How NOT To See The World

A big thank you to Adele for sending the following quote from the book Dream, Save, Do by Betsy and Warren Talbot:  “The longer you invest in your current reality–with your time, attention, money, and habits–the harder it will be to pull up stakes and make the changes necessary to live your dream. Don’t kid yourself that you’ll do it later. A dream deferred is a dream denied, and a smarter person than me coined that phrase.”  (It was Langston Hughes.)

This is a wonderful quote, and I just had to go to their Web site, Married With Luggage, to read about their experiences.  However, what I found was your typical “wandering nomad” travel blog describing a lifestyle that few, if any, of my readers would care to emulate.  They describe a lifestyle unrelated to the goals of  those who don’t want to throw everything away and start anew but simply want to add a dash of curry to a not-very-spicy lifestyle.

Betsy and Warren Talbot are two 30-somethings who got tired of chasing the big paycheck, quit their jobs, and sold all their worldly possessions.  They put a pack on their back and left home to see the world and have been doing just that for more than a year.  They are not sure when (or if) they will return, and their answer to the question “What will you do for work when you get back?” is a not too comforting “We really don’t know.”

This may sound exhilarating, but the reality is that many professionals, myself included, like our jobs and our life.  We might want to make some short-term changes, and we are not averse to adding a bit of adventure to a daily routine that is getting too predictable, but we are not ready to pull up stakes and leave everything behind.  When the excitement and hoopla of an overseas posting is done, we want to return to our home, friends, family, job, and paycheck.  For most of us, the response “we don’t know what we’ll do when we get back” is totally unacceptable.

This is the reason for creating this blog and my book.  Although my wife and I have lived and worked in dozens of countries we are most definitely NOT wandering nomads roaming the world aimlessly without a financial safety net.  Instead, my writings describe how to take working vacations–overseas postings for those who want to work and play in an exotic locale but have neither the ability nor the desire to leave everything behind.  I blog for people who would love to take a short-term sabbatical but do not want to quit their current position. I write for professionals who want travel options that do not require permanently kissing family and friends good-bye.

My wife and I have seen and done as much, if not more, than the Talbot’s–we have lived and worked from Bhutan to Borneo, Mongolia to Mauritius, Turkey to Tibet.  The difference is that I accomplished this without having to sell my home or quit my job, a job that I love and cherish.  I think that it is I, not the Talbot’s, who drew the long end of the travel straw.

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8 responses to “How NOT To See The World

  1. I would love to teach abroad- I have done so before we had kids, but with 4 kids 7 and under I’m having a hard time finding teaching positions that will allow the children to do the homestay with me. I have an MA in Teaching ESL, and so finding the job for me is easy…. and I would love to put the kids in a local school/camp while I teach. But so far I’ve had no luck finding a match. Do you address this in your book?

    • Yes. I spend about a third of the book talking about 1) how to find these types of positions, and 2) how to travel safely and easily with young children. We only had two kids, and our first working vacation was when they were 7 and 10, younger than yours. But that does not matter. A working vacation is not only a transformative experience for the adults but for the children as well. (See my blog post, Do It For The Children.)

  2. Hello Otherguysdime,
    My wife and I have found a way to support the wandering nomad lifestyle by helping the travelling educator.
    We provide logistic support for short term Study Abroad programs in which the teacher creates their own program. I advertise this as “Teachers earn two weeks in Greece”
    I enjoyed your recent article in Wandering Educators and thought you may want to write an article about faculty members creating their own courses involving travel, if you haven’t done so already.
    My program is at http://www.ParosParadise.com/ParosLearning.htm
    or please email me direct for more information.
    Cheers,

  3. I believe you may have missed the point of our website and did not spend much time exploring if your only take away was “your typical “wandering nomad” travel blog”.

    We fully I appreciate that our lifestyle is not for everyone and we have clearly stated as such through all of our website, our posts for the last 3 years, and even our description. Our decision to travel around the world was based on a goal to live our dream after facing the reality that life is short.

    Our goal with our website is to focus on helping others to see that life is short and give them the encouragement and guidance to live their dream life. Whether that is starting a business, retire to follow a passion, or travel around the world.

    If all you got from our website was a “typical” travel blog then I invite you to return and spend some time reading our posts and engaging with our community. What you will find is a group of people with a wide variety of interests and dreams and a design to Live the Good Life.

  4. Michael, I understand your points and it IS a very different approach. In their defense, it can be difficult in the corporate world to negotiate a leave of even 3 months. “All or nothing” might just be the only way to commit to your dreams of world travel, however long you choose to go abroad.

    Having said that, I don’t think they have been irresponsible. They planned and saved for a long time, and they budget every penny while they travel. Now they’re generating passive income from their ebook. They’ve taken great risks, but they were calculated within their comfort zone. At the end of the day, it comes down to living your dreams, and being comfortable with the risk required to go after them.

  5. I’m touched the quote spawned a post! 🙂

  6. i think that when you find a job that you love, you’ll do anything to combine those loves (travel, and your work). and, i think it can be rare for people to love their jobs. obviously, in academia, we’re VERY lucky!

    • Jessie, I agree with you that there are a lot of people who do not love their job and might be happy to “chuck” everything and head out to see the world. But the audience I am blogging for–professionals such as teachers, doctors, nurses, engineers, scientists, business owners, financial specialists–more often than not have a rewarding job that affords them a good deal of satisfaction. They would like to take a short-term leave but don’t want to cut all ties to their current situation. That is the group for whom I am writing. And, yes, in academia we are VERY lucky!

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