My Perspective: A Guest Post by Lauren

Michael and I graduated from college over 3 years ago. We had been dreading the ‘adult life’ from as early as I can remember. We have always loved traveling and doing what we wanted, rather than sitting behind a desk and being told what to do. After my brother-in-law passed away unexpectedly, our outlook on life took a complete 180. We suddenly realized how short life really is.

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A few months later, Michael came to me with this (at the time) crazy idea.

“Let’s travel the world.”

Instantly, I thought he was joking. We have animals, a home and beautiful life! How could we give that up? The more we discussed it, we realized that we could actually make this happen. However, it would be A LOT of work. When I mean A LOT of work, I mean A LOT! We sold our new home, moved our belongings to storage, moved into my father-in-law’s house, etc.

It has always been a dream of mine to become a mother. I grew up in a big family; 2 brothers, 1 sister, several cousins and aunts, grandparents etc. I wanted to continue that big family feel of my own. I had an amazing upbringing. I was brought up in the type of family where if you fall and break your ass, they laugh at you. I wanted that type of family for my own. However, I wanted to make sure I did it at the right time. A lot of people I know give me the advice to wait to have children after you have fulfilled your dreams. As I’ve been told, your life turns upside down after having children, but obviously for the better. It is no longer about you, it is all about them. In order to have children, Michael made me a promise:

“If you travel the world with me, we can have children when we return.”

Michael would never feel fulfilled or satisfied in life until he was able to cross off his traveling dreams before having children. I, having a love of traveling, agreed to these terms. I get the best of both worlds! I get to travel and start a family (in due time).

People get it stuck in their mind that we are supposed to live these normal lives. We are supposed to have apartments/house payments, phone/cable/internet/etc bills each month. Sending most of your paycheck to bills you use a small percentage of the time. Michael and I got sick of it. We started to get sick of doing the same thing over and over again: working 40+ hours a week, just working for the weekend. Craving that well-deserved ice cold beer at 5:01pm on a Friday evening.

I know people say it all the time, but life is seriously too short. You have no idea what tomorrow brings. As one quote says, “Life is short. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Eat the cake.”  If I had one thing for anyone reading this to take away from this post, is to do what YOU love. It may seem unreachable at the early stages, but if you want to do it, you will make it happen! Believe in yourself. One year ago today I would have never imagined that I would be half way across the world living in Europe.

Anywho, enough about how we got over here.. more about what it’s like over here! If you’ve never been to Europe, let me give you a quick low down. Pretty much everyone smokes. Not a lot of people have tattoos. There aren’t fat people. Washing clothes is a pain because they don’t use dryers. Public transportation is amazing! Nothing is convenient like America, but the views and history make it worth it.

For those of you who don’t know, flying is my BIGGEST fear. I’m such a control freak that when it takes me trusting a pilot I don’t know or will never meet to ensure I make it off and back onto the ground safely is extremely hard for me to do. However, I never let it hold me back. I’ve never missed a flight because I was too nervous or simply couldn’t do it. I suck it up, take my Xanax, have a rum and diet to sit back, relax and tolerate the ride.

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Traveling is such an amazing thing. You get to visit new parts of the world where you have never been and a place a lot of people will never see. The opportunities are ENDLESS. You learn so much while traveling and every single country (and even city) has something different and new to offer. I’ve learned more traveling than I ever did in college. You experience new cultures, languages, people and most importantly food. The food I’ve had during my (almost) 2 months of being here, is nothing compared to American food. Every place you go to has great food and you are rarely ever disappointed. I will admit though, I do miss my favorite places at home like Harry Buffalo, Koble and Chipotle. However, I just learned that London has Chipotle and we head there next week! So I will definitely be making a stop there.

There are a couple things that I’m most looking forward to. The first one is the week we have in between house sits where we will visit Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Slovakia. 4 countries in a week sounds crazy, right? Yeah, it really is and I’m sure it’ll be a little hectic but I know it’ll be worth it. Also, we are going to the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Moscow, Russia in June which will be a whole different experience. This has also been a bucket list item for Michael so the fact that we have tickets to a game is just amazing!

One of my favorite days we’ve experience so far ended up being our 1 year anniversary. We were in Salzburg, Austria and decided to do a variety of things. First, we rode a cable car to the top of Unterberg mountain where we enjoyed a lovely lunch and some drinks. Next, we went down the road to take a ski lift up another huge mountain where we luged our way down. Finally, we went to visit the Salzburg salt mine where we were made to wear goofy outfits. Sharing the 1 year anniversary of our wedding whilst with our family in Austria was just amazing! The views were spectacular and we will be comparing all our anniversaries in the future with this one.

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Two months in, I wouldn’t change our decision to move over here one bit. We’ve already seen and done so many amazing things. It’s crazy to think we still have a good 7 months to go. Imagine all the fun stuff we will be getting ourselves into! It also gives our family and friends the excuse to come visit us, which they have already taken advantage of (especially my mom). My mother plans her next trip the second she gets back from her current one. My love for travel started with her and her love of Ireland. So, thanks Mom!

P.S. I would like to give a HUGE shout out to my amazing family. They are taking care of our adorable animals while we are fulfilling our lifelong travel dreams.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Leslie Skinner says:

    What a wonderful story. You know I’m so proud of you! Love you both! Too bad Aunt Les can’t get rid of her fears of not being in control of the plane! Haha!

    Like

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