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Why I gave up my career to travel round-the-world

 

 

Believe it or not, this was probably the seed of my travel adventures.

I never imagined a look-at-us-we’re-somewhere-exotic cheesy cocktail shot, taken in an era when Tom Cruise was nominated worst actor at the Golden Raspberry Awards for shaking his piña coladas across our screens, would be the springboard to my far-flung escapades.

PT80s First Holiday

I’d just started wearing specs. I’d taken them off and out of the shot, I thought.

We were actually in an Irish themed pub somewhere in the costa del tacky; about as exotic as Danny-La-Rue and as Spanish as pie and chips.

“This is the life”, some would say as they settled into their sun loungers for another day of splash and burn.

I like a few scoops as much as the next person but even a lush like me passed on a breakfast invitation to join the hardcore holiday revellers for double rum and cokes at the swim-up bar. Besides, I hadn’t invested in any national flag emblazoned swimwear which appeared to be the dress code for the occasion.

Snottiness and binge-drinking aside, there was nothing wrong with a bit of affordable frivolity in the sun. Northern hemisphere sun-seekers would slur in agreement in staggering numbers and for us, it was a cheap and cheerful welcome break from working 60-plus hour weeks with weekends spent scraping decades of paint and woodchip off our 100-year-old terraced home in Manchester, England. (Cue Coronation Street theme tune).

As I remember it, we drank to grand travel plans on that holiday. We would build our careers, save up, and we promised each other “one day” we would take a sabbatical and explore the world.

As most people know, life doesn’t always play fair and our dream trip didn’t materialise. (Cue violins)

We spent most of our thirties searching out relief remedies for my newly diagnosed arthritic spine which had been giving me grief since my teens and was structurally on the road to degeneration. Just as I got on top of that, Paul found out he didn’t have a tip-top ticker. A couple of more years passed by while Paul got surgery and the all-clear.

I guess we should’ve been holding on to our corporate, gilt-edged health cover for dear life, but instead, we cashed in our worthless endowment policy, traded in our careers and stopped waiting for “one day”.

An active and fulfilling life turned out to be the best remedy for my condition. These days, me and my less-than-perfect rickety spine are ticking along just fine.

Do you dream about taking a sabbatical and traveling round-the-world? What’s stopping you? 

 

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Tracey Croke is a journalist, travel writer, photographer and adventurist, specialising in stories about roughty-toughty travel, offtrack adventure and anything involving a bike

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8 Responses to Why I gave up my career to travel round-the-world

  1. Johanna at ZigaZag January 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    Inspirational Tracey! What an incredible journey you’ve been on. And I love the way you write :) So where to next?
    Johanna at ZigaZag recently posted..3 Places you just have to try for Lunch in Busselton WA Australia.My Profile

    • Celine croke January 24, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

      Well done Tracy, what amazing places and moments that you both have shared together, love reading about and looking at the beautiful pictures you take on your travels around the world with Paul.

      Looking forward to the next chapter of your travels.

      • Tracey January 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

        Thanks Celine, that’s wonderful to hear. So kind. Hope you can make it over to Oz and we can make some more great travel memories together.
        Tracey recently posted..Making Round-the-World Travel PlansMy Profile

    • Tracey January 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

      Thanks Jo and Ditto. Hoping to do some cycling and trekking in the Himalayas. Really keen on Bhutan.
      Tracey recently posted..Making Round-the-World Travel PlansMy Profile

  2. Katie January 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    I love this post! Amazing for you guys for keeping that promise to one another. I can’t wait to read more!
    Katie recently posted..Oskar Schindler Factory (aka Schindler Museum): The A-holes of HistoryMy Profile

    • Tracey January 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

      I’m continually pulled between doing stuff and writing about it. I’ve a lovely backlog building. How do you do it? You seem to have the balance cracked Katie.
      Tracey recently posted..Making Round-the-World Travel PlansMy Profile

  3. Anita Mac January 26, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    Love how you guys are living it! The photo collection is a great testament to your commitment. Cheers to the next 15 years!
    Anita Mac recently posted..Dog Sledding – the exhilaration of a day with the dogsMy Profile

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