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The Countdown

“2 ½ months!” The realization jarred me out from the warm comfort of my bed, or should I say couch, and into the sub-zero temperatures of my basement. Every day I’d been groggily rolling out of my, err… couch, and counting down the months until the fateful day I start traveling full-time.

18months….12 months…8 months…. Time slowly passed as I fell into a routine; work, save, plan, and countdown. So much time that the whole trip seem unreal; step by step I walked down this dark tunnel of routine, no freedom and no end in sight.


2 ½ months was real though! 2 ½ months was only 10 weeks! 10 weeks!! Finally after 18 months, I saw light at the end of the tunnel. BAM! As this became real, a flood of mixed emotions swept over me. It wasn’t what I was expecting.

The first emotions that hit me were sheer excitement, and I’m going to confess, an oversized helping of pride. In 2 ½ months, all the blood (literally, I suffered at least two horrifying paper cuts in this quest) sweat, and tears (all caused from the paper cuts) would be at an end. No more 7 day, 100 hour work weeks. More importantly, in 2 ½ months, I would be on the road; free, alive, and exploring our vast unpredictable world, figuring out my path, and taking in every experience it threw my way. The realization of my dream would be accomplished.

I’m not going to lie; when a wave of sadness rushed in to mix with my excitement I was surprised. The trip had just become real and also the fact that in 10 weeks I didn’t have a freaking clue when I will see me family and friends again. They all mean the world to me, and I’ve sacrificed so much time, more than I should have, with them because I’ve spent the last 18 months working my ass off. Soon I’ll be gone and unless they find a way to come and visit I won’t see them for at least two years.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit, the next wave of emotions was sheer panic with a side of nervous breakdown. My mind started thinking so fast it overheated; killing hundreds on my already limited brain cells (Which is my excuse if this post has any grammar errors).

I wasn’t freaking out about leaving, but I couldn’t stop my mind racing though the millions of questions that were going through my head. Have I saved enough? Have I planned enough, or planned too much? What do I need to do before I leave? (Insert an endless list here) Do I have the balls for this type of life? Now, I don’t want you think I was having doubts. I can honestly say I’ve never once doubted this path. I just have so much left to do and only a small amount of time to do it. It’s a lot of work to start a new life. As weird as it is to say, essentially that’s what I’m doing.


The only answer I have to what drives me is these three powerful little words, when linked together hold can change the course of a life.

“I don’t know”

“I don’t know” why I’m sacrificing this life, but I do know every fiber of my being is screaming that it’s the right thing.

“I don’t know” what awaits me in other countries, who I’ll meet, and what adventures I’ll go on, but I do know I’ve never been so excited to find out anything in my entire life.

“I don’t know” what I’m looking for out there, but I do know the path I’m on and the drive I have, will lead me to it.

Everything inside of me says traveling full-time is right. Inside, I feel the need to wander this beautiful world, to push myself, and discover my limits. Inside, I need to wander crowded markets where I’m the only person who speaks English in Italy  or anywhere else in the world, to get lost in foreign cities, and to climb far away mountains. I don’t why love these things, but they’re what I love the most.

From the first time I laid eyes on a foreign country, I knew this path was laid out before me. As I reach the end of the tunnel that I’ve walked the last 18 months, a new chapter of my life is starting; a chapter with endless possibilities, adventures, and experiences are on the horizon. My whole life has been building up to this moment; and though the next couple of months will be full of goodbyes, sadness, and more tears than I’ willing to admit; I’m ready to step out of the tunnel and into my new life.

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30 thoughts on “The Countdown”

  1. dude i totally envy you – I miss the days where I got a crazy flood of confusing emotions about travelling – it’s heaps of fun.
    Fear is just a signal that you’re adventurous enough to be stepping outside your comfort zone!

    Looking forward to seeing where it takes you bro!

    1. Thanks mate! Yea it’s a strange mix. It’s all excitement at the moment. 2 months and one week from today 🙂

  2. The “I don’t know” moments and mild freak-outs are totally natural before a big trip. In fact, I think it would be strange if you DIDN’T experience them!

    1. Ha! Your completely right! I’ve never doubt what I’m trying to do, but I do have those “Holy crap I really doing this” moments a lot these days.

    1. THANKS Gillian! I can’t wait to see where both of our bump, fun and amazing roads lead. It’s adventure time!

    1. Thanks Freya. I think the downs you have in traveling just remind you how good the ups are 🙂 Hopefully we meet up sometime on the road.

  3. wow- 10 weeks! that is SUCH a REAL amount of time! it usually takes me longer to get through a book! haha. enjoy and cherish your time left at home, and get prepared for the time of your life! cannot wait for stories! 🙂

  4. Awesome bro, we can’t wait to get to that point!!!
    I imagine the night before your mind will be just spinning. All the very best of luck on this trip we call life!

    1. Ha I think my mind is spinning already, everyday I get more and more excited. I’m still in shock it is so close.

  5. Ha ha, I think the panic and wtf moments are completely normal. It is such a big step to take. But once you have set foot on the plane and arrived in your first destination you will be sooo excited that all the fears will soon disappear again. Looking forward to following your travels!

  6. That freedom you mention sounds so nice. Any long term travels definitely come with this flood of conflicting emotions. Can’t wait to read about your journey out of the tunnel!

  7. congrats on the soonness of your trip it will be a blast and don’t worry we all get those same emotions before a big trip!

  8. Great post!! Glad I stumbled along this! I am about to do the same….I have 7 weeks to go! I have never been so excited in my life about what I will experience, who I will meet and where I could end up 🙂

  9. Hi Stephen! I can totally relate to your panic! Less than 10 days until my boyfriend and I head off on a 6-month adventure of our own. My big meltdown came on my last day of work on Friday… anxiety, stress, sadness. You name it, I felt it. I hope that you have a fantastic start to your limitless adventure! Your enthusiasm and energy will be your greatest asset. 🙂 Maddie

  10. Hey Steven, I am so proud of you for doing this and following your dreams. Just know that we all miss you at home and pray for your safety. Johna misses you too. Love you!

  11. I just re-read this all post and I just wanna say: whoa, look where you are now! It must be humbling and very interesting for you to go back to this page and look back at how much things have changed in your life 🙂

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