As Americans, we’re expected to follow a lot of patterns – one of the most important being that so-called “American Dream.” What is the American Dream, exactly? Everyone defines it a bit differently. Some say it’s a steady job or financial security. Others, a husband or wife, two and a half kids and a dog. And to others, a pretty house with a white picket fence. We follow the patterns our parents followed, their parents before them, and their parents before them. Get an education, get a job, get married, buy a house, have children, teach those children the pattern, work, and retire. Sound familiar?
But, though it may sound nice or simple, ultimately, this pattern can be totally unsatisfying. Why? Because, though it’s hard to admit, I don’t think my God believes in the American Dream.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
God calls us to a life of love, service, sacrifice, and great adventure. He tells us to leave our possessions and to follow him (Luke 18:22), to give away our last penny (Mark 12:41-44), and to take up our crosses (Matthew 16:24). But we rarely do it. Instead, we succumb to the “pattern of this world,” earning and spending our money in comfort. But, as Switchfoot so aptly put it (listen below), “success is equated with excess.” We measure our lives in dollars and material goods, all while worshiping a God who measures life in love.
Those of you who already know us, know that we have a very comfortable life right now. I say that guiltily. Steady job, solid paycheck, nice health insurance, comfy apartment, etc. All of the nice things that we aspired to right out of college. These things are all blessings and, in a way, accomplishments that we have been proud of. We graduated college in 2009 – finding a good job at all was an achievement, let alone the one that I found. My, Albert – what a nice résumé you have!
This is an experiment in wanting something else, and in wanting it together.
There are many things in my life that I’ve wanted for me, and me alone. Getting good grades, earning a master’s degree, studying in France: all for me. Trying to make it on our own for a year, away from the comfort of everything that’s familiar and close to home, is about seeing what each of us is capable of. I call it an experiment because I don’t know how it’s going to go. We might love it and never have 9-to-5 jobs again and embrace the freedom and uncertainty; or we might realize that, at least on a daily basis, we’re less adventurous than we fancy ourselves to be and we value the stability of a career path. We won’t know until we try something different.
We’re really doing it! We are packing our bags, putting our stuff in storage, quitting our 9-5 jobs, and traveling the world for a year. Yes, we’re serious.
How will we do it? International House-Sitting, while we work online as freelancers. An incredible opportunity to watch others’ homes (rent free) while they travel.
Where will we do it? The UK. France. Fiji. And then… who knows. The world is our oyster, right?
We’re excited. Scared. Nervous. We’re taking a big risk, leaving behind a world of comfort, a great salary, our insurance coverage, our family, our friends, our cats, our home… But with great risk comes great reward, and we are looking forward to the way this journey will truly shape us.
Follow us here, on www.Traveloggers.com, to see our journey unfold. We’ll share some of our favorite moments, the challenges we face, the incredible things we see, and what we learn along the way.