Risks in the Game of Life

Creative Commons via DavidDMuir on flickr

While doing my weekly “patrol” of blogs, I found myself absolutely inspired by Shannon of A Little Adrift’s most recent post, A Little Synchronicity…Plan, Who Needs Plan!?. This post made me reflect not only on my current situation, but on how Shaun and I are approaching our upcoming trip. There can be a massive payoff with you take risks in the game of life.

This past January 9th, Shaun and I had celebrated our 12th anniversary from our first date. This really struck a chord with me because I have known him for almost half my life – being 28, that is a really big deal. For the first time in our joint lives together, we are taking a really big risk. Looking back at everything we have accomplished – from me graduating college to getting married, every single thing we have ever done has been, for the most part, highly calculated.

We are placing our lives in the hands of life and just going with it. While our parents and loved ones may not completely understand why we choose this path in life, we are doing it anyway. This is how we would like to live. You call it selfish. I call it living. I had spent my childhood being told, “Mija, traveling is only for rich people.” Well, I’m here to prove that wrong.

This is the most liberating feeling I have ever felt. We are letting life dictate where we are going and where we are ending up, and surprisingly, I’m not scared. I had been brought up my entire life to be so goal oriented that I forgot to live in the moment. I was always looking for that next milestone, that next accomplishment, that next big break that I was neglecting the fact that the journey to those goals should be experienced with as much fervor as getting there.

Working on Over Yonderlust has helped me grow exponentially this past year and the travel community has been just as responsible for my development as my personal experiences with the blog. Thank you guys for always being there and for being our cheerleaders when we needed it the most.

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46 Responses to “Risks in the Game of Life”

  1. Leigh January 17, 2011 at 7:22 am #

    I’ve never quite understood why travel is considered self indulgent and selfish, while staying in one place is considered the right thing to do. It all depends on how you do it.

    I can’t help but think taking the risk and expanding our personal boundaries is kind of a good thing.

    • Erica January 17, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

      @Leigh: I’ve never quite understood that as well. I’m trying to figure out why I was never told that it was a viable option as well. Not everyone should be stagnant. My mom should know better – she shares the same restless soul that kept moving us around as a kid!

  2. Dave and Deb January 17, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    Congratulations on living your dream and pursuing your goals. Overyonderlust is incredible and you are accomplishing great things with this blog and proving to the world that anyone can do anything if they want to. Happy Anniversary!

    • Erica January 17, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

      @DaveandDeb: Thank you for your incredibly sweet words. ♥

  3. Andi January 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    I think it is essential to take risks in life! DREAM BIG!!!

    • Erica January 17, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

      @Andi: I think that should be taught often: Big risks = big payoff!

  4. IsabellesTravel January 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    First of all ‘Congrats’ on your Anniversary! Secondly, great post. I totally understand what you`re saying. “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. ~ Greg Anderson” And the travel community definitely helps on this journey. And I agree with Andi: Dream big > “You’re the only one who can make the difference. Whatever your dream is, go for it” ~Magic Johnson
    Keep up the good work!

    • Erica January 17, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

      @Isabelle: Thank you! Sometimes we all need reminders on why we are doing this. 🙂

  5. Brooke vs. the World January 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    I agree with all the above. It is essential to take risks and dream – congrats to you both for choosing to do so!

    • Erica January 17, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

      @Brooke: I would be a sad sad person if I didn’t have an outlet for my dreams like I do now. I have been happier than I have ever been!

  6. Amanda January 17, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    Whoo hoo, go after those dreams!

    Also, may I just point out that I love the fact that you used a photo from a Lord of the Rings RISK game… Yes, I’m a nerd. I know.

    • Erica January 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

      @Amanda: I used to work for Blizzard – I am nerd-er-iffic. <3

  7. Lilliane January 17, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    good luck to you guys! it’s really an exciting life ahead! so much randomness and very different experiences!

    • Erica January 18, 2011 at 12:01 am #

      @Lilliane: The fact that we don’t know what is going to happen is super exciting. I’ve never done anything like this before.

  8. Heather January 17, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    I remember after college several of us were left with a “what now” feeling because until this point, there had always been a milestone to look ahead to, as you said. Each semester, each year was its own “project” to be tackled and conquered. After that there was a whole lot of “hmm…now I can set whatever goal or plan I want for myself and things become a tad more ambiguous.”

    I’m so glad you two have decided what you want next in life and you’re making it happen. Erica, you’ve been a great cheerleader for me since the very beginning, and I’m glad you have plenty of support to cheer you on as you inch closer to departure time 🙂

    • Erica January 18, 2011 at 12:14 am #

      @Heather: The after college thing – well, I don’t think ANYONE is prepared for what to expect after. I went through a mini mid twenties crisis due to that! I’m glad you can be here with us. It means the world to me. <3

  9. Pedro January 17, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    Erica and Shaun,

    All the power to you both!! We did the exact same thing almost 2 years ago and not one regret. We sold all the “stuff” (including our house) that we had accumulated, and put the backpacks on to start our adventure. It was as you quoted above the most liberating feeling we had ever had. And you are right that there are peeps that don’t understand, but you are doing it for yourselves, not for them…

    We fell in love with South America and Central is stealing our hearts as well. We are currently in Roatán, Honduras for the next 6 months volunteering and taking care of a house. If you are ever in the area, send us a note, we would love to meet you guys and see how things are going!

    Mucho suerte!
    Pedro

    • Erica January 18, 2011 at 12:16 am #

      @Pedro: We will definitely head your way! Honestly, getting into trouble and adventures with other travel bloggers is one of the awesome things I love about the internet. I have you down on a list of people to make sure to hit up when we’re in the area!

  10. Zablon Mukuba January 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    its great that you guys found each other. you can always rely on my support

    • Erica January 18, 2011 at 12:18 am #

      @Zablon: You are so sweet! I’m glad that you can be here to cheer us on!

  11. Jill - Jack and Jill Travel The World January 18, 2011 at 12:04 am #

    Aaaw, congrats and Happy Anniversary! 12 years is a long time and it seems that you guys are going stronger than every. Yay!

    • Erica January 18, 2011 at 12:19 am #

      @Jill: 12 years is quite some time! It has been an interesting ride and there has definitely been some ups and downs, but I can’t imagine going through life without my partner in crime!

  12. LeslieTravel January 18, 2011 at 12:53 am #

    12 years– that’s a real accomplishment! You know you are a good fit when you can travel together without killing one another 🙂 I’m glad the two of you are following your dreams– I enjoy reading about your adventures!

    • Erica January 19, 2011 at 12:28 am #

      @Leslie: Oh believe me, we have our tiffs while traveling lol! <3

  13. Andrea January 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Good for you guys! I’ve always believed in the no risk, no reward mantra for living. Life is so boring if you know what is going to happen everyday.

    • Erica January 19, 2011 at 2:14 am #

      @Andrea: I am new to the no risk, no reward mantra – it is quite freeing!

  14. Annie January 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Ah congrats you two! 12 years is amazing, and it proves that you two have really found your best friends and soulmates in each other!

    As for the traveling I am so excited to see you guys set off! Great post!

    • Erica January 19, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

      @Annie: You are so sweet! I guess I kinda like him since we’ve spent so much time together. 😛

  15. Nick Laborde January 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    I can totally relate to that, I got wrapped up in accomplishing the things that I was supposed to do. When I hit those milestones, it was like, “that’s it”.

    I love that mantra of letting life dictate life.

    Rock On!!!!

    • Erica January 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

      @Nick: It makes me sad that I’ve already “wasted” so much time hitting all the milestones I thought I was supposed to meet. I guess starting late than never is better than not at all!

  16. Rebecca January 19, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    What a lovely post! I really like your line “We are placing our lives in the hands of life and just going with it.”

    Coincidentally, I turn 28 this year (April) and have been with my boyfriend for 12 years too (our anniversary is in August). It is crazy thinking how long someone has been in your life and how well you know each other!

    • Erica January 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

      @Rebecca: Why thank you girlie! I am so glad to meet a kindred spirit who understands what it is like to be with someone since a teenager. Congrats!

  17. Samantha January 20, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    I can’t wait to hear all about your trip to South America in the upcoming months. I am in the pondering stage of what I am doing after I graduate college, so your experiences are definitely lights of hope. I will be taking your travels as advice for my adventures in the future.

    Keep posting! I love it.

    http://seasonedwithyouth.com/

    • Erica January 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

      @Samantha: Thanks a lot lady! The after graduation pondering stage is a scary thing. Many of us have been there. I would say travel – but I’m a bit biased in that. 😛

  18. joshywashington January 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Congrats on the anniversary! Living in the moment is the ultimate goal and to that end being centered, content int he now, you are still goal oriented, your goal is just more subtle, more beautiful and mysterious!

    Viva OverYonderlust!

    • Erica January 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

      @Joshy: Thanks! I have to say that your “Viva OverYonderlust!” made me giggle. I’m just going to have to start signing things like that. It has a good ring to it. 😛 Glad to have you on board and I cannot wait to keep up with your Argentina adventure!

  19. Sarah Wu January 21, 2011 at 12:26 am #

    So inspired by the love your share with Shuan. It kind of remind me of myself, how I basically with my other half for 10 years going to be 11 this year. I’m happy you guys are going to do a rtw trip and it doesn’t matter what others think because it’s a beautiful life style you and Shuan choose to share. Best of the wishes for you guys!!

    • Erica January 21, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

      @Sarah: Aww, thank you girlie! It is nice to see other couples that can last the test of time. Best wishes to you guys as well!

  20. Camels & Chocolate January 21, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    Half your lives–wow! I sometimes envy those couples who met as children. It’s so cool to be able to say “we met and fell in love in middle/high school!” Kudos to you guys!

    • Erica January 21, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

      @Kristin: There are pros and cons to meeting someone that young. I could probably write a blog or a book on that subject alone. Thank you for your kind words!

  21. Giulia January 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Wow, 12 years 🙂 I don’t know you personally but I so much like you 2 as a couple 🙂
    Congrats both for the anniversary and for the “liberation” through travel. Everybody should be able to choose his life, but many people just live in the box and don’t understand. Which is ok as long as they don’t judge!
    *hug*
    G

    • Erica January 23, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

      @Giulia: *hug* Thank you girlie! I’m super excited to start this next phase in our life. Super exciting!

  22. Lucie, Lachlan & Bow Wow January 29, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    Sometimes you just have to jump and have faith that life will catch you! Inspiring post, thanks guys!

    • Erica January 31, 2011 at 5:05 am #

      @Lucie, Lachlan & Bow Wow: It is a *really* hard jump. Apparently I “go big” because this is the first time I’ve done it.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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