For those of you who know us, you can read this and laugh, roll your eyes, or just skip ahead. For those of you who don’t know us, we are a couple of individuals (and also…well, a couple), both San Francisco natives, who are taking a leap away from the comforts of home and are attempting to spend a year traveling the world together.
Jeff is a social worker for a non-profit organization in Oakland, California. His previous travels to Europe, South America and Asia, along with being a (sometimes) avid reader, have given him the travel bug and planted the desire to see more and do more.
Mari has found a fulfilling career as a speech-language therapist for a private practice in San Francisco. She is content with the life she leads and in all likelihood would never have dreamed about doing something like this. One of the many people who are happiest when surrounded by friends and family and everything familiar, she is trading it all in for a new lifestyle and what is sure to be the adventure of a lifetime. She is hoping to open her mind and learn all she can about the world, humanity, and herself.
From His Mouth
I was 5 years old when Ralph Hinkley inspired me, sending my previously held life path careening off on a tangent to be 26 years in the making. All of my dreams up to that point, created in those optimistic infancy years and forged throughout all of toddlerhood, seemed somehow irrelevant. “Irrelevant” might not be the correct word, but it’s the first to come to mind. And I guess, technically, it wasn’t Mr. Hinkley himself who inspired me, but rather it was hearing how he felt daily that motivated my desire to feel it too. For of course, Ralph Hinkley was the Greatest American Hero and his feelings— immortalized in song.
“Suddenly I’m up on top of the world,
It should’ve been somebody else.
Believe it or not,
I’m walking on air.
I never thought I could feel so free-.
Flying away on a wing and a prayer…”
Could you blame me? Who wasn’t moved to give up their comforts, their feelings of contentedness, but also their trappings—for the pull of excitement and of freedom.
The song also displays a sense of fortuosity not seen since the likes of “The Happiest Millionaire”. This being said, the two of us feel extremely fortunate to be in positions to temporarily leave careers we love, to be able to expand our world, and to know we’ll eventually be returning to amazing family and friends. Ralph, if you’re still out there, thank you.
From Her Mouth
“So are you excited??!” has been the typical conversation starter ever since we announced our plans to travel the world. Because of the magnitude of this journey and the hype surrounding it, I’ve felt obligated to say “yes”. And of course this is true. Of course part of me is excited, but really most of me, is scared sh*tless. I guess I could liken the experience to skydiving. You decide to do it. You go through hours of training and preparation. And then you jump (unless you’re me and freeze and get catapulted out by your tandem instructor after screaming “No!!!” when asked if you were ready). You realize that this is absolutely crazy, but there is no going back. You love the freefall, despite the bugs flying into your mouth and the fact that you can hardly breathe. You just pray your parachute opens. Floating down being able to see for miles is both peaceful and exhilarating. And when you touch down onto the ground, you can hardly wait to do it all over again. A pretty basic analogy that could likely be applied to many things in life, even life itself. There are so many things about this trip that scare me (too numerous to list), but despite all of them, I am going to do this. I think I owe it to myself to take this incredible opportunity and hopefully get more out of it than I can possibly imagine. Thank you to my amazing friends and family who have supported me in my decision to take this journey. The second our plane takes off, all those moments of hearing the question, “So, are you excited??!” are going to be answered. YES!!!
The original thought behind having a website was for us to chronicle our travels and serve as a journal to look back upon. However, in preparation for the trip, we came across dozens of similar websites that attempted to do more. After weeks and months of research and preparation, we decided to give it a try. It is our hope that this site will be a way for us to document our trip from two varying perspectives, to stay in touch with those at home, and to serve as a reference for anyone who might decide to follow suit and do some world travel on their own. Hopefully, it will be an honest guide and roadmap of sorts, of what to do and what NOT to do, things we’d like to remember and those we’d like to forget, as well as a way for those at home to follow along and see the world as it is, according to Jeff and Mari.