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Wanderlust.

My fiance and I are high school sweethearts and have been dating for seven years (will be eight by the time we get married in August next year!). We are both college graduates, in our early - mid 20's and have already started settling into jobs, and that normal 9-5 life. I don't feel like I want to settle into that yet, and I am toying with the idea of instead of leaving for a honeymoon after the wedding, extending the "honeymoon" to a year and traveling around the world (or at least part of it, I'm ambitious but not that ambitious). What do you think of this? Has anybody done something similar? I just feel I need to take the "gap year" I never had!

It's a little bit fantastical, but why not.

Re: Wanderlust.

  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I think it would be very difficult to get back into the workforce, depending on your industry.
    melbelleupAjuliana
  • That is very true. I guess it's a matter of deciding if that will be worth it, though. My industry is health care so that may help a little.
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Do you have enough money saved to support yourselves during this journey?  It will probably get really expensive really fast.  What about insurance?  Do you have enough savings to support yourselves upon your return if you don't get a job right away?  Where will you live when you get back?

    Personally, I wouldn't do it.  But my DH and I work hard and are able to take several vacations a year and have done some fairly extensive world traveling, so we don't feel the need to take a year off.  We also have too many responsibilities at home.  Now when we retire, that's a different story...
    melbelleup
  • WonderRedWonderRed member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited October 2013
    After college I started off in the career thing  then quit and spent over a year  and a half working as a traveling ski instructor/lift operator all in the interest of skiing year round on free passes.  I lived on a commune for five month during that time.  I met some amazing people both here and in South America.  I grew... a lot.  I grew up  a lot too.  I found out who I am.   I was in no way, no how ready to settle into the work force and grow up in that way yet. Some of the best days of my life.  It in no way harmed my career prospects.  I went right into a good job after about 18 months and then three and a half years later law school. 

    I think it's a good thing for young people (I'm 43 so I get to call you young. :-P)  to go out there and discover themselves and get some life perspective.  I'll readily encourage my own son to do it after college. I promise you you will never look back and regret it. No one lays on their death bed and says "If only i had spent that entire year working 60 hours a week." What you are much more apt to regret is passing up the chance to go do this while you can.

    But the big question is, what does your FI think of this?  If he's on board too, then go for it.
    climbingwifemelbelleup
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    If you have unlimited time and money, go for it.  I spent a few months travelling and such between undergrad and grad school, and I'm very thankful for my experience.  It gave me a real perspective on life.  I'm also happy that I was single, that was able to stay with friends and family, that I could bartend to support myself while I was there, and that my job allowed me to take a leave of absence and come back 6 months later.  

    Like PP said, you'll need enough money to fully support yourselves for the whole year, plus a few months after unless your job will be waiting for you.  Depending on where you want to go, flights, hotels, food, and experiences are going to get very costly.  Staying somewhere is much more expensive than living at home for a year, so you'll likely need to save more than your annual income.  You'll need to be very realistic about how much money you need to save for this.  You'll also need to spend some money to store your things at home while you're gone.

    Depending on where you want to go and what you want to do, perhaps you should also consider relocating with your careers, or limiting this trip to 4-6 weeks that you could realistically take from work.
    melbelleup
  • thejucheideathejucheidea East Nashville, Tennessee member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'd do it if I could. My Wanderlust kills me daily. I wish I could travel like I used to, but my job makes it impossible.

  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Do it.  It's so much harder to do it now once you're older, more established in your career and with a family.  If you decide it's not working out or you run out of cash, just come home early.  I often wish I had travelled more when I was younger.  We travel often now, but there are so many more places I want to go
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • Yeah I absolutely wouldn't go without money to support myself. I found some great websites and things to consider where you can work or volunteer for room and board and things like that. Just an idea being tossed around, I don't know that I'll go that route or not.
    My fiance likes the idea a lot, but I don't know if he's as willing to drop his career as I am. He is fine with me doing this on my own if he decides not to. But then that's another decision.
    I'm glad I'm getting a little bit of positive feedback, even if there is a lot to consider. I sort of figured the same thing, that it will be much harder later in life and also it's not something I would regret doing. If anything maybe I would regret not doing it.
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    pengwinn said:
    Yeah I absolutely wouldn't go without money to support myself. I found some great websites and things to consider where you can work or volunteer for room and board and things like that. Just an idea being tossed around, I don't know that I'll go that route or not.
    My fiance likes the idea a lot, but I don't know if he's as willing to drop his career as I am. He is fine with me doing this on my own if he decides not to. But then that's another decision.
    I'm glad I'm getting a little bit of positive feedback, even if there is a lot to consider. I sort of figured the same thing, that it will be much harder later in life and also it's not something I would regret doing. If anything maybe I would regret not doing it.
    That would be an odd way to start off a marriage.  I don't think I could just take off for an extended period of time when I was just married.  Or anytime, really.  Not only the separation, but the fact that traveling and seeing/experiencing new things is just a whole lot more fun with my DH.  I'd be too sad if I was alone and he was back home.
    KeptInStitchesmelbelleup
  • I agree that would be a really odd way! Honeymoon, then bye see ya in a year! I don't think I'm keen on that idea, we will have to talk about it.
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Do it now while you're young! I always wished I had done something like that. I worked full time all through college and never took a break.

  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I spent a year living apart from my FI just prior to getting married. We were engaged and then I got a really amazing job offer. It just happened to be in a different state. It was a great experience and I learned A LOT about myself, however, it had its struggles. I'm glad that I did it prior to being married, though. I would not recommend being apart from your DH after just getting married and I also do not recommend being away from home, even if you're together, without having all of your ducks in a row. We were very fortunate to be able to support two households while I was away, but stuff comes up and things can get crazy. I DO think it would be an awesome experience if it all works out, but it's something I could never do on a personal level unless it was attached to my career (my career is super important to me.)

     







    melbelleup
  • arrippaarrippa Sam Adams Craft Commonwealth member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I met a couple from Australia who was taking the year off and traveling the world. I thought that was a great idea. If I win the lottery that totally what I would do!

    melbelleup
  • I think it really depends on you. Personally, I can't handle the uncertainty, but I know a lot of people thrive on it. I would just suggest that you create a rough budget and an idea for your return. You could also consider just doing six months, but it's really up to you. Also, it's not that unusual to live separately from a fiancé or husband. Here's an article (with comments) to help with that: http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/08/newly-married-unemployed-and-traveling-alone/. My parents were already married when my mom went to college, so she didn't study abroad (her decision, not my dad's). Thirty years later, I know she still regrets it.
  • That sounds incredible, but in order to do so you need to be sure you're prepared financially. If this is something you decide to do, now is a great time to do it --- when you're young and not tied down. Children & mortgages make traveling the world a difficult feat! 

    As far as what some PPs mentioned about the gap in your resume, I wouldn't be concerned. You're gaining worldly experience, and I don't know any employers who wouldn't value that in a potential employee.
    image
  • Have you looked into any teaching abroad programs? Many of my friends have done yearlong programs and have really valued the experience. South Korea and Japan, in particular, offer good programs. The summer before the second year of my master's program, I taught at a conversational English summer camp in Beijing. It didn't pay airfare, but the stipend covered the cost of airfare and we got free room and board, so it was basically a free trip to China. Just a month satisfied my wanderlust for quite awhile and since I am a teacher it was definitely a selling point on my resume.  Quite a few of them don't even require teaching experience--just a bachelor's degree. Of course, you'd want to do some research to make sure it's legit and speak with other foreign teachers who are currently working there, but this could be an option for earning a small income while traveling and could be something you'd both do together if FI is game.

  • DO IT!!!! you won't regret it. i worked for a couple of years after college, then took a year off to travel. i went back to grad school after traveling. FI and i are thinking of turning our elopement into an extended 6 month honeymoon, too! you have to think about whether or not you'll regret passing up on the opportunity to travel while you're young, without kids, and while you still have your health. my parents are egging me and FI on. they are in their 70s, and they now have both the time and money to travel, but they are in poor health. carpe diem!
  • Another vote for DO IT if you can. I've been lucky to travel a fair bit, but I'll regret never taking a gap year. I agree with PPs that I wouldn't go in my first year of marriage without my husband; if you could shorten it to a few months so he could come that would be better. When I studied abroad I met lots of twenty something's from the UK who were traveling for a year; it seems to be common there.
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