After traveling full-time for 3 months, this is what I have learned. We set off in September to sail the Greece Island with our own private sailboat. In October we took the car and headed off on a road trip from Paris to Portugal – driving along the coast and mountains of France, Spain, and Portugal. In November, the flew to Taiwan to start the Asian leg of our journey. We’re currently based in a small town called Dulan know for it’s surfing community. The town itself is set between lush, green mountains and the sea. Sounds amazing right?
I’m so grateful for this experience and the opportunity to actually leave everything behind in order to go on this adventure. Do I regret leaving NYC and quitting my job? No. Am I happy to be here? Absolutely! However, in addition to discover beautiful places and interesting people, I am uncovering certain things/challenges that I didn’t know before we embarked on this year journey.
Here are my honest learnings from my 3-months on the road:
1. Learning How to Chill Out
In NYC, it was my job to anticipate challenges and plan ahead for scenario A, B, and C. It’s hasn’t been that easy to turn that part of me off. My sense of operational excellence has gone into a bit of an overdrive during our trip. I’ll spend hours researching restaurant reviews and reading blogger recommendations. In addition to this, I’ll even look up prices in advance and figure out how to get there before even stepping outside. For example, I’ve already figured out how to get around the entire Philippines ( I know what ferry, what bus, what boat) before we’ve even stepped foot in the country. Add to that developing partnerships, and I’ve just created a full-time job for myself. Unfortunately, I forgot to pay myself.
2. Giving Yourself Time to Adjust
After our sailing trip to Greece I was exhausted. I couldn’t really understand why as most of our days seemed to be spent exploring islands, swimming in the sea, and sailing on the boat. Easy right? At the end of the trip, I felt like both the sun and sea had beaten me up and I was ready to head back home to the clouds and rain in Paris. Looking back, I jumped from a high-demanding job to a high-demanding (both physically and mentally) sailing adventure. Although we were on a private sailboat, we weren’t alone. There were certain days that we spent sailing for 12 hours upwind with huge waves beating the boat left and right.
Reality kicking in – sea sick trying to hold back tears.
3. Why am I so tired?
Being in a new environment surrounded by a rich culture that contrasts to your own can be invigorating. It’s natural to want to go out and explore. However too much exploring combined with the aforementioned pre-planning overdrive and little adjustment can run you dry. Looking back we covered 8 Greek Islands (via sailboat!) + Athens in under 3 weeks. Trust me guys, that’s intense – at least it was for an office-city dweller like me. After this trip, Pierre and I decided to incorporate time in our travels to do absolutely nothing. WE don’t need to explore. Heck, we don’t even need to step foot outside our apartment, hostel, or hotel if we don’t want to. This time can be used for work of course, but most important, it’s time for us to reconnect with ourselves and each other.