The decision has been made. Riley and I are going to leave our jobs and travel the country. The difficult part is over. Or was that the easy part?
Now we have to break it to our parents.
Surprisingly, Riley’s parents were on board before Riley could even finish the question. My parents, on the other hand, didn’t react as well.
“Ты что, с ума сошeл?” my mother asked me. This means “Have you gone crazy?” in Russian.
8 months later, they’re still uneasy, but they accept my decision and understand that it’s no longer their job to make decisions for their 25 year old son. Especially one as free spirited as me.
Once our parents were informed, Riley and I needed to decide when to quit our jobs and drive off into the sunset. After some discussion, we settled on December. This would allow me to obtain my goal of reaching Senior Accountant with my firm and permit Riley to complete the current school year and work a few temporary jobs during the Summer and Fall to save up for the voyage. In early May Riley broke the news to her principal that she would not be returning for the 2014-2015 school year. Before I knew it, October rolled around and I received my promotion. Shortly after, I informed my audit teams that I would be leaving the firm in 2 months, giving them plenty of time to brace for my departure.
While I was wrapping up the last few months of working as a public accountant Riley had been working as a substitute teacher/server/babysitter/dog-sitter/tutor to beef up her bank account. To save money, she moved back in with her parents while I signed a dirt-cheap lease to live with 6 foreign exchange students in a house barely large enough to fit 3 people. Despite an 8 by 8 foot room and 1 refrigerator among the 6 of us, I’ve grown to love this place and (most of) its multi-lingual tenants.
Although spontaneity is a crucial aspect of a trip like this, some planning needs to take place. Formalities like health and auto insurance, an expiring car lease and what to pack need to take place. Dating a girl who’s been making to-do lists since age 3 makes planning this trip a cake walk for me.
After little deliberation, Riley and I agreed that we want to take our time during this trip. We want to relax and acclimate to the culture of each destination. As such, we agreed to spend at least 3 months in each location. We also decided that we want to travel domestically. Having both spent many a vacation traveling abroad, this would be a good opportunity for us to explore this magnificently large and diverse country we call home.
Our first destination was an easy choice. A city that everyone seems to fall in love with. And one that neither Riley nor I have been to. San Diego, California. 70 degrees and sunny year round. That alone had us sold. Especially since we’ll be commencing this adventure in the heart of winter when the rest of the country will be blanketed by snow. Living walking distance from a world renowned beach won’t hurt either.
We should arrive in San Diego around January 15. What happens in between? Take a seat, buckle up, and enjoy the ride folks.