18 May The Next Chapter
“What are your plans?”
“What are you going to do now?”
“What’s the next big step?”
“Are you applying for any jobs?”
“Where are you going to grad school?”
You graduate college, and without a moment to think, you are bombarded with questions from others of what you should do next. We completed a huge step in our lives, but the majority of people are already fast forwarding through to the next chapter. There’s no time to relax or experience the world. Instead, you are supposed to know exactly what you want to do, when to do it, and how to do it as fast as possible. But who says you are ‘supposed’ to do that?
We are doing the complete opposite.
Chloe and I have talked about this trip for over three years now. Earlier today, Chloe was telling me her memory of when we first started discussing this trip. She met me in the parking lot at the university where my car was broken down (not a surprise to anyone). It was springtime and I was meeting with my advisor to jump back into school after a year off, and Chloe told me she wanted us to go on a big trip together. “Why not?” I replied, and we tentatively started planning our adventure, both wondering if it would ever happen.
Planning a trip three years in advance is hard. You never know where life is going to take you, and who or what may come your way. Money is always a big question – will we have enough? Can we save enough? Will we both be in a position to leave for a long time to explore parts of the world? The answer to all of these questions, of course, is yes.
Fast forward three years, and we have the weirdest relationship ever. We live together, work together, hang out together, and go to family functions together (duh, we’re cousins). Some people call us BFFs – but we’re more than that. We’re blood. And as time got closer to graduation, we decided we could actually do it. We could actually save up for an adventure and go anywhere that we wanted to.
We weren’t sure how long we would be gone for. It changed from one month, to two months, to three months, to an unknown amount of time. At first, we had to be home for Christmas. At first, we would be gone for just the summer and come back in the fall. Slowly, it started changing when we realized how much of the world we wanted to see. We agreed to jump into this adventure with 100% of what we have (of ourselves, and with our money). Life is short, right?
At the end of July, we are boarding a plane from Missoula, MT to Reykjavik, Iceland and from there to Ireland, and after that it’s a mystery to us… Our next chapter beings – and we can’t wait to see where this story will take us. Without a return ticket, or end date in sight, we’re open to the endless possibilities the world has to offer.