Age: 24 and 25
Hometown: Portland, Maine; Burlington, Vermont
Quote: “We’ve learned to adjust our definition of wealth to mean time and not money, and this was instrumental in the final decision to quit our jobs and take to the road.”
How did you find out about Vagabonding, and how did you find it useful?
We discovered Vagabonding in The Four Hour Workweek and our tattered copy comes with us on all of our adventures. We’ve learned to adjust our definition of wealth to mean time and not money, and this was instrumental in the final decision to quit our jobs and take to the road. The book has also prepared both of us for the challenges of such an extreme lifestyle change, from financing travel to adjusting to life without the sense of “purpose” that comes with a 9-5.
What is your job or source of travel funding for this journey? We knew that we both wanted to have a “big adventure” after a few years of working, so we opened ING savings accounts shortly after getting our first paychecks for this purpose. We put money aside every month for the trip and, with no ING ATM card, the money was purposefully out of our reach. We didn’t know where or when we wanted to go, but we knew that our savings had to be specifically reserved for long term travel. Finally, we sold off our furniture and books and left our apartments in NYC and DC, knowing that any experience on the road would be infinitely more valuable than an Ikea bookshelf.
Do you plan to work on the road?
The bulk of our funds are from savings, but we take on odd jobs anywhere we can, from English tutoring to helping with website design and marketing for a small business. We think about the inevitable day when we are down to our last pennies, but our worst case scenario isn’t so bad. If we need to park ourselves in Bangkok, acquire working visas and find steady jobs, we’ll do it!
What was the reaction of your friends/family/colleagues as you planned your trip?
We’re lucky to have parents who instilled in us a love of travel and encouraged us to live this vagabonding lifestyle. There were also a lot of “we’ll believe it when we see it” kind of responses to our undertaking. We both had stable jobs and leaving all of that behind seemed insane to many of our friends. Now that we’re on the road these friends wish they could join us in the adventure!
Any tips or lessons learned from the travel-preparation process?
Don’t plan too much. We were nervous about not having a strict itinerary but we learned that freedom to go where we want, when we want is priceless! We used Rolf’s Buy It There (BIT) method to avoid toting a 50 lb. backpack through Asia. One thing we do suggest, however, is investing in a few essentials: a sleeping bag liner, a good travel towel and sturdy hiking shoes before departure.
How long do you hope to spend on the road?
Which destinations do you hope to visit?
We don’t have a strict itinerary but we just bought a Lonely Planet guide to Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei!
Which experiences are you most looking forward to?
We’ve learned that the experiences we don’t plan for are often most rewarding. An impromptu trek around the Annapurna Mountains in Nepal proved to be one of our favorite experiences and we definitely didn’t come to Asia for extreme outdoor travel. There are, however, some specific things we’re extra excited about…Sarah H hopes to get scuba certified in the Thai Islands and Sarah M dreams about touring the museum circuit in Vietnam.
What are you packing for the journey?
We left most of our favorite things behind and we only have a rotation of about 3 outfits. We admit we’re getting tired of the long skirt and tank top combo but we’re happy not to be bogged down by extra weight. We have no regrets about bringing our laptops, which make it easy to plan trips, stay in touch with family and add to our website.
Do you have any worries or concerns about the journey?
We have different concerns. Sarah H is concerned about hepatitis, cholera and typhoid and that her beloved pitbull Tyson will resent her for leaving. Sarah M is worried about Mud Coffee withdrawals and ending up unemployed and living in her mother’s basement at the end of this!
How can we best follow your adventures?
|Website: sarahsonashoestring.com||Twitter: TwoSarahs|
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