Jason and I have both been in college for over 10 years. As you can guess, this is enough to make anyone a little nutty. The assumed next step for both of us is to move immediately into long-term careers and settle down, but during the last 10+ years we’ve had too much time to dream of what we would rather be doing. We have both dreamed of escaping the ivory tower, of finding adventure, and of being self-sufficient, independent and free of 9 to 5 obligations.
My academic advisers thought I was crazy… at first. Now, they are among the most vocal of our supporters. One of Jason’s supervisors had a similar dream before starting his career: to travel Europe for a year with his wife. He didn’t do it though, the lure of a job too tempting, and he’s regretted it ever since. We refuse to live with that regret – we are going to take our dream tour!
The truth is, if not now, when? The other truth is, anytime. Too often, we make decisions based on what we’re supposed to do and what career path we’re supposed to take, always saving dreams for “later”. In the past year we’ve decided not to wait, and to trust that somehow things will work out when we return. We’ve been saving money for the past year, and even on graduate student salaries we have enough to fund the tour and to survive for a few months after the tour concludes.
Our goal is to craft a worthy story, and hiding out in an ivory tower has narrow appeal. We’re taking to the streets! Hopefully, we’ll inspire at least a few people to try something new they never considered before. At the very least, we’ll have an interesting bullet point on our resumes when we get back.