This week’s If We Can Do It interview is with Rachel from TreePot Travels. She’s given up her job as a nanny to travel with her husband Mike and it sounds as though they are on quite an adventure together!
1. Why did you decide to take your grown up gap year/trip? Was it a difficult decision to make?
I decided to travel due to the constraints of my prior life. As a nanny, I was charged with taking care of another person, day in, day out. Although I love kids and see myself nannying and/or teaching again in the future, it was time for me to start taking care of myself. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a difficult decision at all. I was ready to let go and start a new life and to make it even better, my husband was ready for a change too.
2. What were other people’s reactions when you told them your plans?
Haha. Lots of people laughed at me and thought that I was crazy – many still do. On the other hand, there have been a few people who were pleased to see that in my mid-twenties I’m taking the leap and experiencing life while I’m still young and healthy.
3. How long did your trip take and where did you go?
We are currently on our trip, about three months in. So far we have lived in the back of our truck for a six week road trip from Key West, Florida, to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia; house sat for two weeks in Luneneburg; took a ten day road trip from Nova Scotia to Alberta and are completing a three month house sit in Edmonton, Alberta. After that it’s back into the states to experience the NW and a house sit in Oregon.
4. How did you finance your grown up gap year?
We saved as much money as we could prior to leaving the Keys by living way below our means. We plan to stop and work in one of the western states for a while before taking off again. Also, house sitting has provided a great way to save money.
5. Did you go alone or with family/friends?
It’s just me and my husband Mike! Which is a good fit considering the limited amount of room in the back of our truck.
6. What is your travel style? (Ie. Budget hostels/Mid-range hotels/Luxury travel – less is more, travelling slowly/pack in as much as possible)
Our travel style is a bit different from most. We would consider it low budget/backpacker/travel slowly/live in truck.
7. Do you go for tours or do it alone?
Without a doubt alone. This way we can take our time in each place and allows me to really get to settle in and focus on my photography.
8. What is the best thing about taking a grown up gap year?
The best thing, I would say, is being able to experience freedom at its best. I’ve been lucky enough to be given a life where I can make my own choices. It would be a shame not to act on such a rare freedom.
9. And were there any downsides?
Living in the back of a truck for such a long time can be a bit exhausting, but also rewarding. It’s a give and take relationship that luckily has many more ups then downs.
10. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of setting off on their own grown up gap year?
Take the time to really plan out the trip. You don’t have to necessarily plan out what you are going to do in each place or even each place that you are going to, but you should give yourself a rough idea. This helps to allow you the right allocation of monies per destination so that you don’t get stuck in a tough spot. Also, take advantage of work opportunities and house sitting if you are going to be staying in a single place for a few months or more.