The month of January sees many of us, including our Leave Work to Travel trio, fired up with the best intentions to become sylph like, toned Adonis’s and transform our lives overnight.
The reality is that we become disillusioned very quickly, often because we’re too impatient with the result that the diet is ditched, the gym membership dispensed with, and we feel despondent.
If that’s the case, now is the ideal time to dig out your bucket list and reignite your mojo because life’s short and we never know what’s round the corner.
“It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined”
I can’t think of a more appropriate period than now to act on the words of acclaimed author Henry James as we take our tentative first steps towards freedom.
The global pandemic and associated sacrifices have given us time to reflect if - and how - our dreams, goals and aspirations have changed.
The symbolical re-emergence may also take on a greater sense of urgency for those ‘of a certain age’.
Turning Dreams Into Reality
Our passion at Leave Work to Travel was born out of our bucket list to share tips on lifestyle and travel.
Starting our website in June 2020 (not the greatest time to launch a travelogue!), we set out to motivate and inspire our friends and followers to pursue their passion.
Caught up in the European pandemic on our rollercoaster motor home travels, our experiences - and the things we learnt in unprecedented times - made us realise we could never again settle in suburbia.
Before we made the transition from ‘time poor’ to making time to live, we went through some steps which we wanted to share with you.
Map Out Your Vision
We found that mapping out our vision - even though it changed dramatically due to the advent of Covid - was invaluable.
There’s a wonderful word called ‘dreamstorming’ - letting your imagination run wild - is enormous fun, liberating and energising when compiling your goals.
As your ‘life plan’ is everything you strive to achieve, it’s good to break it down and commit to paper/laptop the first steps - what you will complete this year. This avoids your list becoming overwhelming and impractical.
Before touring Scotland in our motor home, we planned a fabulous itinerary of the area and the islands we would explore along with wellbeing goals which including scaling Ben Nevis.
Despite it being one of my biggest challenges to date, the sense of achievement at ascending the summit was sensational.
You can divide your plan into sections - travel, hobbies, health and fitness. It’s good to set timescales to sustain the impetus and motivation.
This year’s plan for our trio of nomads at Leave Work to Travel is to head back to Europe in our motor home and, for the third time, attempt to explore Portugal’s captivating coast.
Our previous two attempts were made impossible by border restrictions due to Covid cases rising. Our next stops after the Portugal are Greece and Croatia.
You’re In This Together
Compromises may need to be made on your bucket list to accommodate your spouse/partner/family.
There will also aspirations you embark on together such as more adventurous travel destinations - and others, such as new hobbies, you will do separately.
Sharing and involving friends and wider family in your plans helps to avoid any ‘surprises’ down the line!
For those about to kiss goodbye to full time working, bear in mind that spending evenings, weekends and holidays with your loved one being in each other’s pockets 24x7, is a whole different ballgame to working apart five days a week.
This is something we learnt very fast in the confined space of a two berth motor home with a lively golden retriever - especially travelling in France in inclement weather!
As you embark on your new ventures, take photographs or start a blog/ Facebook /Instagram page to make magical memories and encapsulate your experiences.
While we’re passionate about sharing our tips, insights and ‘learns’, we appreciate you may want to keep yours private. Here’s our Bucket List:
- Surfing Portugal’s top waves in Santa Cruz
- Explawing Greece’s dog friendly islands - Samothraki and Kythira
- Pay my respawcts to Greyfriars Bobby statue honouring faithful Skye Terrier, who kept watch over his master’s grave for 14 years
We hope your bucket list - whatever it includes - will be rewarding, fulfilling and bursting with happiness. As there’s no better time than the present to embrace our ‘brave new world’ let’s prove Oscar Wild wrong when he said: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
It’s been widely reported that spending long periods in isolation could coincide with a rise in domestic violence and child abuse as well as depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse.
Building up our mental health ‘reserves’, to help us through the months ahead, is therefore vital and one way to help ourselves - and others - is by embarking on a virtual Wellbeing Coach Training course.
Leading sporting, leisure and tourism destination, La Manga Club got back into its swing on July 1 after the Covid-19 lockdown with meticulous socially distanced check in procedures.
Invited to review the Club in March, we were bowled over by the experience.
As we race into summer and the prospect of sunshine-soaked days to explore near home or further afield in the UK, hitting the road in a motorhome conjures an evocative picture for many.
With staycations all the rage, our Leave Work to Travel motorhoming trio reflect on the lessons - of which there are many - they learnt to help those about to take the plunge.
After swapping a caravan for a motorhome in August 2019, selling a business and setting off on a rollercoaster retirement road trip, Steve shares tips and traps to avoid.
After a bumpy start in November 2019, when our Leave Work to Travel trio was robbed of our passports, money and credit cards we had two choices - give up or get going again.
Having been on the road for just 12 days when the disaster stopped us in our tracks, it would have been easy to go home - at that stage our house hadn’t been rented out.
Up for a challenge we opted to stick it out - never imagining the seismic changes Europe and the world were about to undergo within the next few months.
To say we encountered more than we bargained for - after waving Yorkshire goodbye on a bitter October night for a European motor home trip - is a wild understatement.
Fairly seasoned travellers by train, sea and air, aswell as many years of caravaning, motor homing was a new quest as we set sail for Calais in high spirits with an overexcited golden retriever.