Note: This post is in partnership with Expedia and contains sponsored links. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are our own and we would never recommend anything that we don't love or haven't tried ourselves.
We are Andrew and Lauren LeBrun—two newlyweds who left their office jobs to backpack around the globe. This our story…
Let's travel back in time to April 2016. I (Lauren) was walking to the women's restroom at the office where I worked. My legs were shaking uncontrollably, my stomach was doing back flips, and my heart was beating so fast that I could hear my pulse in my ears. Why? I was 5 minutes away from sharing some news that would completely turn my world upside down. I was about to quit my job. And I was absolutely terrified.
At the time, I was 24 years old and had been working in a pretty wonderful job for almost three years. I was running social media campaigns, working with teammates that felt like family, and occasionally traveling around the country for business. On most days, it was awesome. I worked hard (sometimes 50-60 hour weeks), but I was extremely proud of what I accomplished in just a few years after college.
From the outside looking in, I was borderline insane for wanting to leave such a sweet gig. But I had a reason.
Nine months earlier, I got married to the love of my life. I made a major life decision and I started to think about what was next. Andrew (my husband) and I started to ask ourselves the standard questions. When would we get a dog? Probably not this year since our apartment doesn’t allow pets. When would we get a house? Possibly not for awhile since housing prices in Seattle are so high. When would we have kids? Most likely not until we’re 30 because… well… we aren’t ready for that yet!
So what should we do now?
Well, there were two obvious options. The responsible option would be to continue working in our jobs so that we can save enough money to move out of our apartment, get a dog, buy a house, and have a few kids. The less conventional option would be to save enough money to quit our jobs, reconfigure our lives, and travel around the world like we had always dreamed about. So what should we do? Be responsible or adventurous?
I won’t sugar coat anything. We went back and forth about a thousand times.
There were lots of stressed out, tearful, late-night conversations. Andrew and I are cautious creatures by nature. We are both first-borns and we almost always choose the safe route. But something about this chapter in our lives was different. Ironically, we felt like getting married and "settling down" at a young age meant that we should do something a little wild to counterbalance our newfound adulthood.
So which option did we choose? The less conventional one.
But why? Well, it’s quite simple. We have a serious case of chronic, infectious, nearly-lethal wanderlust. It all started when we studied abroad in Florence back in college. We spent our weekdays wrapped up in Italian culture and we jam-packed our weekends with side trips around Europe. We traveled to almost ten countries in four months. To this day, we look back on that semester as the time we felt the most alive. So with that, we are simply craving more of the world. We want to experience new cultures, meet different people, learn languages, try strange foods, sip exotic drinks, stand on mountaintops, swim in turquoise seas and get lost yet find ourselves at the same time. We also want more time together.
We recognize that we may only have 5 years left before we have kids, so we want to make the most of it.
So we took the leap! We left our hometown on May 27, 2016. We hugged our families as tight as we could and let go of the life we knew. We departed from the Seattle airport at 1:00 a.m. and flew 24+ hours to Bali. The only things that we had were two backpacks, a pair of one-way tickets and each other. And now we're here! Smack dab in the middle of our journey.
It’s been a hell of a ride so far.
If you’re intrigued by what full-time travel is really like (the good, the bad, the ugly), you can check out our daily journals on this blog. I recommended starting with Day 1. Andrew is documenting our entire trip with these. It’s actually a ton of work, but we want to remember everything when we’re old and grey. Also, we have been sharing our adventures on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and the Expedia Viewfinder blog. You are more than welcome to follow along!.
And a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us so far!