Before You Leave

The decision to do this thing is made. Now what?

My family is planning a large get-together in Bangor Ireland for July 2018. Excellent, by chance we have a potential starting date!

Except by February or March those plans change. Elections, finances, the difficulty of coordinating 4 children, their spouses and their children. The trip is postponed to 2019.

A blessing in disguise. We have no idea how to go about planning a year long work trip. Where do we start?

Hi..Operator…Do you know where a pirate can start planning a long-term trip? Take my money…

There is no step-by-step manual for planning to travel and work for a year. At least none I could find.

There are plenty of digital nomads and books on the topic but few seemed to discuss the process of leaving. Most of the written works out there focus on what to do once you’re travelling. How to make the Digital Nomad “lifestyle” work for you.

Plenty of tips for working and travelling at the same time. Very little on how to leave with your life in some kind of order. Especially if you’re married, own some property or have accumulated a bunch of stuff to fill said property with.

It seems many digital nomads are already minimalists long before they start travelling. Few have accumulated many belongings or responsibilities like property. Frankly, most seem at least ten years younger than me too. This would have been better to do ten years ago!

Despite working for a company that is completely remote and has no physical office. It seems that Jenny will be the first to actually attempt a year long digital nomad existance. That’s crazy right?

Where do we travel? What’s our budget? How much sightseeing do we do? How long should we stay in each place? What do we bring?

What do I have to do now while I can because I won’t be able to do it while I travel? Professional Development Credits. Dentist. Doctor check ups. Etc…etc…

Who do we tell we’re doing this and when do we tell them?

What do we have to do in Canada before we leave?

Who do we need to see before we leave?

What do we store? Get rid of?

What do we do with the condo? The car? What about insurance? Health care? What happens if once of us gets sick?

Why are there so many damn questions? Why can’t you just pick up and leave? Shouldn’t this be easy?

I got 99 problems and why my beard is going grey ain’t one.

Procrastination and Excuses

If not July, when? What do we do first? Where do we start?

It took me years to build up a clientele in person. If I leave now and want to coach when I get back, it will take me years to build it back up again.

I’m not retiring am I? That’s not what this is.

How will my clients survive in my absence? Ha! As if I’m that important…

I really like them. What if they hate me after I tell them?

Your rational brain kicks in with a million questions; It constantly suggests this is a bad idea. This is a recurring theme in my brain for most of 2018.

If you’ve ever thought about long-term travel, all you keep coming up with are excuses. First hand, I can say this is normal. I’m used to it after a decade of excuses.

It’s the same for any big life moment. Moving a long-distance for a job or a relationship. Moving in with someone. Getting married. Having kids. Whatever…

It gets worse with age. I craft more excuses in the last year than I did in the previous decade. Most people I’ve met become less and less adaptable the more and more settled they are.

I’m convinced practice is the only way to get over it. If you’re not periodically pushing through your fears, anxiety and excuses, are you really living?

I have a brilliant client who told me once he has routinely forced himself to make dramatic changes every few years. Not because he has to, but because he knows it’s good for him. It has to be something that challenges or scares him a little. It can’t be an easy change or you fall victim to your own routines.

I’m incredibly impressed by his youthfulness, despite being twice my age. He has a fresher approach to life than most people my age. I want this attitude when I’m his age. His ability to keep things interesting, fascinates me. It fights the feeling of staleness.

This staleness scares me more than long-term travel. I’m ambitious and I’ve been feeling stuck in a rut lately. Things have become too routine. I decide to use this as the counter-argument for future excuses.

What’s the worst case scenario really? It’s okay not to have all the answers, you can figure it out as you go.