Let’s rewind to May 27, 2016. I was walking through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at 1:00 a.m. with a 33-pound backpack on my back. My heart was racing and my palms were sweaty as I held my husband’s hand. We were making our way toward the security line when I looked over my shoulder to wave one last goodbye to our parents. I blinked back tears and tried not to think about how long it would be until I saw them again. Pushing these thoughts aside, my mood quickly changed to full throttle excitement. We had been waiting for this day for months. And it was finally here! We were about to fly halfway around the world with only two backpacks, a pair of one-way tickets and each other. We were going on a year-long backpacking trip around the world.
Before I continue, let me introduce myself. I am Lauren LeBrun from LeBruns On The Run. I am 24 years young and I grew up in Seattle, Washington. I am a scuba diver, francophile, hardcore Disney fan, and now a full-time world traveler. After graduating from Gonzaga University in 2013, I landed a job at Expedia and spent three years running their social media channels. It was one of the biggest learning experiences of my life. I worked on lots of interesting projects, became close friends with my coworkers, and helped inspire people to do something I’m very passionate about: travel!
But something happened in 2015 that changed everything. I married the love of my life. Andrew (my husband) and I took a big step and it left us thinking about what was next. Should we get a dog? Buy a house? Have some kids? We threw these ideas around, but none of them felt right for us at this stage of our lives. So we asked ourselves another question: What if we went on that backpacking trip we had always dreamt of going on? What if we dropped everything to do all of the things we want to do?
Suddenly, we had a really tough decision to make. What should we do? We loved our lives in Seattle. We had good jobs, great friends and we were on track to a pretty cozy life. Could we really turn all of that upside down? This lead to a sea of endless questions. Would we be setting ourselves back? Would we be lonely? Would people forget about us? Would we be able to spend 24/7 together without going completely insane? We went around and around and around with these questions. We conversed on the way to work, text messaged throughout the day, chatted over dinner, and had lots of pillow talk. It was an emotional roller coaster that went on for months. We started to drive ourselves crazy. But then we asked ourselves a better question. Would we regret it if we didn’t go? Suddenly, there was a big, bold, unmistakeable answer in neon-colored lights screaming, “Yes!”
So we did it! And now we’re here at the beginning of our journey. Our first stop is Bali and we can’t wait to immerse ourselves in a completely different culture. We are craving new experiences, new people, new food, new vantage points, and new perspectives. We plan to jam pack our #365daysoftravels with as many bucket list moments as possible. Meet wild monkeys, scuba dive with turtles, drive a moped, eat exotic foods, kiss under the Eiffel Tower, get totally lost, and find ourselves at the same time. After Bali, we plan to go to Malaysia, Thailand, France, Poland, England, Germany, Croatia, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, and maybe a few more. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the Expedia Viewfinder blog team and share our adventures, lessons, and mishaps with you. I have no doubt that there will be lots of highs and inevitably quite a few lows as well. Whatever happens, I’m strapped in for the ride. I hope you enjoy following along!
Would you quit your job to travel the world?