“LET’S JUST QUIT OUR JOBS AND TRAVEL AROUND FOR LIKE, A YEAR” my girlfriend said as we discussed going on vacation. “Are you serious?” I asked. “Yeah, OK. Let’s do it.” And that is how it began.
This type of trip would require money, and lots of it, so we began saving. We didn’t set a date right away, because we had no idea how long it would take to save the amount of money we would need for this adventure. But it would take a while. We both worked two jobs for a period, and even moved in with my mom to save on rent.
We didn’t splurge, we didn’t go out to eat, we lived minimally, and we saved. After nearly two years of this, we decided to get married, and naturally this trip we had been planning became our honeymoon. We used a honeymoon registry instead of the traditional registry list, so anyone wanting to give us a gift was invited to pitch in to our honeymoon fund. This gave us a much needed funds boost… The trip became real when we bought our plane tickets. Not too long after that, we quit our jobs, and there was no looking back.
There were some naysayers who didn’t understand how we could spend so much money on a trip, and tried to convince us to put a down payment on a house instead. We had two counterpoints to this line of thinking — first of all, this wasn’t just a trip — it was the experience of a lifetime, and one we would never be able to repeat (at least not in the same way). And while we would like to buy a house one day, this was not that day. The way we saw it, homeowners don’t actually own their homes, and we have the rest of our lives to be in debt to a bank. We were never more sure that we were doing the right thing.
The next 10 months were spent traveling through 20 countries on 4 continents. We racked up numerable unforgettable life experiences, and learned much about ourselves, and each other, along the way. Upon returning to California, we were jobless, homeless, and broke, but thankfully not in debt. We started the next chapter of our lives as husband and wife from scratch, and both began new careers. Though we had very little money, we were rich indeed.
To see more of my photography on Instagram, follow @shawnparkin, and for more photos of our honeymoon around the world, check out #parkinworldtour .