We are off now for almost 7 weeks already and currently traveling Indonesia. This means that we are close to a quarter of our travel time. I don’t think we can repeat it to ourselves enough, times really flies!
Now I also blame myself (it was my task) on having waited so long to write our blog post on objectives. It would have saved me the embarrassment of confessing that we are already behind. Never mind, it is never too late to realize dreams. Partially met objectives are still better than not trying.
So here we start. Our objectives are on paper already for some time. We took reflection time prior to departure to think through what we, individually and as a couple, wanted to achieve during this 6 months break. Here is the list:
‘On continuous learning path’
• Learn diving (possibly complete advanced) and do 25 fun-dives
• Try or learn something new every day
• Maintain blog every week (this one particularly is a challenge)
• Read 1-2 books per week
• Explore 20+ business ideas and job fit
• Michael specifically: progress in French (become fluent) by the time we return to Lausanne
‘For our bodies and souls’
• Meditate 20min a day
• Exercise minimum 30 min per day
• Do something every day for a better tomorrow (e.g., beach cleaning, plastic bags ban, sponsoring local activities, etc.)
‘Ways of traveling’
• Use as little air transport as possible and privilege land transport (bus, train)
• If it happens that we travel in difficult conditions, we should do it with patience, humor and positive attitude
Very few things are more thrilling for us than traveling without a plan (for the last 2 weeks, we were only booking the next destination 1-2 days prior to it). Being off-peak season makes it even easier, as plenty of accommodation options are available on very short notice. This is very different from how we were used to traveling, planning every single day from back home. The drawback is that planning while you travel can distract you from experiencing the place and the moment fully. For now, this was not too much of an issue as our days have been very busy, diving, exploring, biking and walking the wonders of Bali and Lombok. We aspire however to slow down our pace, to move from ‘wanting to see everything’ to be happy with less and letting the days surprise us with more serendipity.
I read a book that inspired me a lot and influenced my mindset getting into the traveling mode. It is called ‘Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel’ from Rolf Potts. The author shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended travel and gives practical advice on choosing destinations, adjusting life ‘on the road’, handling travel adversity and re-assimilating back into the ordinary life. More than an action plan, it is an outlook life that emphasizes creativity, discovery, and the growth of the spirit. It has influenced a lot of our decisions so far, and I am grateful to have a chance to read it beforehand. Credit to an awesome thoughtful colleague who offered it to me.
“Wanting to travel reflects a positive attitude. You want to see, to grow in experience, and presumably to become more whole as a human being. Vagabonding takes this a step further: it promotes the chances of sustaining and strengthening this positive attitude. As a vagabond, you begin to face your fears now and then, instead of continuously sidestepping them in the name of convenience. You build an attitude that makes life more rewarding, which in turn makes it easier to keep doing it. It’s called positive feedback, and it works. Vagabonding is a way of facing those fears, and beginning that feedback process.”
–Ed Buryn, Vagabonding in Europe and North Africa (1971)