By Deena Betcher:
A new beginning. To me, and at this moment in my life, a new beginning represents the terrifying, yet exciting decision to end one chapter and start anew – quit and travel. It also speaks to relationships. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Sounds so easy, right? Let’s quit our jobs and travel around the world. Zero responsibilities, carefree, and living the dream. Easy. To anyone that has actually accomplished this, you well know it’s anything but easy. To those that have only dreamed of this, you too, know it’s much harder than it sounds. The planning, the commitment, the unknowns. Trust me, as exciting as it sounds, it’s also extremely terrifying. I had a great job with a world renowned company. Working for Octagon, an experiential marketing agency, managing and planning events for BMW across the Western Region, we bought a house in Venice Beach — living the dream. But something was missing. I lost my lust for life. I was living to work, instead of working to live. Michael, too, felt the same. We considered our options, and come November, decided now is the time. SEIZE THE MOMENT. Our plan became evident and everything fell into place so seamlessly that it couldn’t be ignored. When will we both be ready to leave our jobs? When will we have no commitments (i.e. pets, kids, etc.)? No time is a good time, but there’s no time like the present. We rented out our house, which is what will fund our trip. Without that income, none of this would be possible. We’re blessed. The timing is finally right and we’re not going to let it pass us by again.
On the road is where Michael and I feel the most comfortable. Where our relationship grows the most. It’s home, in a way. Michael tends to struggle with the day-to-day life and has a tendency to feel stagnant – wake up, work out, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed. At home, I like to have a routine. “On Tuesdays, I’m making tacos”; “On Thursdays, I’m playing tennis”; “Sunday Funday with mimosas and football!”. However, that all changes when we travel. On the road, I become the spontaneous one. I don’t worry about how we’re getting there, where we’re staying, etc. It’s all one big adventure to me. On the contrary, Michael steps into planner mode, and stresses over transportation, accommodation, etc. I like to think that it’s because he wants to protect me and make sure we’re always safe. This is likely why travel has always been an integral part of our relationship. It’s a balance.
Similar to Michael, I’m somewhat new at this “blog” thing, with only creating one for school credit years ago. However, this blog/journal/whatever you want to call it, will be drastically different for a number of reasons; 1) It will be raw, unedited, emotional, 2) It will discuss my successes and failures; and most importantly, 3) It is my hope to inspire and instill in you the confidence to follow your own dreams. Whether it be to travel, explore your passion, gain confidence, try something new, or just be entertained, JUST DO IT! Michael and I have a real relationship (6 years) with real issues. We’re not one of those couples that have had that fairy tale past. We’re real, we’re honest, and we’re not perfect. However, we do share one true love — travel.
I wrote my thesis on Couples Adventure Travel. I’ve done extensive research on the subject and have a great deal of knowledge and personal experience. Travel has been a part of me my entire life, thanks to my mom! Then after meeting Michael in 2008, we bonded over our love of travel. Since then, we’ve explored parts of the world I only dreamed of:
2010 – AUSTRALIA – We lived in Oz for 3 months, working for Perisher Ski Resort as we started the employee exchange program with Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.
2011 – ISRAEL, EGYPT, JORDAN – Bat Mitzvah in Israel, scuba diving in Egypt’s Red Sea, and exploring Petra in Jordan.
2012 – HONG KONG, VIETNAM, THAILAND – I lived in Hong Kong working for Ketchum PR. Michael visited and we traveled through Vietnam and Thailand (read: LifeAsDeena for more on that experience).
Since then, it was the goal to travel internationally every year. Unfortunately, we’ve been slacking the past two years with quick hops to Mexico and Canada. One could say we’re making up for lost time. I recently found my handwritten journal from 2010 documenting our time in Australia. In it, the last post was composed on the flight back to the U.S.. I recall having mixed emotions — almost in tears so happy to be coming home, but also so sad for the journey to be over. I wrote, “I have the travel bug! Our plan is to come home from Australia for 2 months and then travel the world for 10.” Needless to say, this trip has been on our radar for a long time, and clearly is long overdue. However, like most things, timing is everything.
I’ve always lived by the motto: “You don’t regret the things you do, you regret the things you don’t do.” And that my friends, has never led me astray. To this day, I have no regrets. I put my heart and soul into everything I do and I intend to continue that trait for as long as I live. Travel is in my soul. Yes, of course my parents (especially my dad – SORRY DAD!), are definitely scared/nervous, but they support me through all of my crazy ideas (and I’ve had a lot over the years). Having that support system has made me the strong, independent woman I am today, and I know that this is just the beginning of the next crazy, adventurous, scary, exciting chapter of my life, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Brazil is calling….