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Here’s to the Crazy Ones

Round We Go Around the World Trip Photos Heres to the Crazy Ones

They told us it would take months, if not a year, to readjust to life after a journey around the world. Nine months and 26 days later, I can attest: They. Were. Right.

Last week marked the two year anniversary of our departure for our 14-month around the world journey. If I didn’t know it then, I certainly know it now. Life as we knew it would never be the same. While we’ve spent a good part of 2011 putting our travels aside, planting some roots and focusing on the next chapter of our life back Stateside, the truth is it doesn’t quite work that way. Our travels, and lessons learned on the road, have become a part of our daily lives.

We now have a place to call home. Our packs collect dust on our basement floor and no one-way transcontinental ticket sits folded up in our back pocket. But we’re finding ourselves re-inspired to share our stories, your stories…of those travel moments that define us.

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MPG Panelists Heres to the Crazy Ones

This gust of re-inspiration to dream up our next adventure and immerse ourselves in our travels once again comes primarily from a grassroots campaign called Meet Plan Go! (founded by fellow travel bloggers and adventurers Sherry Ott and Michaela Potter). We were invited to speak last week at Meet Plan Go!’s national lecture series. The travel seminar, whose mission is to put a career break on every resume, was held simultaneously in 17 cities across the country. From Honolulu to New York and several places in between, travelers gathered to share their stories and inspire others to hit the road. At home in Chicago, we were joined by a panel of like-minded travelers: Dave Nilson who just returned from a year and half jaunt across the globe, Katy Healy fresh off the road from a six month global sojourn and Keith Savage, who spends a good part of the year exploring the highlands and lowlands of Scotland. To add to the mix, we even had a panelist Skype in from her hotel room in Russia.

As we shared tales and tips from our global journeys, 100 wander-lustful faces, in search of their own adventures, stared back at us. For the first time in a long time, we weren’t the ‘crazy ones.’ Surrounded by travelers in a cooking school auditorium overlooking a misty Chicago skyline, I was brought back to the moments when rehashing travel tales with like-minded friends was a daily ritual… I’m on a sun-kissed Rajasthani rooftop sharing a piping hot pot of masala chai with a family of stranger-cum-friends. Under the waning moon and bright-starry night, I’m sipping on kava in the company of some wanderlust souls. I’m cooking up a braii of burgers with pairs of safari sun-burnt faces amidst the snorting sound of hippos calling. I’m in a buzzing tree-lined alleyway sipping on frosty Tsingtao beers with a slew of perpetual travelers. I’m snacking on yak cheese bread with a team of global nomads under a tin roof pummeled by the Himalayan rains…A thousand miles away, I feel at home.

IMG 9775 e1319646940189 Heres to the Crazy Ones

We spent a good half of our around the world journey trying to explain to others why Americans don’t travel. We battled the typical “Only 10 percent of Americans have passports?” questions and frequent befuddled faces after revealing our US citizenship and long-term travel plans. After leaving this year’s Meet Plan Go! event, however, I was hopeful. 1200 attendees across the country with dreams of traveling the world? Perhaps the time is just around the corner when excuses will lay to rest.

As Steve Jobs put it: “Here’s to the crazy ones.”

pixel Heres to the Crazy Ones

Comments (7)

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  1. roundwego says:

    @Lisa Absolutely! Really fun talking travel with the Meet, Plan, Go crew the other night. The travel vibe is expanding by the day…finally a “cult” that suits my interests and to call my own! Props on organiz-izing another fun event. Feeling good things afoot in 2012.

    Ryan

  2. Hey Guys! Just saw this now! SO happy to know you and have you be a part of this great community. It’s nice to be back ‘home’ and yet still get that ‘buzz’ of travel and excitement from others who ‘get’ it! See you soon!
    Lisa

  3. Stacey says:

    I’m so happy to hear that campaigns like this are popping up in the states. Travel needs to become a bigger part of our society- there is truly no better education.

    We are about to enter the final two months of our RTW and are growing nervous about those first few steps back on American soil. I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by.

  4. Sherry Ott says:

    We hope that time is right around the corner!! Thanks so much for being a part of getting more Americans to travel! You are great role models!

  5. Chris Dowling says:

    Another wonderful posting on RWG…. you certainly have some great memories to look back upon. and very likely you have played an important part in motivating others to take the travel plunge!

  6. Keith says:

    It was great meeting you guys at Meet, Plan, Go! Best of luck on your new ventures and we’ll meet again in Chicago.
    Keith´s last [type] ..Bucking the Trend at Bruichladdich Distillery

  7. Rhonda says:

    Great post! I am sorry to say, it’s been THREE years since we returned from our RTW and we still don’t feel like we quite “fit” in our life back here in the US. Even as I type that number I’m shocked by it because I often feel as though we just returned.
    We, too, were at Meet, Plan, Go…in Portland, Oregon in our case, and were completely inspired by the attendees and equally transported back to when we were the people earnestly trying to figure out how to put our dream in motion.
    We are truly “the crazy ones” because we realize we want a different life and are currently planning to hit the road again in the next two years but this time as global nomads, becoming location independent and truly taking a lifetime to explore the world.
    Best of luck readjusting to your old and new life. The re-entry woes do ease a bit with time but, as you already know, you will never be the same!