In March 2023, we quit our corporate jobs, ended the lease on our Dallas apartment, sold and gave away nearly everything we owned, and took our savings and business on the road to go all in on our dream of traveling the world. While the short journey has been full of both fantastic and tough moments, we’re still so glad we made the leap. After three months of full-time travel and living abroad in Europe, here’s what we’re absolutely loving, missing, and finding out through full-time travel.
- Having the opportunity to hop around on cheap flights, ferries, trains, and rental cars for quick getaways and day trips to places people only dream of. We’re not taking a single of those moments for granted.
- People watching! The beauty of slow traveling means you can literally stop to smell the roses, linger over coffee, and sit back and watch the world go by. We love to learn about other cultures by walking through cities and watching people passing by, living their daily lives.
- Trying different flavors of snacks and drinks. We’ve found we love the Fanta “exotic” soda flavor, Lays Tzatziki chips, and Souroti sparkling water from Greece that tastes like Euro Topo Chico.
- Meeting up with friends in amazing places. Either by plan or happenstance, we’ve been blessed to meet up with a few friends on a few different occasions while we spent two months in Italy! Though we love hanging out with friends in the States, making new memories with familiar faces in incredible places abroad felt really special.
- The abundance of variety. As Americans, we take for granted the astounding amount of choice we get in even the smallest of grocery stores. Even the corner gas stations in the US often have more international choice options for food and drinks than most European markets. Living in different countries has made us realize how much of a cultural melting pot America is – and we won’t take that for granted on our visits back!
- Speaking of variety, we miss spices. SO MUCH. Mexican food, spicy southern goodness, Asian food with plenty of heat. We should have brought cumin, jalapenos, and siracha with us!
- Driving around. Whether taking a short trip to see family, bopping around town for errands, or going out for dinner, we miss short drives and spending time in the car. We absolutely love how walkable most places are in Europe, but if we decide to stay in the continent for a while, we might look into getting our own car again eventually.
- Friends and family. This feels like a given, but no amount of phone calls and text make up for in-person hangouts and celebrations.
- English movies. One of our favorite classic date nights was going to Cinepolis, loading up on our favorite snacks, and seeing a new movie together. Unless we’re in England or occasionally the capital city of a European country, movies haven’t been an option.
We’re Finding Out
- We packed too much stuff. When we paired down to only one backpack, carry on, and large suitcase each, all we thought about was what we’d be sorely missing. Months later, we’re continually shedding items and borderline daydreaming about dropping off one suitcase each when we revisit the States in August. You’ll be shocked at what you do and don’t need regularly – especially when you work online.
- For better or worse, we’re getting good at sleuthing lies and half-truths in hotel and vacation rental bookings. When you live in vacation rentals and book about five hotel stays each month, you learn to read between the lines (or photos) in online listings. DM us on Instagram for booking tips!
- What it really takes to live a comfortable life on the road. It’s a little simpler and a little more in-depth than we initially thought, but we’re learning and growing together.
- We’re really all the same. The world is full of regular, everyday people, just like ourselves, looking to earn enough to make a living, have a comfortable place to rest and sleep, eat enough each day, and have good relationships with friends and family. No matter how different you think other people, cultures, or countries are, we all have the same basic needs and overall seek to have our needs met in very similar ways. We’ve seen good and bad everywhere, but we fully believe the world is more full of hope, help, and goodwill than anything.