One Day or Day One? Making Every Moment Count

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Have you ever caught yourself saying, ‘One day, I’ll travel the world’?

That was us seven years ago. We made a spur-of-the-moment decision to sell everything, leave our professional jobs, and embark on what was initially planned as a year-long adventure.

Seven years later, we’re still exploring, living proof that ‘one day’ can indeed become today.

The decision was made swiftly but thoughtfully. Letting go of some items, like my nan’s engagement ring and a few of my mum’s rings, was more challenging than others. Rich with memories, these pieces had been idle, collecting dust, yet parting with them brought a twinge of guilt.

However, practically speaking, using them to fund our dreams felt right, a choice I believe my loved ones would have supported. For Lars, sorting through his shed was a gradual process; it took several attempts before he could part with his cherished chainsaws and tools.

But making that leap wasn’t without its hurdles. When we first shared our plans, reactions were mixed. While some friends cheered us on, many mirrored their own fears back at us:

‘What if it goes wrong? What about finding a job when you come back?’

These questions weren’t just about logistics; they were reflections of deeper insecurities about change and security.

It’s funny, really; many called us brave, but we didn’t feel brave—we were just following our passion. This led to nine months of intense planning: selling our belongings, giving notice at our jobs, saving every penny, meticulously planning our route, and finding the most budget-friendly motorhome hire.

One day or day one. You decide.

Paul Coelho

During our planning, we came across Paul Coelho’s quote, “One day or day one. You Decide!” The words resonated and became our motto, a guiding principle we live by daily. They remind us to seize the moment and act now rather than wait for the perfect time.

Choosing One Day or Day One: In a Nutshell

Here’s what our journey has taught us:

  • Make the Leap: Taking action now, not waiting for the perfect circumstances, is essential.
  • Embrace Flexibility: Life’s path is not set in stone; embrace changes and unexpected opportunities.
  • Live Adventurously: Stepping out of your comfort zone is where true adventure and fulfilment lie.
  • Challenge Myths: Adventure is accessible at any stage of life; you don’t need to be wealthy or retired.
  • Be Resourceful: Practical strategies like house-sitting and working remotely can support long-term travel.
Three lion cubs laying by their mother
Witnessing the playful innocence of lion cubs on safari—moments like these make every step of our journey worthwhile ©Lifejourney4two

Which of these points resonates most with you? Keep this in mind as you read on.

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    🔎 Explore more: Read our detailed practical post on how to sell everything and travel.

    Overcoming Social and Emotional Barriers:

    Embarking on a life-altering journey often means facing not only your own doubts but also those of others.

    When we announced our plans, reactions varied dramatically. One friend was more concerned about missing me than the potential adventures I’d face, reflecting how personal perspectives and immediate impacts often shape reactions.

    Meanwhile, other friends shared our excitement, buoyed by the prospect of adventure and change. This mix of responses highlighted a broader truth: people’s reactions often mirror their own life situations or even their mood on the day you catch them.

    So be prepared that loved ones may not share your excitement — don’t be put off by that. Hold on to your own self-belief and sense of adventure.

    My grandfather, Geoff, was a beacon of inspiration through this. At just 16, he ventured from the UK to Australia by ship, all on his own.

    He worked on farms in the south of Western Australia and the Wheatbelt, adapting to the harsh Australian summers and the demanding life of a settler before eventually returning to the UK a couple of years later. His stories of adventure and resilience painted a vivid picture of a man who embraced life’s challenges with gusto.

    During his last visit to Western Australia, at the sprightly age of 90, inspired by stories of my recent uptake of jogging to keep fit, I watched him jogging laps around our garden. He was curious to see if he still “had it”!

    He proved age was just a number. “Every day is a bonus,” he would say, instilling in me a resilience and zest for life that profoundly influenced my decision to travel. His attitude reinforced that age and circumstance should never be barriers to living fully.

    Old man wearing glasses holding up a baby and smiling
    My grandad holding me as a baby – Little did he know, as he held me in his arms, that his spirit of adventure and belief in living fully would shape the course of my life. ©Lifejourney4two

    His relentless curiosity and zest for life remind us that barriers are often just perceptions. Embracing his ethos, we tackle each challenge on our travels as an opportunity to grow, just as he did.

    Financial and Logistical Strategies:

    Managing finances effectively is crucial for long-term travel. We approached this challenge by adopting a frugal lifestyle, prioritising experiences over extravagance.

    Cooking our own meals was a healthier choice and a major budget saver, allowing us to treat eating out as a rare luxury rather than a daily occurrence.

    House sitting through TrustedHouseSitters significantly reduced our accommodation costs, allowing us to explore more while spending less.

    🔎 Explore more: How House sitting has saved us thousands of dollars

    One day day one Lots of pet photos

    Travel Resources we use

    Our choice of travel—in a motorhome or a 4×4 with a rooftop tent—allowed us to immerse ourselves in nature, which aligns with our preference for the great outdoors over urban environments.

    For more detailed insights into planning such adventures, particularly focusing on connecting with nature, you can read our guide on planning a road trip on our blog.

    Financially, Lars occasionally took on contract work, which helped sustain our travels without draining our savings. I’ve also recently re-registered as a teacher to earn some extra money while we continue to grow our travel content on our website.

    For those considering a similar path of long term travel, consider renting out your home if you own property or explore opportunities as a digital nomad. The rise of remote work has enabled many to earn an income anywhere in the world.

    One day or day one Our vehicles, motorhome, and two different 4x4 with roof top tent

    Debunking Myths

    One of the most pervasive myths about long-term travel is that it’s something reserved for the wealthy, young backpackers, or those in retirement.

    However, waiting for retirement isn’t always practical or even possible if you want to engage in more physically demanding activities.

    For instance, our adventures have included rigorous mountain hikes, such as Hiking Kjeragbolten, that might not have been feasible had we waited until our 60s or 70s. We set out on this journey in our late 40s, fit and eager, which has been crucial in allowing us to fully embrace these experiences.

    Moreover, the concept of being ‘lucky’ to live this lifestyle often surfaces in conversations. While it might seem from the outside that luck played a part, the reality is much different.

    Our lifestyle results from making deliberate choices—choosing adventure over comfort, the unknown over the familiar. It’s about taking calculated risks, not waiting for ‘the right time,’ because, as we’ve sadly seen with friends who have fallen ill, later isn’t guaranteed.

    These examples underscore that such a lifestyle is attainable and fulfilling, not just for a select few, but for anyone willing to prioritise their dreams and take the necessary steps to realise them.

    Basking in the glory of hiking Kjeragbolten in Norway ©Lifejourney4two

    Making Decisions and Taking Action

    Starting can be the hardest part of any journey. Remember, decisions aren’t set in stone; they are the beginning of discovery and growth…

    Make your ‘one day’ today.

    The hardest part of any journey is often just starting.

    In reality, life is incredibly fluid. Decisions are reversible, and paths can change.

    When we first set out, we didn’t anticipate that we would still be travelling seven years later with no fixed abode. What started as a planned year-long adventure has evolved into a life of continuous exploration.

    We now own two homes—not in the traditional sense, but as 4x4s with rooftop tents, one parked in Botswana and the other in Western Australia.

    Along the way, we’ve built a travel blog, navigated house-sitting journeys, and embraced adventures never on the cards—from close encounters with lions in camp in Botswana and Desert Elephants in Namibia to breathtaking scenic landscapes worldwide.

    Lion in camp beside our stepladders
    Lion in our camp beside our step ladders! ©Lifejourney4two

    Each step opened new doors, and we chose to walk through them. We’ve also had to make tough decisions to close others, always keeping our adventurous spirit alive.

    Our life now is a testament to the rewards of being bold—living in a state of content uncertainty, not always sure what the next six months will hold, but excited for the adventures that await.

    Even if we have to pause and work for a bit, it’s just a means to continue our journey on the road.

    Reflecting on this journey, the surprises and personal growth we’ve experienced have been just as impactful as the physical travels.

    The path less travelled isn’t just about the destinations we reach; it’s about the insights we gain and the person we become along the way. This unexpected evolution of our lives and spirits underscores the beauty and unpredictability of embracing life’s adventures.

    Sunset on Chobe River, Botswana ©Lifjourney4two

    One Day or Day One … That’s a Wrap

    Turning ‘one day’ into ‘day one’ isn’t just a catchphrase—it’s a way of life that Lars and I have embraced wholeheartedly.

    It’s about making decisions that might seem daunting initially but lead to unimaginable adventures and a fuller life. Our journey has taught us that life doesn’t come with guarantees, and waiting for the perfect moment might mean missing out on the best experiences.

    So, what are you waiting for? The right time to start living your dreams is now.

    You don’t need endless resources or the perfect plan; you just need the courage to take the first step and the resilience to keep going, no matter what.

    In conclusion, our journey has taught us the value of seizing each day and making the most of every opportunity. We hope our stories inspire you to make your ‘one day’ today, reminding us all that:

    Your ‘one day’ is today. Make it count.

    What step will you take today to turn your dreams into reality? Let’s inspire each other and embrace the journey together.

    🤎 Read more:

    🌍 Selling up and Hitting the Road (Checklist included)

    🌍 How we have learnt to travel together 24/7 and still like each other!

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      Planning Your Travels?

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      For a more thorough list, visit our Travel Resources page here.

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      Shelley, a former primary school teacher with a law degree, and her husband Lars co-own Lifejourney4two. Their adventure began in Perth, Australia, and has since taken them through Europe and Africa in motorhomes and bush campers. Shelley's travel guides combine practical advice with engaging stories, mirroring their shift from 'One Day' to 'Day One'. Together, they aim to inspire others to embark on their own travel dreams.

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