“One day I’m going to buy a yacht and go off sailing around the world” my partner Ben said to me on our first date. “Cheers to that” I replied whilst silently thinking to myself that so many people make these kind of passing comments but never action them.
As I got to know him more I realised we were very similar. We both had dreams, ambitions, goals and a desire to live a life different from the norm. But most importantly we also had the courage to make the dreams a reality.
After a couple of months of dating we found ourselves spending our days off work together. Sounds pretty normal right? But instead of going to the cinema, for a meal or to the pub we were going off to explore Morocco, Iceland and Sicily.
As time went on Ben asked me to move in with him. We were very fortunate that we were both on the property ladder so when I moved in I rented out my place.
We casually talked of one day going travelling long term together and the extra income from my place and lodgers at Ben’s allowed us to save more than we had been previously.
Whilst we were fortunate in ways, we were unfortunate in others. Six months after we first met, my mother lost her battle with cancer and six months on again Ben also lost his mother to cancer.
Whilst utterly devastated after my mother’s passing, I decided to put all my energy into work. I progressed my career and landed the job I had wanted for years. I was thrilled and the additional income was helping towards my savings pot.
However, our family losses made us realise that life is truly too short. Why are we spending so much time working and saving for retirement when we don’t even know if we’ll make it that far…and if we do, whether we’ll have our health in order to enjoy it.
Let’s live for today!
We stepped up our conversations about travelling and started to discuss specifics of what we wanted to do and of course whether we could financially afford it. Countless spreadsheets later we came to the conclusion…we could actually do it!
Over the next 8 months or so we scrimped and saved, sold our cars, sold unwanted items/clothing, remortgaged our homes whilst releasing equity and found an agent to manage our rental properties. All this, whilst waiting to hear if our career break applications had been authorised by HR!
Heck, let’s face it, either way…we were going travelling!