We are raised and programmed to follow a path, an order, a way of doing things.  Well, I followed the order.  I’m 53 years old and at 21: I graduated from college, got a good job and over time, developed a successful professional career in the pharmaceutical industry.  At 28: I got married, bought a house, had a child, raised her and recently saw her graduate from college.  I am the average person who loves, works and tries to be a good human being while dealing with the challenges that life brings us.  I do not have a perfect life.  I am sometimes happy, sometimes sad, but I always stand up after I fall and try to be ready for the next learning experience.  I prefer to see the glass half full rather than half empty.  I have savings but I am not rich and I DID NOT win the lottery!

Although I have always liked to travel, I never planned to pack everything and go travel the world.  I did think that once my last husband and I were retired, we were going to take extended vacations and travel more.  Two years ago that relationship ended unexpectedly and suddenly all my life plans changed.  After a long process of rewiring my mind and heart, I accepted that maybe there was a different story for my life and not the one I had already written.

A few months ago my best friend lost her job and in one of our multiple conversations, one day I told her, “If I loose my job again (In 2008 I lost my job of 20 years due to a merger), I would take a break to travel before going back to work again.”  That was the first time I considered this idea.  I was feeling very overwhelmed at work, working many hours and my daughter was about to graduate from college.  I started looking for information on the internet and to my surprise, I learned that MANY people had done or were currently doing this. I learned that the terms “career break” and “RTW” (Round the World) existed.  Also, that you could actually take a break from your career, spend some time living in other parts of the world and come back to work again!  I learned that I could change the order of things!

I found the bootsnall.com website and registered for their 30-day program.  They promised to send an email every day with information on how to prepare for a career break and/or RTW trip.  As I started to read the emails every day, I realized I felt a rush of excitement and happiness!  I anxiously waited every day for the new email and devoured the information and all the links offered.  At this point, I seriously started to consider the possibility of doing this!

I continued my research and met Roamaroo.com, Nomadicmatt.com, Mylifeisamovie.com, Theblondeabroad.com, and many more bloggers that are currently traveling the world and sharing their experiences.  BLESS ALL OF YOU! You have been my inspiration!  I admire your bravery, your sense of adventure and your willingness to break away from the written path.  All of these people are younger than me and they have decided that they were not necessarily going to follow the “established” order of things.  They also work, earn their living, deal with life’s challenges but in a different setting!  And it is OK!

Young people usually have to save for some time before doing this, but that road was already paved for me.  I already had prepared financially for retirement, so I asked myself: WHY NOT?  The timing is perfect!  I have already worked for more than 30 years and my apartment and car leases were ending in July & August. My daughter had just graduated from college in May and she agreed to go with me on this adventure before looking for a job and starting her own life.  I do not want to wait for retirement, I want to do it now when I am still healthy and full of energy and I love the idea of starting a blog to write about our journey because I wrote a travel column for 3 years in the main newspaper in Puerto Rico and I loved it.

So I made the decision and my last day of work was June 15th, 2016.  In one and a half months we did what many people spend 2 years doing.  We planned our journey. Packed our apartment. Put everything in storage. Returned our leased apartment and car. Made reservations for the first few months of our trip, created a webpage, etc, etc, etc.

We spent the month of August visiting our family and friends and are ready to start this new chapter of our lives on September 10th, 2016.

We are so excited!! And hope you will follow us on our journey.

As with everything in life, it will not be perfect but we are sure it will enrich our lives in unimaginable ways!  I feel so blessed to be able to share this experience with my daughter and you as a reader will have the two perspectives because each one of us will be writing a blog.  “Two Experiences.  One Journey.”

So, if there is some “out of the box” idea in your mind, ask yourself, “WHY NOT?”

DON’T WAIT, MAKE A PLAN, POSTPONE NOTHING.

-MARI

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