad March 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm

We’ve never had a conventional life, both 45, no kids. We actually sold everything and sold our business one year ago (March 15th). We’ve pretty well been living out of a backpack since then. I’ve stopped trying to answer the question “where will you be in 5 years”, because no matter what I answer, I’ll be exactly where I’m supposed to be.

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Kim March 2, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Yep, good point. If you live authentically then you will always be where you need to be. I hope. I think. Right?

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