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Would You Drop Everything to Travel the World?

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Perhaps it’s time to stop living vicariously through the travel blogs and photos of friends living life abroad. What’s really stopping you from taking the leap?

How often do you dream of quitting your 9-to-5, saying “peace out” to your monthly rent and cell phone bills, packing everything you own in a backpack and heading out for the adventure of a lifetime?

You’re definitely not alone in these thoughts.

Chances are you have a friend who has already taken the leap, leaving you sitting at the kitchen table of your apartment, wrapped up in a housecoat with a warm cup of coffee in your hands (brewed from imported beans, of course), flipping through their latest photo updates filling your news feed.

I often daydream of what would it be like to taste the sea breeze on my lips every morning, or how I would feel hiking up snow-capped peaks.

I have the advantage of a flexible work situation, which would allow me to take my paycheck on the road with me. But I also have a house I’ve worked hard to afford to live in, a needy puppy I absolutely adore, and a husband who, despite wanting to make all my travel dreams come true, is somewhat limited by one of those 9-to-5 type of scenarios.

So instead of leaving on a jet plane, I revel in the travel adventures of my friends, who are kind enough to include gruesome tales of five-day-long food poisoning that had them desperately longing for their air-conditioned condo back home.

I also regularly browse online stories of strangers who have shared a glimpse into their nomadic lives. The most recent of which was of a South African couple who quit their jobs in advertising, sold all of their belongings, grabbed their camera gear and took off for a year-long adventure travelling the world.

Sounds dreamy, right?

Stevo Dirnberger and Chanel Cartell started their journey on March 2nd of this year. The theme of their travels (and their website domain) is How Far From Home, and they’ve documented each destination with an image and a sign that measures this distance.

According to Cartell,

We were no longer feeling challenged; we needed something that would charge the electrolytes running through our veins.

If your own veins are beginning to turn a new shade of envy-green, I recommend you avoid following their Instagram account. Otherwise, you’ll see updates like this:

And this:

And (insert speak-no-evil monkey emoji here) this:

Just when I felt like that was enough torture for the day, I stumbled across this story in Cosmopolitan of a 31-year-old journalist who quit her (dream) career as a New York Journalist – along with the $95,000 salary that came with it – to build a new life in the Caribbean.

On making the move, journalist-turned-bartender Noelle Hancock writes:

It was startlingly simple to dismantle the life I’d spent a decade building: I broke the lease on my apartment, sold my belongings, and bought a one-way plane ticket. The hardest part was convincing myself it was OK to do something for no other reason than to change the narrative of my life.

So what’s separating you from the Cartells and Hancocks of the world?

I ask myself this question often, and yet I rarely spending time actually contemplating the answer. On one hand, I’m comfortable living the life I live, from the suburban neighbourhood in which I live it. Of course, comfort has never stopped me before. In fact, I take pride in my willingness to push my cozy boundaries.

What I’m trying to get at, I guess, is that I’m happy with the life I live.

I don’t feel constantly dissatisfied and over scheduled, like Hancock once did.

I don’t feel like I’m living the life of complacency Dirnberger and Cartell allude to.

Don’t get me wrong, I still dream of a life abroad on the regular. I’d love to be looking out at a mountainous landscape beyond my office window. I’d love to spend my day off exploring the rainforest.

But timing is everything. For now, I’m more than content.

I feel challenged everyday in the work I do. I’m still meeting new people and learning about different cultures and backgrounds. I get to admire beautiful sunsets, and spend summer days on the lake at the cottage. Not to mention, the feat of sharing a glass of wine and a good meal with friends and family is only a short drive away. And I get to fall asleep in my own bed every night.

It may not be as electrifying as the nomadic adventures I read about, but this life I’m living really is quite enjoyable. Sometimes, I just need to be reminded of that.


Charlotte Ottaway

Charlotte is Co-Founder and Managing Editor at The Reply. She is a writer, blogger and amateur photographer with interests in positivity, creative muse, generational differences and the future of work. She has written for Canadian Business, Zoomer Magazine, The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post Canada and other Canadian publications. At her company, Web of Words, she helps solopreneurs and small business owners create real human connections online through blogging and social media. Better known by family and friends as Carly, she currently resides in Newmarket with her husband and dog-child. To learn more, check out her website at and follow her on Twitter @charlottaway.