I’m Domingo, a software developer and now world traveller. I like soccer, cycling, snowboarding, beer and working in my garden. My partner, Carina, a playful psychologist with a sincere interest in people, loves birds, bubbles, yoga, cycling and sharing stories. So our interests are quiet different. However, an important thing we share is our passion for traveling. This blog is about taking some time off from a regular working life to explore the world.
We are not escaping the life back home in Holland. Life at home is good. We have a cozy little house with a garden, I have a challenging job that I like, we live in a fine city surrounded with beautiful nature and we have some wonderful friends. Nothing wrong with that. But we also have a curiosity for new places. To learn about other cultures and meet new people. Being free and spending time outdoors. Seeing the days go by from inside an office isn’t exactly what I would call “being free and outdoors”. So… we could wait for retirement before starting to travel but that’s still far away and… more important, that day may never come. Luckily our jobs have put us in the position to be able to save some money to buy free time. Free time to go play outside and explore the world. To discover what it is to be out of your comfort zone and live out of a backpack for 2 years. For many this nomadic lifestyle may sound unappealing but I think it will be the best money ever spent.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
So how did this travel idea start?
After some years of spending the holidays road tripping throughout Europe, it was time to see some other parts of our beautiful planet. In 2008 we planned a 6 week backpacking trip to Indochina (Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam). 6 weeks! We felt like true long-term travelers! But soon after we landed in Bangkok we discovered that lots of people were on the road for months. Or even a year! Compared to that we were just on a long holiday! But we loved the backpacking adventure and from that moment we were infected with the travel virus.
After we got back we started to think of ways to have more free time to go traveling. I reduced my contract hours from 40 to 36 so I could save up some free time. But still this wasn’t what we really wanted. Before our Indochina trip we had composed a list of places we wanted to visit and came to the conclusion that, having only a couple of weeks of holidays a year, it would take many years to visit them all. We realized we needed another approach to make our travel dreams come true. It all got started when Carina asked me “Why not take a whole year off to go traveling?” Sounded like something impossible at first but soon we made a plan to save money. And I got my employer’s permission to take a year off.
This was mid-2009. In the meantime I was offered a new job. Not just a job but a very good job with one of the coolest software companies in Holland. Dilemma. I told them about our travel plan because that was an important condition for me to take the job. Fortunately this was no problem at all. And in the end I even managed to get 25 months of unpaid leave… (Did I mention it is a cool company? 😎 )
Some posts that will get you started
- Hello World! – Introducing this website
- The Master Travel Plan – A (very) rough outline of our planned itinerary