Meet our Kick-Ass St. Louis Host: Adam Seper
“I’m done.” “I can’t take it anymore.”
“I work 70+ hours a week.” “I hate my boss and colleagues.”
“I have no life.” “I can’t live like this anymore.”
When talking sabbaticals and career breaks, the above statements ring true for so many Americans. If you’re one of those people, then making the decision to say “Screw it!” and head out on the road may be pretty easy.
My story took a different path. I never uttered any of those above statements. After spending the first half of my 20’s trying to figure out what it was I wanted to do, I finally went back to school to get my teacher’s certificate and master’s. I became a high school English teacher and soccer coach. I really enjoyed my job. I was happy. I was nearly through my first year of teaching and my new career when my wife first came at me with this idea of a year-long RTW trip.
At first, I thought she was nuts. We were both finally out of school and making good money. We were
paying off our debt. We were saving up for a house. We were about to fulfill the American Dream!
Why in the world would I want to give all that up?
At that point, a little over 4 years ago now, I knew nothing about this whole RTW, career break, long term travel phenomenon. I thought sabbaticals and long term travel was for rich people and Europeans. I loved to travel, sure. It was one of my top passions, and while traveling for a year sounded great, my initial reaction was that it was completely unrealistic and stupid considering our situation. After Megan’s suggestion and my immediate dismissal, we got in a fight.
The next day, links to blogs and message boards appeared in my inbox. After perusing them for a few
days, suddenly I was intrigued, excited even. I was astounded that normal people like us did this. Was
this really possible? Could every day Joe’s like us really quit our jobs at the beginnings of our careers and travel the world for a whole year?
It didn’t take long for me to change my tune. Suddenly, even though I liked my job, I wasn’t as
concerned about leaving it. I didn’t love it. While I was happy and content, I wasn’t passionate about it.
Besides, why couldn’t we both just go back to our respective careers when we returned? Once I really
thought seriously about owning a home and all the responsibilities that came with it, it seemed much
less appealing, certainly less than traversing the globe. We were saving for a home because that’s what we were supposed to do.
When we sat down and went over our finances, budget, and how much we could realistically save if we cut back our spending, I was shocked. When we ran the numbers of how much we could save versus how much it would take to travel for a year in developing countries, I was sold.
After initially being dismissive and negative about my wife’s idea, suddenly it was all I could think
about. If we could legitimately swing it, why would we not do it? At first, leaving our jobs and giving
up our lives to travel seemed crazy, wreckless, and irresponsible. After some research, reflection, and contemplation, though, we realized that if we could legitimately make this travel dream come true, it would be crazy, wreckless, and irresponsible not to do it.
So we took the plunge. What most of society would deem to be a crazy and childish decision became
the best one we ever made. Our decision to chuck it all and travel together for a year changed
everything: our lives, our relationship, our thoughts on our careers, our views of the world, and our
views on life and what it should really be like. Does that sound crazy to you?