On July 5th 2015, we left Phoenix with one-way tickets for London. The goal is simple; go as far as we can and see as much as we can with our modest budget. In 2012 we backpacked through Europe over the course of 2 months; we had no experience, no equipment, and no idea how to travel effectively and stretch a small travel fund. At the end of that trip, we saw 8 countries, met countless lifelong friends, and learned more about the different European cultures than any Anthony Bourdain episode on Netflix could ever teach us.
After returning we made a pact that we would venture to the EU again, travel slower, and be more mindful of our time in each country. Improvisation and the idea of not planning every detail is paramount in our travel experience… often it is best to allow a place to unfold in front of you and navigate as the situation dictates. We’ve dreamed of this trip for ages and jumped at the opportunity to travel long term when Chris was booked to play a music festival in the United Kingdom for July 2015.
While deciding to follow our hearts and travel felt easy at first, it slowly became more difficult as Jaime left her job she loved, we began to say goodbye to friends and family, and left our cat with family. It’s surprising how you can feel pulled in two directions: a desire to stay in the comfort of a life you worked hard to build pitted against the desire to explore and see the world. We slowly sold the majority of our belongings over Craigslist and gave away the rest in the weeks leading up to our departure, but we left the whole process of “leaving” until the last minute. Our lease ended on July 3rd, and we worked at the apartment until 4am that morning loading our (seemingly) few possessions and getting rid of the rest. It seems that there are a million little things that need to be wrapped up before you can leave the country for an open-ended trip: ending leases, utilities, gym memberships, insurance policies, canceling cell phone services, yoga memberships, medical policies, and internet services was just the tip of the iceberg… every time one item was crossed off the list it seemed like another would take its place.
After an exhaustive week of wrapping up loose ends it was finally time to move out of our apartment, and without the help of our friend Rob we would have never gotten it done in time. Lesson learned! It takes more than one day to move out of an apartment (even if it’s tiny) and there are a lot of tough decisions to face. After working all day and night, exhausted and sleep deprived, we finally handed over the keys to our apartment and prepared for our trip abroad.