What would you do with 100 days?
A little over a year ago, my wife and I decided we needed a course correction. We had built a nice life together – good careers, a strong community of friends, and access to more than enough art, culture and food than we could possibly ever enjoy in a vibrant city. And yet, our typical routine was simple: wake up, work, eat, sleep. Rinse and repeat. The in-between times were absorbed by ‘the electronics’ – multiple phones, i-pads, laptops, and desktops. Text messages, e-mails, social media, blogs, and streaming video became the filler of our days. In my case, work was often around-the-clock, encroaching into those things that brought perspective – long walks and talks, visits with family and friends, outings into the city – the things that kept me grounded. For her, everything became routine. The chores and responsibilities grew and her free time diminished. We were starting to fray around the edges.
We had flirted with the idea of traveling around the world several times, but the farthest either of us had ever ventured was New Zealand on our honeymoon. We spent time our time exploring the South part of the South Island and the North Part of the North Island. We knew we were good travel companions. I was the planner and logistics chief and she was the organizer and packer extraordinaire. That trip was our longest together. It was three weeks.
On a long neighborhood walk, we decided that we were going to get more serious about this idea. We had already answered the question “why” we wanted to go.
Then the question became: Where to go?
Walking was our best medium for thinking. We entertained each other’s ideas openly, translated fresh air into fresh thinking, and drew inspiration as we passed through public parks and by private gardens. We sketched out a draft plan, researched and priced elements of the trip, and with each step drew closer to making the commitment to go. We were eating the elephant one bite at a time. (Something tells me I may come to regret that phrase.)
In the meantime, we shifted from planning to implementation. 100 days became the frame of the trip. 96 days on the road through 12 countries, plus two days on each end to write and reflect.
In three weeks, the journey begins.