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Benchmarks
September 22, 2013
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Benchmarks

In February of 2013, I came back after an inspiring vacation to Vietnam. Five days after returning, I knew that I had to leave. It came so suddenly and so clearly and there wasn’t anything that anyone could do or say to change my mind. Now for those of you who know me, I absolutely take great joy in planning extensive trips, so the planning began! I immediately started calculating costs and how much time I had to save up the money that was needed for all I wanted to do. Ah, the joys of living paycheck to paycheck suddenly became familiar again as every single penny was socked away into a second bank account. Each month I totaled up my savings, checked and double checked that I was on track to save what I needed before I quit my job.

In order to choose my countries, I looked at a world map and I was immediately attracted back east. Vietnam had lit a fire of curiosity and I needed to see more. I picked countries that would be hard to visit with a full-time job in the future and places that I would probably not see if I was taking a normal vacation. So the list was made, I’d go back to Southeast Asia and also see New Zealand and Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines. At the very end I also decided to add on India and Nepal….I mean, why not? How expensive could it be?? Well the answer is VERY EXPENSIVE but more on that another time!

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It is currently September of 2013, meaning it’s been 7 months since I made this decision, 7 months of going into work and pretending like I care, 7 months of trying to stay motivated and not walking out when I get frustrated, 7 months of a whole lot of will power! A word to the wise, don’t ever decide to quit your job more than 2 months in advance because if not, it will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.

In order to get through this I put together a list of things that were happening in the coming months and used them as benchmarks. This list of benchmarks was long but was necessary in order pace myself. Concerts, visiting home, work projects, bridal showers, cross-country work trips, birthdays, scheduling my movers, bachelorette parties, renewing my drivers license, applying for visas, weddings, weddings and more weddings! I told my baby brother about this idea when he came to visit me in June (another benchmark on the list) and it’s been a joke between us. Every time an event gets crossed off, I text him…… another benchmark down!

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