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This is a guest post from Kim at So-Many-Places.com

It was on an early spring hike with my husband Brian that I first remember discussing the idea of giving up everything to travel the world.

It had been a long, gray winter, as Oregon winters are, and we were both in low spirits. Life was feeling like a never-ending cycle of obligations and I, in particular, was in crisis mode.

Two months earlier I’d begun having panic attacks at work and had taken to locking myself inside the bathroom to talk myself down from them.

I was tormented by a voice inside that would scream at me as I sat at my desk: KIM, THIS IS NOT WHAT YOUR LIFE IS FOR.

I was questioning everything, including my own sanity.

So this hike was not a happy hike. There were things we needed to discuss, Big Life Things. It was becoming clear to me that I couldn’t continue living the way I was living.

Saying The Dream Out Loud

couple-hiking-valley

As we climbed, I did most of the talking and Brian fell in step behind me, listening. I spoke about how I’d lost sight of my dreams.

I’d always wanted to be a writer and I longed to traveling the world. I’d never believed a conventional life would make me happy but I’d somehow found myself living just that.

Somewhere along the way my dreams had fallen off the radar. I wanted them back. I talked and talked and talked.  And at one point I said, let’s just leave our jobs and travel the world.

In a better story, a tree would have fallen in our path or a sign would have appeared and we both would have known, right then, that that was the answer. In reality, I said those words in passing and we kept talking, working through the muddy mess of our lives.

It wasn’t until almost two years later that I knew without a doubt that the idea I’d first uttered all those months before was indeed exactly what I needed to do. I told Brian. He said okay. I’ve written about that moment in a blog post called The Evolution of a Dream.

Escaping The Cubicle

After that, everything changed.  We still had the mortgage, the jobs, the credit cards, the car payment and the house full of stuff but in addition we now had an unwritten future.

Where I could once look down the road of my life and see upcoming milestones standing there like highway billboards, I now saw only open sky.   

I began to feel alive again. My panic subsided. I started writing, and then I was published.  We paid off our credit cards, we sold our car, and started saving every dime.

I started a blog to document our journey and then we told our friends and family the big news.

I’m still in my cubicle. But now, every ounce of energy I have is invested in my dream. In the evenings I write. On the weekends I plan for our trip.

Every single day each and every decision Brian and I make takes us a tiny bit closer to reaching our goal.

We’re planning to leave for New Zealand, the first stop on our itinerary in January of 2012. It’s a big risk.

This whole following your dreams thing is scary.

But what’s even scarier is imagining a life where I ignore my dreams in order to play it safe.

I have no idea what the future has in store for us anymore but I do know that, whatever it is, it will be one hell of an adventure.

When Kim isn’t writing or running she can be found selling off her worldly possessions on Ebay.  She’s documenting her journey from cube-dweller to around the world traveler on her blog www.so-many-places.com.

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