Cheers to the New Year—Our Plans for 2018

Cheers to the New Year—Our Plans for 2018

Tom and Kristin in Portland, Maine in November.

Ahh a new year. A new year means a fresh start. Time to set resolutions and make some changes. For Tom and myself, 2018 is going to look a little different than the prior few years.

Firstly, WE QUIT OUR JOBS.

We each took a scary leap of faith and decided to leave our jobs in accounting and consulting. We both had great jobs by typical standards. We loved our co-workers, made great money, and truly learned a lot. But our jobs required a lot of long hours and stress.

We didn’t have much free time outside of the work day to focus on enjoying our lives. Time was flying by too quickly and our moods were sour most evenings when we would get home from a long day of the typical grind. Picnic Wednesdays helped break up the monotony but sometimes we weren’t able to get home from work early enough to enjoy dinner together even once a week!

Before we left our jobs, we started aggressively saving money to ensure that we could live off our savings for the undecided length of our “gap period.” We stopped eating out, grabbing take-out, going to bars, taking ubers, paying for gym memberships, buying clothes, or indulging in Starbucks. When all was said and done, we had saved up quite a decent amount of money between the two of us and continued to put a very healthy amount in our 401Ks.

Quitting our jobs without another job lined up meant leaving Boston and moving back home with our parents in Texas. Our rent was over $2,000 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment. We definitely couldn’t afford that without our steady incomes unless we wanted to blow through our savings. So we made a plan to leave our apartment and sell/donate everything we owned. Our plan was to only take what we could fit in my small Volkswagen.

On December 17, 2017, we loaded up my car and hit the road on our cross-country drive to Texas. Lots of fast food meals, gas station coffees, and over 1,800 miles later, we were in Texas with our families to enjoy the holidays and settle into our new and changed lives.

Kristin and her niece, Naomi, on New Year’s Eve.

But all this is not in vain. We’re making serious steps to change our lifestyle and live intentionally, not just letting each day pass by in a meaningless blur. Our goals for 2018 are to spend more time with family and friends, see more of this world, and become fluent in Spanish. We have made great strides in all 3 of these goals since we’ve left our jobs.

After spending several wonderful weeks with our families, we’re headed to Colombia for 3 weeks. We plan on starting in Cartagena, where we’re meeting up with some good friends. After that, we will be in Medellin for about a week and Bogota for another week.

After our adventures in Colombia, we’ve booked an AirBnb in Mexico City for the entire month of February! Here we are planning on taking an intensive Spanish course and really settling into the local flavor of life (literally tacos galore will be consumed).

On March 1st, we’re headed back to the states to see Tom’s sister get married in San Diego (YAY for more family time). Then, I’ll come back to the Dallas, TX area to spend more time with my beautiful 1 year old niece.

From there, we have no plans set in stone and are open to suggestions!

While we’re abroad, we plan to post on this website frequently with pictures, recommendations, tips and tricks, and more picnics. We also bought a camera so we’re thinking about making some weekly videos as well.

Here’s to 2018 and we wish you all love and happiness in this new year!

Happy Picnicking,

Kristin

4 thoughts on “Cheers to the New Year—Our Plans for 2018

  1. Oh, my sweet Kristin, how wonderful. I missed too many picnics, so praise be to God you and Tom will intentionally have many. I enthusiastically look forward to reading about your adventures. When I spent 6 months in Europe alone at 21 years old, I loved it. I suggest you look at a trip to Ireland to spend time with the people and take rest at their BnBs and home farms. So, so happy for you. Soar and adore your life. Love you bunches, Miss Joani.💖💖

    1. Miss Joanie thank you so much! We are so excited. Your time in Europe must have been a blast. I have been to Ireland once and LOVED it. I really want to get back there. Great suggestion! I hope you are doing well.
      Love,
      Kristin

  2. That all sounds amazing!!! You guys should go to Guatemala and spend time with my sister Bev and her husband Paul. Tgey have lived there for almost 5 years now
    They would love you to go down there.

    1. Thanks Brian! Miss you and the kids and Val!! We would love to go see Bev and Paul in Guatemala, maybe that will be our next trip!
      Love,
      Kristin

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