Adventures in Wanderlust: Betsy and Pete @passthrucom January 23 2015, 0 Comments

Meet Betsy and Pete - a couple who gave up the conventional lifestyle they’d had for so long in favor of one they really wanted...and they have been traveling the world ever since. They sold it all, moved to a tropical island and are now on a 2 year (or more) trip around the world! Catch their interview below and check out a sampling of their beautiful pictures from their journey. You can follow Betsy and Pete on Instagram @passthrucom and at their blog passingthru.com as they document their life traveling the world. Thanks so much Betsy and Pete for sharing your incredible and inspiring story so  graciously and for your gorgeous pixels!

 Tell us a bit about your adventure…

We're about five months into a 2 year RTW journey. We left our home on Kaua'i in September, 2014 and spent 3 months in Fiji. Now we're in Australia for about four months. After that, our plans are fluid; essentially the only itinerary we have is to follow warm weather around the world. We'll be attending some travel-related conferences in Spain and Thailand in 2015, and we're hoping to get "home" to Minnesota for Pete's high-school class reunion later in the year, too.

What inspired this journey? 

We came home to Kaua'i early in 2014 after an extended trip. We'd flown to Ireland, and then traveled mostly by train across Europe to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Although this was an absolutely marvelous experience, it was quite a whirlwind, too: 13 or 14 countries in 5 weeks. As we generally do, we wished we'd had been able to slow portions of it down in some of the fantastic places we visited. So it felt as though the trip of a lifetime was more reconnaissance for future trips. We fall in love with a place, we want to return. We realized we're slower travelers now, preferring to get to know a destination in more depth. This all requires time with a more open-ended schedule. The solution was to travel full time for an extended period. So, while we were happy in Kaua'i and consider it our home, we're not getting any younger, so we needed to leave again. Our daughter is getting married in September of 2016 in Minnesota, so we figured we had a couple of years with no big obligations until then. It was time to do this thing.

What were you most looking forward to as you worked towards this…

There's always the excitement leading up to a departure, but this time it was tinged with a bit of fear. We wouldn't have a home awaiting our return. Overall, though, it's an exhilarating feeling to let loose without a safety net. We managed to land a lengthy housesitting assignment in Fiji, and it seemed like this would be the perfect jumping off point. Exotic enough and familiar enough for us to get our feet wet, an extended period of time to get our bearings, and free accommodations in turn for watching over the homeowners' property and awesome dogs. That assignment led to another here in Australia, which we secured before we left. So we knew what we'd be doing for the most part in the near future, and as it turns out, that was just the right amount of structure to take the plunge.

How did your friends and family react as you shared your plans...

Well, by now they should be used to the crazy. We're the wacky ones who sold everything in Minnesota and moved to Hawaii, after all. We'd had a bit of unexpected pushback making that move from folks who couldn't wrap their heads around the concept of location independence - were we retired? did we suddenly become independently wealthy? Would we be back in a couple of months with our tails between our legs? We came to realize all this was more about them than us. With this latest iteration, there's been more positive support. And it has been wonderful to see inklings of our influence: friends and family who are simplifying their own lives to make room to do the things they love and find inspiring.

Have you made any significant life changes to accommodate....

It's been more of a progression with us: downsizing a couple of times on the mainland U.S., getting rid of almost everything to move to Kaua'i, and then paring down to a couple of suitcases' worth of stuff to bring along on this journey. When you're older, slower transitions are easier to make! On the work front, we've deliberately structured a network of online businesses over the past six years that enable us to work from anywhere. We'd had enough of making life fit around work for the past thirty or so years! We needed work to fit in with the life we wanted and so we made it happen.

What has been your favorite moment so far...

Well, it's hard to pick just one moment out of so many, but we both could probably agree on an evening spent during low tide on the reef in Korotogo. We were blessed to join a local family at the water's edge who showed us how to collect and clean sea urchins. The sun setting the horizon ablaze, the sweet and salty texture in your mouth from something freshly picked out of the sea, and the realization that this simple scene has played out in exactly this way for centuries: pure magic.

What have you learned so far on this journey...

"Bula!" This is the word you use in Fiji to greet everyone you encounter, accompanied with a smile, and often a stop to chat. The literal translation of the word "bula" is "life" but it's much, much more. Its use is a recognition of divinity and humanity in each individual, the idea that everyone matters, that it's important to be kind and loving. Fijians don't seem to engage in the pursuit of happiness. Instead, Fijians live in happiness and gratitude, often with very little in the way of material things. The people of Fiji are so very rich in spirit. They are an amazing example of what's really important.

What advice would you give to someone with a similar dream or goal...

Don't be afraid to take an unconventional path in life. Listen to your heart and gut to accept or reject ideas from others who think they know what's good for you. Go before you think you're completely ready. Give yourself a firm starting deadline that's not too far out. Do it now. Someday never comes. No regrets.

 

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