Joey & Jen
The countdown has officially started.

It’s really going to happen.

After years of dreaming of traveling the world full-time, it’s becoming a reality…and we’re going to do it as a couple.

We know it won’t be easy, but we’re going to share our lessons and adventures along the way.

First Stop, Greece.

Athens city

It’s scary. Quitting our jobs (at the end of May), jumping into the unknown, going against all that is certain and comfortable. How will we live? What are we going to do with all of our stuff? Will we always get along (probably not). What about our three cats? We don’t have the answers to all of those questions yet. My mom has offered us her home as a base, and we are grateful to have a temporary home for our cats. That takes a considerable strain off of us, not to mention getting to spend some much-needed time with family.

How are we getting there?

We haven’t decided between purchasing a ticket using a discounted-fare site like Skyscanner or Momondo, travelling standby on Space-A on a military aircraft (for current or retired military), or using accumulated credit card miles for a discounted ticket.

What’s Space-A?

C-17 Globemaster, Source: Wikimedia
C-17 Globemaster, Source: Wikimedia

Space-Available (Space-A) travel is available to active-duty and retired military. This type of travel requires complete flexibility and patience on the part of the traveler. You’re not guaranteed a seat and you are not guaranteed a return flight. I have flown Space-A once before, on a C-130, but it’s more common to fly on a C-17.

In order to fly Space-A, you need a military ID (active or retired), and are required to sign up 90 days in advance. After signing up at your preferred departure location you wait, and wait, and wait some more and then get ready leave on 72 hours (or less) notice if you are lucky enough to find a flight with empty seats going to a country you are interested in.

Why would anyone want to travel this way? No guaranteed seat until the plane takes off, no guaranteed return flight, no amenities on board, it can be freezing cold or unbearably hot?

One reason: Nearly Free Flights!

I will be writing more about this kind of travel later.

Just getting to Florida poses its own set of challenges. Should we keep both cars, or get rid of one? Rent a POD or drive a U-Haul? We aren’t sure about the vehicles, but we did find out that the cost of renting a POD for 30 days, packing it at our leisure and having it delivered is about the same price as a week-long U-Haul rental.

What are we doing now?

Time to Travel

More than anything else, for the next three months we are saving every penny, and paying down our debt. We’re downsizing and selling most of our living room furniture. Our goal is to be able to get everything we want to keep in my mom’s house without renting an additional storage unit. We’re not sure what we’re going to do for money but we are starting off debt-free (hopefully!), with some savings, and I will still have my teacher’s salary until the end of summer.

What are we going to do when we get there?

IMG_0175

Long-term travel is going to be the way to go for us. We’ve rented an apartment with a kitchen through Air BnB for the month of August (July is still up in the air). Cooking our own food most of the time should save hundreds of dollars. Since I am travelling with MS, and dealing with the injections, fatigue, uncertainty, and anxiety that goes with along with that, long-term travel is the only way to go for us.

We’re also considering trying out Work-Away in Greece. Volunteering a few hours of time each day will allow us to live like a local and have a chance to really get to know the country. Work-Away lets you volunteer anything from computer skills, English tutoring, and hostel help, in exchange for room and board. I will be writing more about this later.

While Joey has never left the U.S., I’ve been to 20 countries. This will be the ultimate adventure for both of us. I trust him to keep us safe. He trusts me to make the travel arrangements. He can fix or build anything, and has a sixth sense for knowing how things work. I’ll be doing most of the writing, while he has an eye for a great photo. Traveling as a couple will present its own set of rewards and challenges and we will be posting more about traveling as a couple in the future.

Jen & Joey FlowersLife has a strange way of coming full circle. When I started this blog almost three years ago I planned to begin this travel adventure alone. One thing after another kept from going, so I decided to put those travel plans on hold and teach for a while. Now that I’ve met someone who will share the adventure with me; ups and downs, good and bad, happy and sad, the future is wide open.

Three more months of working, planning, packing….. and we’re off. See you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Saying Goodbye to Shenandoah | Jaunting Jen

  2. jauntingjen@gmail.com

    Thanks Sean. I enjoy reading your blog, especially the posts on the Byzantine Empire and ancient history.

  3. This is amazing news! I’m sure it’s quite scary in the gearing-up phases, but this sounds like a really awesome adventure. I can’t wait to see your dispatches from the trip.

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