It was all one big gamble. The national elections just ended in America. There is a sense of relief that the bombardment of media and issue jousting has been laid to rest – for now. There may be disappointment that a particular candidate or issue didn’t win, but the opportunity was there and the game played out.
One day I’d like to be in another country long enough to witness with knowledge and connection how their government works, elections are held, laws are made. This longing for an expat immersion rests for the time being as family, house and community here in San Diego take precedence. Spending time with travelers who’ve lived overseas or traveled extensively keeps my longing at bay. I’ll stoke my world wide travel dreams until the odds are in my favor and I join the expat community.
One couple, Pat and Wayne Dunlap, have been in the process of selling their home in order to return to the road. In the past few years they’ve visited over 100 countries, traveling high style and modestly. Their adventures have materialized into a new life direction that’s more home based. The home sale has paused as they are in the midst of creating a travel show for a local TV station. It will pull them into the world again. You can read about their exploits in the great book: Plan Your Escape, where they share how to travel the world for less than it costs to stay home.
Another couple, Doris and Jacob Gallan, did sell their home and celebrated their 25th anniversary with a year long world exploration, that turned into five and led them as well to new careers. Doris has always been a writer. Jacob turned his teaching talents into leading English As A Second Language (ESL) classes. After being home to promote their books on travel and the Baby Boomers Traveling site, they’re at it again. Doris is currently working on marketing for an eco-resort in Vietnam and Jacob is teaching ESL again. That adventure will keep them in Asia for at least two years. Long enough to closely observe their community and local government in action.
There’s no need to be a couple or retired to travel far and long.
Chris Guillebeau began his quest to visit every country in the world before he was 35. While married, his wife helps to manage their publishing and event business (based on his travels and writing) from home. He’s a solo traveler but not alone as his following connects whenever he has enough lead time to let them know he’s coming. While his travels are inspiring, what’s more so is the livelihood he’s sculpted from it and that’s led to his most recent book, The $100 Start-Up and new courses designed to help others find their own financial freedom.
Sherry Ott left her corporate career in New York City to travel the world for a year. She’s been gone for six. Ambition has led her to write (Ottsworld.com) and take pictures which helps fund her wanderlust. She’s also created a travel community in North America as the co-founder of Meet, Plan, Go – the program determined to put a career break on every resume. This last year ten cities held intensives with local travel experts coaching, prodding and inspiring travelers to go. I hosted the San Diego group.
Exchanging stories with travelers keeps my nomad instincts alive. Over the last two years the Travel Well meetup has held monthly meetings with travel experts, shared meals and stories. It’s led to further connections with other groups. Besides Meet, Plan, Go, I’m now the co-host of Travel Massive San Diego, where local travel writers and industry pros are getting together. Many of the conversations gleened from those gatherings have found another home, The Gathering Road Podcast on the Womens Radio Network. For a few minutes each week I sit down with expert travelers and get into what got them going and continues to fuel their passions.
My expat longings are flourishing and dreams are finding focus. That’s still satisfying at least until I can turn the odds in my favor and finally just go.
What are your travel dreams and how are you making them come true?
Elaine J. Masters
Travel writer, San Diego co-host of Travel Massive. Travel ease books and audio at: www.Drivetimeyoga.com