How this crazy idea took off...
Since before we were married, Blake and I always talked about moving abroad, temporarily. Unfortunately, we never made it happen. We got comfortable with jobs and 401k's and ultimately couldn't imagine leaving Coda behind. This past November, we decided to buy a condo in Chicago. We didn't know how long we'd stay in Chicago, but wanted to invest our money instead of pay rent every month.
After buying the condo, it didn't take long for us to start talking about how we wished we had moved abroad and had more time off to be able to travel. I thought it was too late for that since now we were settled and have talked about starting a family. In April, Blake sent me an article titled, "How to rent your home and travel." I couldn't believe we were still talking about this, especially after buying a condo!
The idea took off and the condo became the main focus in our quest. If we could rent our unit, fully furnished, we we would be free of monthly bills and be able to make a profit! We also decided we'd sell the car whenever our place got rented, which would also contribute to the travel fund since it was almost paid off. We started aggressively saving and cutting back on some of the normal luxuries in life. For 5 months, we continued to research, plan, save, and wait for someone to contact us about our place. Every day I thought about giving up and just sticking to our normal way of life. But we kept the plan and hoped that things would work out.
We got pretty frustrated by mid August, since all of the potential renters we'd talked to weren't the right fit. Finally, on Tuesday, September 13th, we had a guy come look at our place. Things moved extremely quickly and we were out of our place the following Tuesday. I put in my notice at work on Thursday, my last day was Friday, and we headed back to the Quad Cities... homeless and unemployed! What a crazy feeling! We spent the week tying up loose ends and planning the first couple months of our trip. On Thursday, we booked a flight for Saturday, October 1st (our 5 year anniversary), that would take us to Paris! Au Revoir!