A marathon has always been in the cards for me. It’s one of those inevitable things I know I’ll do “some day”.
The half marathon I ran last year happened because my aunt invited me to run with her. Once it was on the calendar, I was committed and made it happen.
On a call last week, my friend asked when I was going to run my marathon. I told him I don’t know yet. I hadn’t been running as much since starting the sabbatical because of all the traveling and trying to figure out a new routine.
He said, “Oh, is that the reason?”
Busted. “No, I’m just making excuses.”
He laughed. “A marathon is not a big deal. Everyone makes it out to be a big deal. Just sign up for one, get it on the calendar, and go do it.”
I knew he was right. “I’ll try to find one near one of the places I’m traveling.”
“I mean, I WILL! I’m going to sign up for one and text you by the end of the day.”
And that’s the story of how I signed up for the Buffalo Marathon in New York. I’ve been training every day since.
5 years ago, if you had told me I’d take a year off and travel the world with no house or car, I wouldn’t believe you. If you’d told me I’d do it without having to pay for any flights, I’d say you’re crazy.
But that’s exactly what we’re doing:
We have the next 6 months of flights booked and we didn’t spend money on any of them. How?
The Southwest Companion Pass.
“Travel Hacking” is what they call it. By strategically using points you earn from using your credit card, you can get some pretty incredible perks.
The Companion Pass allows anyone you designate to fly with you for free. That means even when I book flights using points, my wife flies with me for free.
In this video, I explain how to qualify for the Companion Pass, tips for earning points faster, and how I book flights without spending any money.
I recorded not one, but THREE podcasts in a day! One was an interview of me for the Caleb Wojcik Show. The other was an interview for the seanwes podcast with Caleb Wojcik as a guest. Both the episode of me on Caleb’s show, and Caleb on my podcast, will publish on Friday.
The third podcast was completely unexpected. Calvin Rosser sent me a DM on Instagram asking if I was going to be in Encinitas any time soon and, little did he know, that’s exactly where I was went he sent the message! Sabbatical serendipity.
He ended up showing us a nearby meditation garden, and I recorded part of our conversation together. We talked about ridding oneself of guilt when not working. I think you’ll really enjoy the conversation (it publishes on Thursday).
We also moved out of our first AirBnb. We’re still in San Diego for another week though. Later in the vlog, we visit Coronado Island.
We got to spend a few days with family before flying to California.
I am the oldest of 13 kids. Eight of them still live at home.
During the days when I visit, I like to go on walks with my younger brother, Stephen. He’s eight years old and 12th in the lineup. We have some good conversations. He’s a smart kid.
I haven’t had much time to get to know Stephen. He was born after I had already moved out and gotten married. Not long after he was born, my family moved to Dallas, and we only get to visit a few times per year.
Stephen thinks the sabbatical idea is pretty cool, but he wishes I would just stay with him instead of travel so he can see me more often.
The Dallas meetup went well. It was great to finally meet the editor of my first book in person. Blake, you’re awesome.
We’re just getting settled into our place here in San Diego. I’ll share more about that in the coming days. I’ll also talk about some of the travel hacking we’re doing at some point (credit card points and things), as well as our backpacks and how we’re packing.
We took a bus from the airport to our AirBnb in San Diego. Everything we had was in the packs on our backs.
Walking down the street, I felt light with freedom. We can do anything and go anywhere! Granted, we still had sizable packs on our backs, but their anti-gravity load dispersal systems meant we hardly noticed the weight.
It doesn’t even matter if we forgot something. There are stores no matter where you go. You can always pick something up if you need to. You really don’t need as much as you think.
We’ve only been out of our home state one day, and already I’m feeling an immense sense of gratitude. I have no doubt solo travel brings its own treasures and rewards, but I feel so fortunate to share this journey with my wife.
Last year, I wasn’t sure if there would be a Laci in 2020. It’s such a gift to get to enjoy this sabbatical together.
We’re having so much fun and can’t wait to share more with you in the next vlog.