I never backpacked across Europe. I never went away to university. I didn’t even move out of my family home until I was almost 30.
There are tons of reasons I never experienced travel and independence in my twenties, and the same amount of longing to experience it. So now as I settle down, getting serious with my forever boyfriend, talking about home ownership and watching my friends get engaged one after another, it feels like the calm before the whirlwind of life.
Josh (my partner) on the other hand did all of these things. Every time a movie pans over the picturesque landscape of some beautiful country, he can say he has been there. Me? I was too cheap (and loved shopping too much) to save up for such trips- so I settled for all-inclusive $800 vacations over and over again.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a good ol’ beach vacation…but when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. So while Josh longs for the chance to sit on a beach and experience what it’s like to eat and drink as much as you want…I crave adventure.
I binge watch the Eat-Pray-Love-Under-the-Tuscan-Sun-travel-romance-movies, daydream about being a second-chance woman jumping across the globe, and idolize the personas on my instagram newsfeed who travel to magical places, teaching yoga or something equally idealistic.
Don’t get me wrong, my life is good. I am happy. I am connected to my spirituality and my clients and my love. But the reality of a regular life looms. I’m like a Canadian Bilbo Baggins, only with cuter feet.
I want a family. I want to say vows to the man I love. I want to settle down and have a house and a backyard. Those things are important to me, and I am excited beyond belief for them. But, I am also realistic about the lovely all-consuming nature that these goals will have on me and my life.
So when the conversation came up last week about doing the shit you’ve always wanted to do, this was mine. It’s like the life-goal version of how I eat at all my favourite takeout spots every night before I move to a new neighbourhood. Soaking in the last bit of experience from this phase before moving on to the next. Now is my chance.
Are there reasons I should not commit to this cross-country road trip? Sure. Tons. Like how a vacation to the best resort in Tulum at the same time of year would cost half the price (dammit, Jordana!). Or that I should save for something more practical.
But there are also a ton of (ok, more important) reasons why I should say yes. Namely that I will have to break the habit of living an unnecessarily extravagant lifestyle and learn to live on a budget with a financial coach watching.
Last year, I donated 7 bags that I didn’t really like and couldn’t believe I bought. While I love the experience of shopping, it made me sick that I could have bought something I loved for the same price as 7 shitty things, and been way happier at the end of the year.
Going on this Bare All Road Trip is kind of like that. It’s choosing to give up lunches at Whole Foods and waking up early to avoid whirling into Starbucks for a stupid expensive last minute coffee.
At the end of my life, looking back, will I ever remember that organic quinoa salad, or standing in line for caffeine in a crisp white paper cup? Umm, no. I want to do things that make future me proud. And this trip is definitely one of those things.