Vado: Adventure Choices

I’m really happy to have a guest post from “Vado” of Vado Porro talking about how she and her husband are discussing how they can incorporate adventure into their life. One of the things I really love about this post is looking at the process of deciding the role that adventure will have in your life. (I’m also a little astounded to hear how 3Up Adventures played a small role in kick-starting their conversation about adventure.)

It seems apt that I would write a post about whether or not to quit our jobs and go off on a grand adventure with my husband on Beth’s blog, because the fact we’re even thinking about it at all is totally her fault.  See, awhile ago, Beth posted a review of The Way.  Which I immediately added to my Netflix cue (and found my husband had put there himself) and we finally sat down and watched it earlier this summer.

When we shut it off, we sat there, and then quietly, one of us said, “we could do that.”  And the other person agreed.  And one of us said, “we have the money,” which is also true.  We have a comfortable amount in savings, due to not doing irresponsible things like quitting our jobs and hiking all over Europe. *  And then one of us pointed out that we don’t have kids yet.  And that we don’t have a house.  And we don’t have that much furniture we really like.  And that we’re both potentially interested in leaving our jobs sometime in the next year or so, and one of us really needs to have a good excuse to quit, and a solid deadline.

*Editors Note: Irresponsibility is all relative

Once the hangover of the movie wore off (which took a good week), we kept researching.  The biggest road block is that we haven’t found the right trip yet.  It has to be epic, and awesome, and not too expensive (we have the money but we aren’t bazillionaires).  This can’t just be, “we quit our jobs so we could take a three week vacation to New Zealand” or probably even, “we quit our jobs and went around the world”.  Those seem too easy.  It also can’t be “we raised thousands of dollars for a worthy cause by making our friends finance our vacation,” because I’m lousy at asking people for money and my friends don’t have very much of it.

The time frame we are looking at is relatively short – either 2 or 3 months.  I’m in a wedding in August, and I have to stay at my job through May.  Going next fall is possible, but unlikely, given the timing of other things.  This means something like thru-hiking the AT or the PCT are both out.  It means that an around the world journey is out.  It means that things like cycling cross country or up and down the pacific coast or across Canada are still possibilities, or backpacking through Europe or hiking across England.

It can’t just be an ordinary vacation.  In fact, the point isn’t to go on a vacation.  The point is to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that shapes our marriage and gives us awesome stories to tell our children.  The point is to challenge ourselves as much as possible and give ourselves an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and what we can accomplish.  Ships are safe at harbor, but that isn’t what ships are built for.  If we were ever going to go further, do more, see more, now is our opportunity.

So what is keeping us from taking the leap?  Well, taking this chance means putting off having kids, which is pretty high on the priority list.  It means giving up our jobs and our awesome apartment and taking a huge leap of faith.  It means thumbing our noses at our families, who will surely not approve of anything that involves us quitting our (very good) jobs.  It means giving up benefits like health insurance, which means that having children moves even further into the future.  It means a lot of risk, and a possible limited reward.  It’s a risk that is worth it for the right epic adventure, but that could also be a very wrong choice if things go wrong .

We haven’t come to any conclusions yet.  But we’re both still researching and pushing forward towards an unknown future, so I think that even the journey to find a journey is going to teach us more about ourselves than we expect.

4 Replies to “Vado: Adventure Choices”

  1. I read this with great interest because my husband and I went through this exact thought process about a year and a half ago. We too thought that before kids was the perfect time to go on an adventure for 2-3 months. We were planning to take unpaid leave from work (my job allows it with enough notice and we were pretty sure J would be able to work something out as well). We planned possible locations that would combine serious adventure with relaxation, thought about the money, possibly subletting our place etc.

    But you notice I’m speaking of this in the past tense. The trip didn’t happen. But it wasn’t because of choosing responsibility over adventure exactly (though I guess it kind of was) – but one time, when I brought up the trip to discuss where to go yet one more time, it dawned on me that I just wasn’t excited enough. I was bringing it up not out of excitement but out of “we should really figure this out”-ness. He wasn’t that thoroughly excited either. And to take 3 months unpaid leave from our jobs and travel? That requires true excitement.

    We realized that smaller adventures suit us better for now. I hope we don’t live to regret that choice but I think that even having gone through that thought process will keep adventure in our minds and on our agenda.

    All the best as you make this decision – and no matter what you decide, I bet you guys will have an adventure-filled life!

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