aboutWe are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
Browse by Travel
Browse by Food
the pre-world trip freak out

My dental assistant told me last week, as she poked a pointy object into my back tooth, that I am so lucky.  After letting her release my jaw from its unnatural position, I responded, "I'm sorry - why am I lucky?"  She exclaimed, as if it was obvious, that I am so lucky to be traveling around the world for a year.  I half-heartedly mumbled something positive, but felt confused.  Despite my continued belief that I am someday going to win something by regularly playing scratch-off lottery tickets, luck has had little to do with this trip.

As most long-term travelers will tell you, our world trip is the result of the painstaking planning of our financial, career, and personal goals.  For the last year and a half, every time we went to Target, we would ask ourselves, "Do we really need this item or will it just gather dust in our storage facility?"  We started building our pre-trip checklist about three months ago and have whittled it down from 165 items to just 34 things left to do.  And, now, we are less than a month away from the big trip!
Given that we have spent years considering the trip from every possible angle, you wouldn't think that I would be unable to sleep at nights, worried about what we are doing and how we are going to do it.  I remember vividly the last time I was this nervous: it was the night before I took the bar exam when my brain refused to turn off, sorting every concept I learned in my three years of law school.  By no means is world-travel as arduous as the bar exam but it feels just as scary, unknown, and consequential. 

A large part of who we are is related to what we do --- our jobs, our studies, our plans --- and ambition has etched itself into our personalities.  I have always defined myself as a student or a lawyer; Patrick has been continuously employed since he was 16.  We aren't spring chickens, either.  At age 30, married couples are "supposed to" have a secure career and a beautiful home with frolicking children in the backyard.

Instead, we are leaving our puppies who we love dearly, all the people we care about, all the comforts we are used to, for a life containing nothing more than what we can carry on our backs.  Don't get me wrong; my brain and heart know that we will love every moment of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  But, my stomach disagrees.  As we keep reminding each other, we are just crazy enough to be quitting our stable, satisfying jobs in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression---when 1 in 10 people are unemployed, mind you---to ramble about the world.
It helps knowing that developing a dense pit of nerves before embarking on a trip is common amongst long-term travelers.  I feel a bit like I did as a child when I walked to the edge of the high diving board and stared into the yawning space between me and the blue water, while silently praying that I didn't land badly. 

On Friday evening, when I walk out of my office, I will be unemployed.  On Saturday afternoon, we give our keys back to our landlord and will be homeless.  In three weeks, we will take a deep breath and jump.  No belly flops, please. 

* Photo credits Jose Font, Rick Raymond

08/24/2009 23:39
I absolutely hate the "you're lucky!" comment like no other! I used to get it when I traveled all the time on my own (which I still do a good bit), funding my own excursions, and then continued to after I veered into the travel writing profession. It's like, right, because determination, persistence and talent had NOTHING to do with it--sure it must have all just been luck! So I totally hear ya =)

And I always want to respond to those people, "YOU could save enough for a year on the road, YOU could get out of your comfort zone and see the world, YOU could make it happen. No one else, but YOU can make your own destiny!" (Cheesy? perhaps. True? for sure.)
Camels & Chocolate's recent blog post: Who Let the Dogs Out?
08/25/2009 00:10
Chetan Sankar
I have been telling about your trip to our relatives at India and they are totally with it. Not one person has questioned me and nobody said you were lucky to be doing that. They are just excited about the idea and wish you the best. May be the Indian psyche takes these things and change more casually compared to me. Who knows.. each time I drive around in Chennai, roads have changed and large IT buildings prop up where there were fields.. therefore, they might be more used to rapid change.

Love, Dad
08/25/2009 01:46
You're about to embark on a major adventure, and leaving everything behind is only the beginning of the journey. Regardless of the little moments of 'freak-out', you sound like an organised person. Enjoy :)
08/25/2009 09:23
Like Camels & Chocolate, we always hear "how lucky" to be traveling around the world. It really does get old after a while. Fortunate, yes. We have our health and our family is healthy. But, it is really hard to leave stability and a good lifestyle behind for backpacks and insecurity almost each and every day. Handing in our resignation letters and giving up our apartment were the hardest things we've had to endure on this trip. Once you're out there, it all falls into place and you meet other people who have done the same or understand.

Good luck with these next few weeks! Once you're on the road the excitement of the present will replace the craziness of this time.
08/25/2009 12:56
I can completely relate to this post. Luck has very little to do with long-term travel (or any type of travel)! Hard work, planning, diligence, sacrifice, and daring to dream are among some of the qualities that come long before luck even enters the picture. Like Camels and Chocolate mentioned, I always want to respond to people who comment how lucky we are by pointing out they too can do the same thing...they just have to be willing to take that first step off the diving board. :)

Congrats on your resignation! And good on you for having the foresight to resign three weeks before your departure. Our last days at work were on a Friday and we were on a plane the following Friday (after a whirlwind week visiting family in Ohio, New York, and Maryland). When we go on our next RTW, we'll definitely be taking off more time before we leave! It will make tackling that To Do List much easier. :)

Good luck in these next few weeks! And as silly as it may sound, savor them as much as possible. There's nothing quite like that moment before a RTW begins. :)
Jessica the hedgehog's recent blog post: Roller Coasters and Traveling
08/25/2009 13:41
Oh I get the lucky comment all the time too!It's basically the premise of why I built my website: to try to show others that travel is more about hard work than luck.

Nonetheless, I try to take it as a compliment when I get those comments. Not everyone has the personality, perseverance or strength to do these things. In that sense you are lucky that you are able to look at the big picture and make these travels happen, things that some other people just can't fathom. Does that make sense?
08/25/2009 15:21
Ahhh, the liberation of being purposefully unemployed and dedicated to traveling the world - does life get any better than these moments?! Enjoy them!!
08/26/2009 08:20
How freeing!!! But obviously I totally understand the freaking out - I cried a little right before I got on the plane :-) Can't wait to start reading about your adventure - it's gonna be grand!
08/26/2009 13:50
Agreed with all the sentiments above - it's not luck but the result of effort...and lots of it!

I think everyone has a bit of 'the freak out' at some point. Right before the flight, a day or two after, but it usually breezes over once you get busy traveling :)
08/27/2009 10:10
These are all such great comments - I am sad that I have been so busy this week that I didn't have a chance to read through them earlier. These comments remind me of an article a while back on Get Rich Slowly about Making Your Own Luck (http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/01/29/how-to-make-your-own-luck/).

The premise of the article is based on a psychological study by Professor Richard Wiseman relating to why and how people classify themselves as "lucky." His theory is that there are four attributes that make people "lucky" and they are all within the control of the individual: (1) lucky people notice and find opportunities; (2) they listen to their hunches; (3) they persevere in the face of failure; and (4) they can turn bad fortune into good fortune by focusing on the positives. As Wiseman puts it, "[luck] is a state of mind --- a way of thinking and behaving."

Stephanie, I never thought of our "mission" as bloggers --- but perhaps you're right. By demistifying travel, in essence, we spread some "luck" around to others who think that they can't travel because it requires too much money or time or effort. As Kristen put it, long-term travel can be for everyone if they are interested in dreaming and working toward that goal.

And, thanks everyone for the encouragement. As we've gotten closer to moving day, the freak-out is subsiding a bit. :)
Akila's recent blog post: the pre-world trip freak out
08/27/2009 10:29
I think the adventure sounds fantastic. I think people are just trying to say they envy you having the wherewithal to plan such a thing and execute it. I can't wait to follow your travels.
08/27/2009 11:19
I've decided that one of the best things about the blog world is the ability to be incredibly excited for a complete stranger. :) Reading your post I'm filled with joy for the both of you, nervous worries and all. It's gonna be awesome!

I can only repeat what has been said before. The 'luck' comment is used far too often by others. It as if they think someone dropped a large bag of money on our heads and said go travel. As you described so well, there is so much involved. It is hard work and requires financial sacrifice. We aren't longterm travelers, but with making the decision to live abroad, our frequent travel and a month long trip coming up I can relate to those comments. The one I dislike the most though is "must be nice". That one makes me really angry as if I'm a spoiled child. I'm so glad there are people out there who know and understand otherwise. :)
Lori's recent blog post: Simple Coconut Chicken
08/30/2009 23:29
Akila - you totally captured everything we are going through right now :)
We are 5 days away - getting butterflies BIG time, but are so excited and ready!!
08/31/2009 11:20
Thanks so much MarthaandMe and Lori! I agree, Lori, I love getting excited for people I only know virtually. :) Lori, I can't wait to read about your next trip - I am sure it will involve lots of delicious food.

Manali and Terry, good luck! Hopefully we'll see you on the road.
09/01/2009 10:39
Oh, Akila—we understand so much. My wife and I have the exact same thoughts and concerns — and we're still over 18 months away. In fact, I'm printing this post off for her right now. Thanks for sharing. These kinds of posts are really very helpful!
09/03/2009 19:45
Thanks Daniel! The good news is that the fears and freak out are subsiding as we get closer to the trip as are to-do list becomes smaller. I am sure you will have the same experience.
Akila's recent blog post: hana: this is hawaii
09/05/2009 07:34
What a great post. I feel tremendous guilt for having left a fantastic job at a time when so many people are struggling to find one. I have spent the last 5 years working like a maniac to save for retirement and be mortgage free and now I'm just letting that mentality go for awhile - liberating but scary! Good luck with everything!
mina's recent blog post: a few from before...
09/11/2009 10:15
Thanks Mina. I have that same guilt. Patrick acutely feels it because he is working in a great job with a company he loves, so taking off for a year seems incredibly selfish and foolish. But, I know that both of us are going to have an amazing time.
09/22/2009 10:09
Vinay Gangoli
It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything. - Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

That quote is probably a little extreme but its the first thing that came to my mind when I read your post. I don't know about the lucky part, but you are definitely courageous and adventurous.
09/22/2009 21:11
Thanks so much Vinay. It is a strange form of courage that we have --- and now that we are doing it, we both feel a little silly that we were so freaked out.
06/09/2015 06:48
Its sounds to Maine such as you are a unit overdosing, and so changing into paranoid and having panic attacks (don't worry, it's happened to most smokers). After I say dose, I do not mean you are going to die, that's not possible, I simply mean you are smoking an excessive amount of, and too quick. There are several chemicals in weed, and a few of them cause psychosis. Sure strains area unit speculated to be less liable to psychosis, however, that is laborious to manage. When the primary two occasions it happened, you may are afraid to smoke once more, and that is what created you trip dangerous the third time.
09/06/2015 05:38
Good amazing
Thanks for sharing :)
Nitro PDF Pro 10 Crack
06/23/2015 22:44
07/29/2015 02:45
how Relaxing!!! But I completely understand the freaking out - I scared a little right before I got on the plane :-) Can't wait to start reading about your adventure - it's gonna be great!
08/11/2015 09:05
thanks for sharing dragon city cheats,dragon city hack tool,tool dragon city for dragon city to get it now than visit here.
08/26/2015 11:32
Hi buddy, your blog' s design is simple and clean and i like it. Your blog posts about Online writing Help are superb. Please keep them coming. Greets! online marketing company china by Gladstone Morgan
08/26/2015 20:08
jack lucky
Thanks for sharing. These kinds of posts are really very helpful!

09/03/2015 01:58
yeah it was such an awesome blog that i have updated.. :)
09/03/2015 02:24
Our website is number 1 in Case Study help, Case Solution & Case Analysis Help. Feel free to contact us to get your case studies done.
09/03/2015 02:45
Remote Object Programming Assignment Help is provided at ProgrammingDoc.com which is Number 1 website for Programming Homework Help and Online Programming Assistance.
09/03/2015 04:04
This is really great work. Thank you for sharing such a useful information here in the blog.
09/06/2015 05:36
Good amazing
Thanks for sharing :)
Nitro PDF Pro 10 Crack
09/07/2015 08:35
You're going to set out on a noteworthy experience, and abandoning everything is just the start of the adventure. Notwithstanding the little snippets of 'monstrosity out', you sound like a sorted out individual. Appreciate :)
home automation control systems
09/09/2015 01:53
In case of maintenance required or repair services you can call the experts from garage door service Ottawa as they can handle complex nature task easily.
09/11/2015 07:08
DTS london
It's when we've lost everything that we're allowed to do anything. - Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

That quote is likely a bit amazing however its the first thing that struck a chord when I read your post. I don't think about the fortunate part, yet you are most likely gutsy and daring.
London CCTV installations
09/12/2015 01:33
Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of presentation.
09/16/2015 05:39
That was an really impressive post and thanks for sharing this with us.
09/20/2015 05:27
hi everone niee blog and specially your reviews are great thannks mice post admin .Windows 10 Loader And Adobe Dc Crack
09/23/2015 00:48
Finance Dissertation Help Finance Assignment, Finance Dissertation Help Finance Homework and Project of financial management Finance Dissertation Help Finance is a vast academic discipline, which comprises on many different fields.
09/23/2015 01:54
Marketing Papers Assignment and Online Homework Help Marketing Papers Assignmentinc.com is one of the largest service providers for all types of marketing assignment related to all types of students.
09/23/2015 02:47
Security Issue Java Assignment Help, Online Java Project Help Security Issue  In earlier chapters of this book, you learned that untrusted apple s are constrained to operate in a "sandbox."
09/23/2015 02:59
Parcel tracking is offering you one of the best services to track your parcel. They are offering superb tracking services to the customers.
09/23/2015 04:49
Great Information,it has lot for stuff which is informative.I will share the post with my friends.
09/23/2015 05:33
Scatter Plot Stats Homework, assignment and Project Help, Scatter Plot Help After mathematics came into being the way people used to handle things changed.
09/23/2015 05:36
Laser hair removal Agoura Hills is throwing some extraordinary and attractive deals in front of you to get rid of all the unwanted hair for long time. Through laser treatment for removing hair, millions of people are gaining confidence and happiness again. Just stop that what you don’t want to see in economical price.
09/26/2015 05:55
Really this is very good website for world and thanks for share it.
Microsoft coupons
09/30/2015 01:06
I love to surf the internet and the main reason being is the knowledge I get from posts such as this.
09/30/2015 02:45
The unique platform of design dubai will undoubtedly create the perfect website for you that will surely enhance your business prospects.
10/01/2015 00:59
The Monetary System economics Help
Thanks for Nice and Informative Post. This article is really contains lot more information about This Topic.
The Monetary System economics Help
10/01/2015 01:13
Science Channel’s are giving a complete knowledge to its viewers about every thing students write done dissertation on this subjects and show its importance.
10/01/2015 01:11
Matlab Assignment Experts">Matlab Assignment Experts
Science Channel’s are giving a complete knowledge to its viewers about every thing students write done dissertation on this subjects and show its importance.
10/01/2015 01:32
My friend recommended this blog and he was totally right keep up the fantastic work about homework help
10/01/2015 01:45
Online Medical Homework Help
Mike Jasson is an academic writer of the Accounting Assignment Help. Who writes quality academic papers for students to help them in accomplishing their goals.
Online Medical Homework Help
10/06/2015 00:23
This site and the resources you provide is really nice keep it up.
10/06/2015 09:35
Ptv Sports Biss Key
wow ,Really this is very good website for world and thanks for share it admin .
10/08/2015 01:12
As always, i have gotten to love all your post. keep it up!
I represent Mysmslive247.com. we are africa's leader in tele-marketing services. Among the services we offer are :

bulk sms

gsm database

voice sms




Cracked softwares

bulk sms in nigeria

etc. Find below some of our web properties









10/08/2015 05:43
Finally, with some skill, research, and a bit of luck, it is usually a fantastic way to make your money function for you.
10/10/2015 00:28
really love this types of work. thanks admin keep it up. all done in favorable condition.
system mechanic 14 full crack
10/10/2015 05:47
Deon Terrell
Selection process ongc recruitment:
There will be a written test conducted at first, followed by physical test and driving test. Upon clearing these fields, the final step is an interview that the candidates will be required to take.
10/13/2015 00:34
Love this article, admin you have strong grip on writing pattern, easy to understand. appreciate your work

Avast Crack
10/14/2015 15:37
Great you did an awesome work and also download candy crush soda for laptop for window 7
10/28/2015 00:19
Wonderful blog! This is very informative site. I am totally pleased by your excellent work. Many thanks for sharing.
10/29/2015 07:23
Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences with us. Your story is quite touching and motivating too.
Research Paper Writing Services
10/29/2015 08:47
We offer Tailored cheap web hosting plans and pricing that suits your needs
10/29/2015 08:49
We offer Tailored qualitySolar street light prices in the market
11/13/2015 00:13
Thanks for sharing that post with us. I like the way you have presented facts to argue out your case. Assignment Help
11/15/2015 05:32
This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really helpful information. Keep it up.
11/15/2015 07:00
Thanks a lot for sharing us about this update. Hope you will not get tired on making posts as informative as this.
11/16/2015 05:36
Pretty cool post. It’s seriously quite nice and useful post.Thanks for sharing this with us!it’s my very first visit..
11/16/2015 05:39
I am sure this post has helped me save many hours of browsing other related posts just to find what I was looking for. Many thanks! normal testosterone levels
11/16/2015 05:42
Its very informative, interactive and quality content.
11/16/2015 05:44
Excellent post,because we have shared here.
11/16/2015 05:51
An interesting and inspiring article. thanks for information. I appreciate your blog its a interesting and it attract other peoples to read this blog.
11/16/2015 05:53
So very wonderful. I want to take this opportunity to say that I really love this blog.
11/16/2015 06:11
Great blog I am really liking the styling and color scheme Excellent post share with us and this blog is impresses more people to reading that blog.
11/17/2015 02:50
Really this is very good website for world and thanks for share it.
11/26/2015 05:23
Hi admin great work at your web.
11/26/2015 07:10
Hello man, Here is great stuff I am thankful to you for giving us the great platform.

*Email (won't be shared):
*Image text:
To personalize your comment with a picture, get a gravatar.