5 Reasons We Want to Travel (and Live) Abroad


I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
— Ulysses, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson,

Ivan here.

The only fate worse than death is spending a lifetime waiting on the sidelines. Ironically, that’s the exact situation I found myself in a year ago, as I tried to navigate the Kafkaesque bureaucracy of (legally) immigrating to the United States.  

Before that dark place consumed our lives, everything was going according to plan. Jennie and I were lucky. We both landed decent paying jobs straight out of college, her in Boston and me in Toronto. While we weren’t thrilled about working in corporate, we made the best of our situations by building one of the most unassailable f*ck off funds imaginable

We were also working towards a very specific goal: to sign the marriage paperwork within a year, and start the US immigration process in the second

That’s when US Citizenship and Immigration Services happened. And a process that should’ve taken 10-12 months ended up taking 17 because of lost paperwork, a government shutdown, and garden variety incompetence. 

"But the gatekeeper says he cannot grant him entry at the moment                               -Franz Kafka, Before the Law

"But the gatekeeper says he cannot grant him entry at the moment                              
-Franz Kafka, Before the Law

It was around this time that we first started talking about a round the world trip. Initially, we were just joking around, imagining a life where we’d leave everything behind for a nomadic lifestyle. But after the immigration debacle, we got dead serious about it. After six years apart and 17 months squirming in bureaucratic limbo, we had lost our sense of humor. We dreamed about a life without restrictions. The ability to come and go as we pleased. 

In short, we were tired of waiting. 

As two ruthlessly practical, Type A personalities, we immediately started planning and setting goals. We would save $40,000. That was going to be our cushion. In the meantime, we’d also try to generate $2500 a month in remote income to make a sustainable living abroad. 

We promised ourselves that we would be gone before September 2018. That’s one of the main reasons we started this blog. To keep ourselves accountable. 


There will be no Eat, Pray, Love up in this bitch.

We’re not travelling to find ourselves. There will be no Eat, Pray, Love up in this bitch. We just know ourselves too well to be restricted by mortgages, kids, and to be tied down by a mountain of things we could do without. More than anything, we just want to be ourselves completely, and to accept no compromises for what we want. 

So when friends ask us why we want to travel, here are the five reasons we give:

  • Because discomfort is the best education
  • Because standing still is moving backward
  • Because we enjoy the challenges of new places, people, and things
  • Because life’s too short and time moves too swiftly to allow ourselves to be governed by the wishes of others
  • Because years from now, we don’t want to look back at a life not lived

Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you took a slightly different road? Don't waste time wondering.

Just go.