Today marks the beginning of something special in the online travel community. Meet Plan Go is taking place in 13 cities across the United States and Canada and we are lucky enough to be a part of the panel of speakers at the Toronto Event.
As we lead up to the event and work on our introduction speech we began to think about why exactly we chose a path of uncertainty.
What makes two people that had successful and glamorous (at least when looking in from the outside) careers throw it all away to travel the world?
Dave was a marketing major in College and I had aspirations of singing on Broadway.
We met at a bar…We had the same cowboy boots and it was love at first site.
We had never been overly conventional in our lives. When we graduated from college, it wasn’t long until we sold all our belongings (for the first time) and moved to the West Coast of Canada. Vancouver had beckoned. We packed a guitar and two suitcases and flew off to a new life without a job or a plan.
It was here, in Vancouver that we fell into the film business. Things were booming in British Columbia at the time, The X Files, Jumanji and Rumble in the Bronx were shooting in town (just to name a few) and productions were desperate for people to work on their movies.
Naturally, we both started working in movies. We were now a part of Hollywood. We were hobnobbing with the big boys. We went to wrap parties and we even saw Pulp Fiction with Robin Williams. He stood in line with us and everything (along with 5 or 6 other people from the movie) But we could never be friends.
We learned quickly that as exciting and glamorous as the life seemed to people on the outside, for the lowly production assistant and grip (our jobs at the time) it was just long hours, decent pay and very little prestige.
We lasted in BC for 3 years, and then our vagabond hearts led us back to Toronto. We could never stand still, even in the early days.
The change did us good. It wasn’t long until Dave worked his way up the ranks to become a Rigging Gaffer, (one of the heads of the lighting department) and I became a make-up artist – the cushiest job on set.
We worked long and hard and made very good money.
We had the dream life. We were a couple that genuinely loved each other, we had no kids, no mortgage and we were just starting to take off our in careers.
It wasn’t an easy decision. We had just begun working steadily and we had just started to see the money come in. How can a person leave for over a month when their careers are just starting to take off? We should have been by the phone waiting for the offers to come in.
I repeat, we have never been conventional. It didn’t look like the best career move. I turned down a movie and Dave made himself unavailable for calls at a peak period in the Toronto film industry. We didn’t have a plan, it just seemed like it was the right time. If we didn’t go now, we might never go.
Five short weeks was all it took. Our hearts and minds were opened up to an entirely new way of living. We had heard that to truly change, a person needs 40 days. Many a pilgrimage is based on this theory. In 40 days great things can happen. It is long enough to rid you of your worldly ties and actually make an impact on the way that you think.
When we came back from Thailand, it was like we had a renewed sense of energy about us. It was merely one day after we landed in Toronto that Dave received a phone call that changed the course of his career, he was offered a key position on Mariah Carey’s film Glitter. (don’t laugh, it was expected to be huge!) -he want on to work on over 30 films! Dave Bouskill IMDB.com and it was a week later that I was hired at a studio that I would end up working at for almost a decade.
Once we allowed ourselves to be open to new possibilities, life gave them to us. Every time we took a risk to live our dream of travel, we came home refreshed and ready for new opportunities. And new and better opportunities always presented themselves right after a long travel. We started to feel that if we didn’t go away, we would become stuck in a rut.
When people stay in a routine, they don’t allow room in their lives for new and exciting possibilities. The more you are open to change, the more the universe rewards you. Even Swami Jee told us that.
We followed this routine for the next 7 years. Life was good for awhile, but then it became just that…routine.
I have never heard of anyone regretting going away, but I have always heard of people regretting not taking a chance.
In time, our jobs weren’t fulfilling anymore. They had become routine. We felt as if our wings had been clipped. I felt stuck behind my make-up brushes. I wanted to be like the actor spreading my wings, not the person standing in the background watching them soar. Dave was doing well as a Rigging Gaffer, but it was no longer a challenge. He wanted to call the shots and be more creative.
We felt guilty about our frustrations because for anyone living on the outside looking in, we had it made. We worked for a few months of the year and then we travelled for a few months in the winter. How could we not be satisfied? But we felt as if we were straddling two worlds and belonging in neither.
The more we travelled, the more we felt at home on the road. It was our home in Canada that started to feel foreign to us.
It was time to step out from the shadows and live our dreams. We had always been artists. Dave was a drummer in a band when we met and I was singing in shows. Over the years, we stifled our creativity and dreams of greatness to make money with respectable jobs. We buried our ambitions and ignored them as best we could. After all, we had good jobs right?
We feel completely alive when travelling. We love the rush of witnessing a famous attraction that we have read about, we are pumped when we summit a mountain or finish a trek and we are awed when we witness an incredible act of nature or a stunning landscape. Our experiences around the world are sensational and we wished that everyone could share in them.
That is why we felt compelled to start the blog. When we started traveling, we didn’t blog about it. We didn’t even email our friends and families. We would phone home from and international phone booth every once in a while to let them know that we were O.K.
But back in the early days, we always said to each other “if only our families could witness what we are seeing right now”
We have never made such little money. And yet, we have never been happier. We are finally living our purpose. And now, our families and closest friends are getting the chance to experience and witness what we are seeing. They are given a glimpse into our lives and they are free to choose if they want to go out and try a life of travel first hand.
If they don’t, that is fine. but at least we have been able to show a few people some snapshots and moments from around this fascinating planet we call earth.