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10 Before 30 Plan: A Compromise of Smaller Trips


brooke and patSeeing how my boyfriend and I have such differing life goals at the moment, we are basically forced to make compromises, or at least try and think of compromises, in order for us both to be happy. I want to travel, long-term, to a gazillion places and some that most people wouldn’t consider. He wants to travel, but he really likes the idea of getting ahead in a career, making a bit of money and possibly starting his own business(es). That’s cool; I respect that.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t lead to the probability that we’ll be packing up and setting out on a round-the-world journey anytime soon. So, what do we do?

A simple compromise would be to say that we’ll take one big international trip each year together. In 2011, this is going to be Malaysia and a trip to the USA – awesome! We’re totally psyched for these upcoming travels, but the sad part of this story is that these trips will pretty much be “it” for the entire year – bummer!

If we continue at that rate, we won’t get to my top 10 list until I’m about 40! No, no, no… not cool.

brooke alone on beachAnother compromise would be to attempt something along the lines of what Kieth of Traveling Savage is doing: one month trips abroad every 3 months. In this process, he is traveling for one month to one country, and then staying home for the following two months before setting off again. I think this is a fantastic idea for someone with wanderlust and a home life, but for me personally?… I can see a few concerns in regards to this plan:


  1. Cost. The idea of flying to one place, flying home and then flying off to another place seems costly. It would be hard to justify flying to Greece, back to Australia and then on to Russia when that extra stop could be a much cheaper flight from Europe. If we were based in the U.S., this might not be as pricey, but from Australia… whoa. I don’t like the idea of feeling like I’m throwing money away like that.
  2. It’s a month at a time. On one hand, I would feel a bit held back by being constrained to that certain amount of time. I know, you can have amazing Greece holidays and fantastic Syrian adventures in less time, but… I’ve been spoiled by long-term travel freedom, so I’m sure this comment strikes a sour note with those who can only get 2 weeks off a year.

    On the other hand, I would feel sad being away from Pat that long. On the 16 day East Coast Road Trip I took with Heather, I was already missing him on the first day… and it was a long 15 days after until I made it home. While I enjoyed my time away as best I could, crawling into my sleeping bag at night without him there felt wrong. Yes, I know it is completely girlish and lame, but it’s the truth.

  3. Relationship fears. I definitely think a month here and there can be feasible, but repeatedly I would fear that interfering with the “closeness” of the relationship. One person’s at home, working and living a normal life, while the other one is traipsing around the globe. This could do two things: make the person finally decide to go with you, or make them forget you. I know people make it work, but it is still a fear of mine nonetheless.

More than that, I just want to experience all the fun stuff in this world with my partner in crime, so taking trips without him just isn’t the compromise I’m looking for.

So, I’m going to – at least for the time being – rule the option of smaller trips out. Who knows, it may come down to this eventually, but we’ll see what else we can work out.

Stay tuned for more of the process in making my 10 before 30 goal a reality! Check back, or subscribe to my feed for automatic updates to your reader.


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18 Responses to 10 Before 30 Plan: A Compromise of Smaller Trips

  1. Heather December 14, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    Brooke, I’m really enjoying this series as you ponder some important issues to both you and Pat 🙂 Love when people share what’s important to them and get a little (or more) personal.

    • Brooke December 15, 2010 at 8:06 am #

      Cheers, Heather! I want a life of no regrets. You have to be proactive to make it happen 😉

  2. Keith December 15, 2010 at 1:44 am #

    First off, it’s very cool that you’re trying to make your travel dreams a reality given the situation you’re in. Too many people just box them up and shove them in the closet. Regarding my travel plan, I can assure that it is MUCH more expensive to fly the way that I am (as you point out). Always returning to your homebase adds up. The relationship piece will always be unique to the couple, but it is a valid concern. Having just returned from a month in Argentina, it was extremely good to see Sarah. I missed her desperately while on my trip but we feel with some tweaks to my plans we can still make it work.

    Good luck with your planning. Let me know if I can help answers any questions about my plans.

    • Brooke December 15, 2010 at 7:57 am #

      Thanks, Keith 😉 I might inquire more about your plan after you’ve had more of a longer go at it. It’s definitely something I’m sure we could make work, but I really don’t want to go there just yet 😉 You’re out there now to try your hand at travel writing, right? I guess if it were me out there traveling “for work” it would be a much easier sell (to myself). We’ll see!

      • Keith December 15, 2010 at 9:50 am #

        Yes, I’m doing this as an attempt at a career switch. It does make it easier to justify, but it doesn’t make me wish my wife was with me any less.

  3. Bethany December 15, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    This is a tough one Brooke. I think the best compromise is to get him to start the business now (make it an online one Pat!) and then you can travel slowly and work at the same time. He gets what he wants, you get what you want just at a slower pace. But still see amazing things and have personal work fulfillment. Honestly it’s the only solution I can come up with for myself. it has a lot of challenges but I am determined to make it happen and i think it’s totally feasible for you guys as well. Unless he wants to open a business that is base in a specific place. Honestly getting ahead in a career is fairly worthless in the long run. Seriously, you get ahead and then guess what – you get bored. You realize there was nothing really there to begin with and you get frustrated thinking about how much of your life you’ve given to work. Really if I could go back 10 yrs and tell my 24 yr old self one thing – this would be it: “Don’t worry about work, it will always be there and getting ahead is a farce. In 10 years you’ll throw it all away looking for a more meaningful life anyway. So just start your own business now.” I view all crazy hard work I did in my 20’s as a huge waste of time. I could’ve worked for myself and done something far more meaningful and still made plenty of money. So Pat, I know you are an awesome guy – figure out a great online biz and spend your time busting your ass to make yourself rich, not someone else. Then you will be happy and Brooke will be too because you can travel and you will have an amazing life together 🙂

    Maybe I should start my own talk show? hahahhaa

    • Brooke December 15, 2010 at 7:16 am #

      Haha, thanks Beth! I read this out to him this morning before he left for work. Hopefully, he’ll mull over it on the train ride and see the light! 😉

  4. Annie December 15, 2010 at 4:44 am #

    Hey Brooke, this is a seriously tough question. I understand where both and and Pat are coming from. I think you have highlighted some really great options while at the same time come up with very valid reasons why they don’t suit you.

    Sometimes it’s really tough to try to think for two people. I’m lucky to say that my boyfriend doesn’t want to stay in Florence but he is really at a crossroads when it comes to studying and working!

    I look forward to the rest of your posts on this and seeing what you two plan!

    • Brooke December 15, 2010 at 8:14 am #

      Thanks for the comment, Annie 🙂 Totally agree that thinking for 2 people is tough. But, I’m sure we’ll make it work, somehow!

  5. Zablon Mukuba December 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    this is a great post, i love the fact that you are considering your boyfriends views and opinions and you are willing to compromise. it shows great maturity on your part as well as his. i hope you guys get a great balance whereby you both make the most of your relationship.

    • Brooke December 16, 2010 at 8:28 am #

      Thanks, Zablon 🙂 We’ll figure something out, I’m sure.

  6. Sheila December 15, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    That’s exactly how I feel. So far my husband has been conservative, but supportive. He’s willing to come with me, but I think he’s just saying “YES” for now. I can so relate with the dilemma, because he tells me to go ahead and go by myself in a supportive way, but it’s not the same if the one person you want to share the experience with isn’t with you. Good luck and I hope you both find a compromise you both can be happy with. Maybe a 3 months trip instead or 1 month or one year.

    • Brooke December 16, 2010 at 8:19 am #

      Thanks for your comment, Sheila 🙂 Difficult position to be in for sure. On the one hand, you don’t to force them to do something they don’t want to, but you don’t want to give up the dream. Good luck with your compromise as well.

  7. Ayngelina December 16, 2010 at 2:40 am #

    Sounds like a great compromise. And Malaysia will be fantastic!

    • Brooke December 16, 2010 at 8:17 am #

      Oh, yes, it’ll be an experience! This is a family trip to Malaysia — meaning Pat’s family is going, too, and we’re visiting his extended family while there. We’ll see how that goes 😉

  8. Michael Hodson December 19, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    Any travel is good travel, but I hope you somehow manage to talk your boyfriend into heading out there more. Perhaps if he gives it more of a go and with your great company, he’ll warm up more to it. Good luck.

    • Brooke December 20, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

      Thanks for the comment 😉 I don’t really want to talk him into it if he doesn’t really want to, but at the same time, I can’t give up travel… we’ll see what compromise it comes down to!

  9. Jill January 3, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    I have very similar fears. I’m one month into an eight month RTW trip. My boyfriend couldn’t leave his job in New York to come along, but having always wanted to do this, I felt like I had to go anyway. He’ll meet me half way through for two weeks in India. It’s been a hard month so far, but I still feel it was the right choice. I’ll let you know how the next seven work out…

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