Chris and Mallary- we are an adventure seeking couple in our early 30s, heading out to live free from the routines of day to day life, and explore the world on our own terms. We love our lives at home in Virginia, we just can't ignore our insatiable desire to go to new places and do new things, and feel like there is never enough time for the "fun stuff" in life while working full time. So, while we've got the youth, desire, freedom, and energy to do so... We are heading out for a little mid-life retirement on a budget of sorts.
I'm not sure whether I feel blessed or cursed by my passion and innate desire to travel... whichever one it is though, it is what has taken me on the best journeys of my life. It has enabled me to take part in many humanitarian trips and vacations abroad, a summer college course on a bus tour through Europe, 3 years working as a nurse at a children's home in the Philippines, 5 months backing South East Asia with 2 of my best friends, and a couple months in Spain walking El Camino de Santiago and exploring. I am so ready to now embark on the new-to-me adventure of overlanding!
I've been a Registered Nurse for 9 years and have been working as a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology nurse for the past 2+ years. I already miss my wonderful co-workers and patients, and know how incredibly blessed I have been to work with them. Nursing has enabled me have the flexibility and job security to travel, and I also happen to love it. :)
My favorite role though is being a doggy mommy to the sweetest and cutest black lab, Myra. Life is just better when I'm with my dog, especially when we are hiking, at the beach, finding somewhere to swim, camping, taking walks, or hanging out at the farm! I will be crying for every day, but I knew she wasn't up for a trip like this, so she will be in the great care of my parents, brother, and hanging with her crazy cousin Ollie while I am gone. When I say I have the BEST people in my life, I mean it. My family and friends mean the world to me, and i'll miss spending time with them. I am so very thankful for all of the support, encouragement, and excitement that our families and friends and coworkers have given. I know that by choosing to travel for this long, we will be missing out on having them in our lives, but there is always a sacrifice to be made when following your dreams, and I know this is mine. So, stay in touch all my wonderful people!
Some of my best memories and experiences growing up come from the times of traveling around the country by car with my family, going on adventures, hiking at roughly half the national parks in the country, camping, and skiing. I've always loved nature, wildlife, new cultures and my curiosity and desire to experience more of these things has only grown as I've gotten older. I used to study my map of the world that hung in my childhood room in place of posters and dream about what the rest of the world was like and if I'd ever go there (All those hours of map studying thankfully paid off in geography class and nowadays on trivia nights!) as I settled into a stable career I began to venture out on short trips hiking the Inca trail in Peru, hiking Mt Kilimanjaro, an African safari, some small hiking in the alps, and scuba diving in Honduras. These trips only fostered my yearning for some bigger "grand adventure" in life.
I have a strong work ethic, but dont want work to define my life. I've been an electrical engineer for the past 3.5 years, where I have learned a lot and worked with some great people. I knew I was taking a risk (career wise) when I started to plan this trip, but was thankfully granted a leave of absence from the shipyard. As an avid fan of outdoor sports I feel like it is necessary to have these experiences while I'm still young enough and in good health.
Not only do I see this trip as an adventure, I see it as a pilgrimage of the soul. We are giving up a more comfortable life for a year of uncertainty and great risks in hopes of making us stronger, more aware of the world and ourselves. I'm also hoping to use this time to make a difference in other peoples lives, through some sort of volunteer work.
Things we love and value:
-our dogs, snowboarding and skiing, SCUBA, hiking, cycling, cooking, eating, fresh veggies, gardening, tea, working on the car, running, yoga, family and friends, good beer, vino, bald headed kids, beaches, mountains, anything new, anywhere new, and anything that gives a little rush of adrenaline, meeting new people, hearing about people's lives, following travel blogs, being kind, not knowing or caring what time it is...