After setting off on a year-long road trip adventure across America in February, Becky and I have driven over 12,000 miles and currently find ourselves back where we both grew up: the Midwest! It was a very deliberate choice to end up here for most of the summer and you may have noticed our Gap Year updates slowing down over the past month. (Especially if you follow us on Instagram)
Hopefully you weren’t worried about us, because everything is still right on track! We’re taking advantage of the nice (although warm) summer months around the Midwest to spend time with family and friends, as well as avoid the busy season at most tourist destinations this time of year.
Below I’ll lay out a brief summary of how we got here and what our rough plans are for the months ahead.
How We Got Started
In the middle of last year (2017), Becky and I started laying the foundation for the biggest adventure either of us had ever set out on: A Gap Year!
Becky was becoming burnt out after her latest promotion and I was due to switch careers for various reasons, so we starting thinking about our options. The obvious choice was to get new jobs and continue grinding it out, but we decided to go a completely different direction.
Thanks to our aggressive savings towards financial independence over the prior ~5 years, we had a great foundation of security that opened up several different options for us. One of those options was taking a break from work altogether to leisurely travel for a while.
Thanks to inspiration from blogs like Go Curry Cracker and Travel is Free, as well as some amazing people we’ve met at FI events such as Camp Mustache, we knew what was possible. We just had to choose what our own nomadic, travel lifestyle would look like.
How We Made It Here
After many discussions and a little number crunching, we decided to make this crazy dream a reality! We both quit our jobs, liquidated the majority of our possessions, packed up the hatchback, and hit the road!
Of course, we also had to figure out healthcare, our townhouse, and a few other logistics, but we didn’t run into any obstacles we couldn’t overcome.
Since leaving Seattle in February of this year (2018), Becky and I have traveled over 12,000 miles in our car, stayed in dozens of different accommodations, and visited a large variety of cities, landmarks, and national parks.
Part of our plan all along was to spend most of the summer months with family and friends in and around the Midwest. The central location in the country makes it a perfect stopping point to take a break on our journey and the timing has the added benefit of avoiding the busy travel season across most of the country.
Where We’re Off To Next
After hanging around the middle of the country for another month or so, Becky and I will be attending CampFI: Midwest in Minnesota at the end of August. We can’t wait to see some of our fellow FI and blogging friends again as well as meet some amazing new people that are also on their own unique journeys to financial independence!
After that concludes, Becky and I will set off on the second half of our Gap Year Adventure to explore the East Coast of the US and beyond. While we haven’t booked anything yet (we tend to only commit to plans 2-3 weeks in advance), the current rough outline has us heading north from Minnesota to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, through southern Canada over to Montreal, and then re-entering the US to experience fall in the New England area.
While the exact route and destinations may change, visiting Maine, Boston, and DC are near the top of the list. We also plan to spend some time driving through Vermont and New Hampshire, possibly finding a place to stay and explore in that area.
After that is somewhat up in the air, but we do know we’ll be heading south for the winter. Other than stopping to visit friends and family in the Atlanta and Florida areas at some point, anything is possible! Maybe we’ll take an international excursion across the pond, maybe we’ll hop on a Caribbean cruise, or maybe we’ll just find a nice beach to relax on for a while. Or maybe we’ll do all 3!
One of the best parts of this adventure is that we have complete control as to where we go and what we do. If anything gets boring, we move on. If we fall in love with a place, we stay longer.
Thanks to our savings, we still have plenty of time before we have to rush back into the working world! Stay tuned for more stories, data, and updates from this amazing experience.
P.S. Even though updates will be slower during the summer, keep an eye out for our monthly spending updates! June’s spending should be coming down the pipeline in the next week or so.