Escaping the ever-powerful washing machine cycle of life is a big reason why we travel, and we didn’t always think it was possible. You see, our lives together started out in a rut.
In other words, we were living in a small-ish town doing absolutely nothing. Well, we did some things, if you include spending weekends getting trashed at the same places with the same people, eating the same food with no longterm goals in sight.
Neither of us really wanted that but couldn’t find any other way to go through life. It was a vicious cycle; one that we still see a lot of people like us still going through.
And I’m in no way judging anyone for remaining in one place or situation because I know how powerless you can feel when inside that cycle. You can stay stuck forever because you think there’s no way out.
Somehow, we broke through but it took a huge leap and some pertinacity to keep ahead of it. This is how we used travel to escape the cycle.
Travel Helped Us Escape the Cycle
Honestly, travel isn’t the only way you can escape the cycle. It can be any number of hobbies, but for us, travel was the key. Well, traveling to a new home, that is.
After a series of steps and fortunate events, we were able to take the leap move to South Korea and teach English. That move alone liberated us in so many ways, inside and outside.
Why We Travel to Escape the “Washing Machine” Life
The Trip that Changed Us
To say “Korea changed our lives” is beyond an understatement.
Moving to Korea opened us up to seek out more. It started with the area immediately around our first apartment in Gwangju, Jeollanam-do and all the questions that arose.
We’d ask ourselves daily, “What food does that restaurant serve? Where does that trail go?”
And then it just kept expanding. We eventually moved on to other cities, took road trips, attended festivals, hiked mountains, and tried our best to dig into the country.
More Trips Came
More questions came, as a result.
“What’s that on the map? What can you do there?”
And that led to more trips beyond Korea, leading to countries nearby (like Japan) and further down the map in Southeast Asia. We got high on life and hanging on to the back of a motorbike through Kampot in Cambodia, Southern and Northern Thailand, and spots up and down Vietnam.
We stuffed everything we owned into a backpack and threw away clothes when they started to smell too bad.
Readjusting to life in the US was more expensive in ways, especially regarding healthcare or traveling around our state and beyond. But there are conveniences we didn’t have before. For example, we can pack all the lunch meat and snacks we want and order sunscreen via Amazon Prime.
Regardless of the fact that we were back home and closer to the cycle, we started our second American life in North Carolina just like we did our first one in Korea—using travel to escape its grasp.
“How about we visit that restaurant? What does this new town have to offer? How about the next town over? How about we just explore the entire state?”
Then We Had a Baby
And then we had a baby. It was something that we thought about doing eventually, so it wasn’t a complete surprise.
Of course, everyone was there to tell us that we’d have to give up traveling. There’d be no more hanging off of motorbikes or haggling for t-shirts.
We wouldn’t even go hiking because everything would be about the baby. We’d need another bag just to accommodate all the things the baby would need.
While some of that is true, most of it isn’t. Yes, the baby comes with gear. But a lot less gear than you actually think. Sure, this baby didn’t sleep for the first 10 months of her life. But, we worked around it.
We chugged coffee and kept on.
Because we saw that cycle approaching and used travel with our baby as the means to escape. We knew that it was our job to show this kid what the world has to offer, so she can grow up and change it all!
Of course, fear and doubt swoop in from time to time to keep us off our game and near that spinning washing machine.
For example, is it frightening to check into a hotel room and pray to god that there isn’t anyone on either side of you just in case tonight is the night your baby decides to scream her brains out all night?
Yes, but we keep traveling to escape the cycle’s grasp.
We Still Travel
Every single day.
Every day, we all have a chance to step out and see something new, taste something exotic, or even just wonder what’s around the corner.
Whether it’s a road trip and a hike, or a 12-hour flight, we have the opportunity to experience something and somewhere new today.
That’s what we keep using travel to escape the mundane washing machine that’s always there waiting to suck us back in. Only, we will never let it happen.
What’s Your Escape?
We focused on travel as our escape and would love to know if you use it as well. If you don’t, however, what’s your method to avoid the cycle? Let us know in the comments section below or you can contact us here.