You’re doing what? Why?!

A lot of people have asked us why we’re taking this trip and my response is usually “I’m not quite sure how it happened” followed by a nervous giggle. I honestly can’t quite recall how it went from being an idea to a reality…but I’m glad it did.

We’re certainly not running away from anything here. I like that fact; it almost makes it feel more special. We know we have a great life! I’ve left a job I love, working with fab people, and we’ve given up a home we were settled in. Newcastle is such a fantastic city and we feel as though we’ve really made the most of our time in the ‘Toon’. Most people leave a job or home because they’re fed up and in need of a change. I figure we’re pretty lucky to be leaving on a high with lots of great memories.

There’s never a ‘right time’ to make big decisions like this. Change is scary. I think most humans inherently don’t like change! I’m certainly usually one to take the safe option and am generally pretty change-averse while Ali is the risk-taker in the relationship. Together we keep each other right and (more or less) in balance! In practical terms we’re mortgage-less and don’t have any little McFowlers yet so it seemed like a good idea to just ‘go for it’ and take the plunge now. So we are!

One of the most appealing aspects for both of us is the idea of going ‘back to basics’. Life is so busy for us all in the modern world. Don’t get me wrong, technology is great and we take full advantage of all it has to offer, but it does mean we never seem to ‘switch off’ and relax properly. Some people manage it better than others, but we’ve not mastered it just yet. Our trip is not going to be easy; we will face huge challenges along the way but essentially we ‘just’ need to walk, eat and sleep every day. We’re hopeful that this simple living will help us to realise how little we actually need to be happy. We’ll be taking time to enjoying all the simple joys we encounter each day.

We’re also going to see some of the most spectacularly breathtaking scenery in the whole world…need I say more?! For the Geography geek within, this is very exciting. We’ll experience all but one of the major eco zones in the USA, including the things Geographer’s dreams are made of – volcanoes, uber cool rock formations, hot springs, toxic acid pools, incredible waterfalls…just WOW!

So, here we are with a less than a week until we depart on our big adventure and I’m feeling unnervingly calm. I’m usually such a worrier and expected the final few weeks to be anxiety filled so it’s quite a pleasant surprise to feel relatively calm and collected. I’m taking it as a good sign that we’re doing the right thing. I know the goodbyes won’t be easy but I promise we’ll look after each other and we’ll be back before you know it.

Thanks to everyone for all your support and encouragement – it means A LOT!