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Living the Dream: A 2-Year Anniversary

Confidence in our dreams

Happy Dream-iversary to us! It’s hard to believe we are now at the end of year 2 of living our dream and just 4 years out from the tiny spec of an idea that led to it all. Every day we are more grateful that we said yes to our deepest desires and did the everyday work to create this lifestyle.

What We’ve Learned About Living

Our second year looked very different from our first, and we learned some different lessons this time around.

Jointly, we became a stronger team, fighting more productively and delivering 2 very big projects on time. We stuck with our budget, including the newest rule of not using our travel funds when we settle down in a place to work for a long period of time. It gave us some confidence in our ability to make our lifestyle work long-term and showed us where we need to work better while we still have the cushion of savings to tide us over.

This dream is ever-evolving, and we are changing right along with it.

We undertook a pretty serious adventure in this overland journey across Asia and Europe, and it took us working together as a team, being flexible, and learning to live with uncertainty. These are skills that will be very useful in our everyday lives.

We’ve learned to enjoy the world our way, on our schedule, and on our budget, despite what other people think or say we should do. We’re getting better at letting go of things we cannot control.

We’ve been overwhelmed and humbled at the hospitality of friends and generosity of strangers, and we are working to be the hosts and helpers where we can, paying it forward.

We’re a bit thinner and healthier than this time last year due to better eating and plenty of outdoor exercise, and we like seeing this “reverse aging” process in our photos.

Individually, we came up with some surprising lessons and discoveries, too.

Self-acceptance

Warren’s Personal Discoveries

Warren feels like he’s finally finding out who he really is and what makes him happy. He is paying attention to how he reacts to things and has pushed himself to test his boundaries. In some ways he has reverted back to his original path, realizing it is okay to not like something or be what he thought he wanted to be.

He has a deeper self-acceptance than before and appreciates his own history and the history of the world much more. He’s delved deep into political issues around the world, researching the events leading up to current situations and learning a lot about the human condition in the process.

When you learn about other people, you can’t help but learn about yourself.

He’s written more in the past year, covering difficult subjects with his own no-bullshit, practical style.

His biggest surprise was Mongolia, which continues to be his favorite destination thus far. He also fell in love with train travel, which is a good thing since we spent so much time on them.

Embracing vulnerability and confidence

Betsy’s Personal Discoveries

This was a year of big challenges for me. Writing such a personal book was a watershed event, releasing the constraints I had put on myself and my writing for years. But it did not come without a cost, and I felt it in my gut every single day.

Up to the day of the book launch I could have scrapped the whole project out of fear of exposure, but I learned to work through it with Warren’s help (which didn’t always feel like help and took a lot of courage on his part to offer). It is one thing to share attitudes and habits you believe in with others but quite another thing to share the messy personal experiences that led to them.

(Just wait til you see what I’ve been writing lately.)

I discovered quite by accident that I’m an introvert, and the tools I’ve learned for managing my energy make me happier and better able to withstand the rigors of this adventurous life.

Not only that, but I finally overcame my addiction to Diet Cokes on January 1, a personal triumph for me.

What’s next?

Our overland journey is now at an end, but we’re still avoiding planes to savor slow travel. We’re on our way to the US via ship, taking 2 weeks to decompress and relax, staying offline the entire time.

After we arrive in the US we’ll spend a few weeks visiting family and friends and then house sitting through the New Year. After that, we embark on our next adventure, which we’ll tell you more about in the coming weeks.

Hint: It concerns dreaming for people who don’t yet have a specific dream (if this sounds like you, you can help us by filling out our quick and anonymous survey). It also concerns a warm climate.

We had no idea when we started this second year of living our dream how it would turn out, and I don’t think we could have predicted it if we tried. But we have remained true to our goal of seeing the world slowly, sharing our lessons along the way, and intentionally setting about personal and professional growth.

The way we live out our dream is sometimes a surprise, but the ability to do so is something we work hard at every single day.

Thank you for being on this life journey with us. The next year is going to be incredible, and we can’t wait discover new things with you!

Are you in Seattle? Come out to our welcome back party on October 23 or grab your seat at Fear-Busting, a powerful event Betsy is hosting with Rachel Whalley of Healing for Good Girls on October 25. (Outside Seattle? Don’t worry – we’ll be getting around.)

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About Betsy

Betsy Talbot can't live without a Moleskine notebook, her passport, and happy hour. She sold everything she owned to travel the world with her husband Warren in 2010, and she's been enjoying her midlife crisis ever since. Betsy writes about creating the life you want from the life you already have in her books and on the Married with Luggage website. Drop her an email at btalbot (at) marriedwithluggage (dot) com and check out her Google+ page.

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Warren & Betsy laughing togetherTake the first step

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