A Route for All Ages
Its a very interesting time to be a post college mid twenty year old. We grew up through the technological and social media revolution. The career we are jumping into was one that didn’t exist ten years ago. So where does this leave us all? Some might say lost, under or unemployed. Nothing is scarier than hearing older folks say “Boy I feel bad for kids these days, I would not want to be trying to find a job today”. But we have more options than ever before.Endless, ongoing, beautiful, growing options. The world once again has been made a smaller more understanding place, and I say why not go explore!
Through expanded social media, online research, and global news, a lot of us will see through it all and start to dream;and we will start planning for exploring bigger and busier ways of life. And for myself and a dear friend Katie-Anne, we did start to dream. We were born on July 18 1989 and lived our lives for 17 years in neighboring mountain towns; being active in our communities, doing well in school, and dreaming our personal escapes for indulgence into world unknown. We first met the Fall of their Senior year of High School. During a college physics class we quickly connected and soon found out we shared the same birthday along with ambitious dreams and plans for the future.
The Concept Was Born
Fast forwarding to May 2010 we had just graduated college, were a few months away from turning 21, and met in the old Community College parking lot, where we wished each other good luck on our futures saying “well I’ll see ya when I see ya!”. I had my car packed to the brim and was about to drive cross country to begin a life in Southern California working in the live events industry and Katie-Anne had just been accepted onto a research team in New Zealand to study Sperm Whales.
Fall 2013 brought us both back together for the Holidays near our home towns. It was crazy, we had been living on opposite sides of the worlds, both very successful in our careers. Now back sitting on Katie-Anne’s porch one Fall night sipping Stewarts coffee we both had the same question eating inside of us, “what was next?”. We had learned that the hardest part about being motivated, ambitious, and self sustaining was figuring out what your next goal or plan was after accomplishing a vision you had your entire childhood. We were taken back by the lengths people made excuses for not going after their dreams. From something simple like planning a vacation or to going after a job in a different city or going away to school, let alone traveling/studying abroad, everyone had the same excuses, no money, no time, no means, no drive.
That was it.
Katie-Anne and I wanted to motivate others to stop giving time for second guessing, for worrying, for doubt and to just DO. I could not say “where there’s a will there’s a way” enough times to those I talked to. We decided our next goal was to stop telling and to actually show people how it is possible. It was October 2013, 9 months before our 25 birthday, and it was final, we were going to work together to show the world how to celebrate a quarter of a century of life in style!. And so, The Road To 25 travel project was born.
Making It Happen
Our goals, missions, and expectations of this project quickly started to build. The Road To 25 became an interactive 7 month travel project to be led by us. Not wasting anytime we chose our departure date, January 22 2014, and purchased plane tickets from JFK NYC to Heathrow London. Beginning January 22nd we embarked on an endless journeys traveling to different countries, participating in new experiences and activities that push us outside comfort zones. Along the journey we will obtain and document stories, encounter amazing people, see life changing places, and experience heart lifting cultures, all to be shared with our followers. The main hope of the project is to spark ideas and motivation in others to conquer their own goals. To help build people’s confidence we are actually having people from the comfort of their homes participate in their journeys by giving us missions and goals of bucket list items to do along the way. By explaining how we plan for travel, save money, find partners and sponsors, pack, research, use tools that are free to us, and deal with the unexpected, we hope to prove that if we can do it, you can it! We strongly believe that their is no better classroom than the open road and stepping foot on new ground.
Presently, The Road to 25 kicked off last weekend by participating in the NYC No Pants Subway Ride. A great event started 12 years ago as a prank, that now happens worldwide with over 100,000 participants. I personally really loved the event, I felt like the day is really about people young and old, taking themselves a little less seriously for a minute, making people laugh, and realizing it is the simple things in life that can bring the most joy. The Road to 25 will continue its ventures into Europe from January 22-Mid February- exploring the UK, Ireland, Spain, Holland, Scotland, France, Italy and Switzerland. Working with partners like St Christopher’s Inn and Trevolta we plan to be connecting with fans, blogging and documenting these next 7 months for the world to see.
As I am writing to you we are waiting at Holyhead for our overnight ferry to Ireland. We just finished up 4 days in the Uk. It was a great experience and a great place to start as I feel much of the history and governmental past of England is largely connected and a stepping stone to most of tye other countries we will be visting. I am in love with a company called Sandeman’s who provides free 2-3 hour walking tours in almost every major city in the UK, Ireland, and the rest of Europe. All lead by the most educated young and friendly guides and of which almost always end at a local pub with food and drink specials. So we did a full tour of London, stayed at St Christopher’s Inn Hostel in the London bridge area. We found the locals to be welcoming, the food to be delicious and full of variety, plenty of options for vegetarians (which is my constant struggle).
We did all of the touristy stuff, visited Big Ben, saw changing of the guards, Buckingham Palace, Parliament, the London Eye, and Abbey Road, etc. Coming from NYC we found the tube/underground to be wonderfully clean, efficient (trains every 3 mins) and staff on all the platforms on hand to deal with any concerns. Also most entrances had brilliant selections of cafes to choose from. Only downside we saw was that service ended by 1am every night and started back up around 5am. If your going to be in London for a few days getting an Oyster card is extremely useful and a money saver. You can use the underground, buses, and water taxi with it. We did a few trips off the beaten path to go to the Old Spitalfield Market one afternoon where Katie found a hat and scarf for a lovely 1 pound. Me being a music buff we spent our first night a little north of city centre at a venue called The Garage to see a rock concert, where we got to see first hand just how rowdy a bunch of young british lads can get! All in all London is your usual metropolis at the end of the day. Busy during the day filled with men and women in suits mixed with plenty of tourists, the homeless and beggers mixed with the health nuts running along the River Thames on their lunch breaks. American cinema and music rules most of the younger pop culture and can be seen and heard in pubs, clubs, and on billboards.
As far as cost of living at first glance you would say it is fairly cheap 1-2 pounds for your coffee, breakfast for 4 pounds, dinner for 12 pounds and the average cocktail at 8 pounds. However quickly being aware as an American of the currency exchange rate means almost doubling those amounts to figure out how much it is really costing, and it then becomes just as expensive at NYC, Boston, or San Francisco. It was an extraordinary first glimpse into the British culture and history, seeing buildings that have been around for 1000+ years just blew my mind. We also had the opportunity to take a day trip to visit the old Roman city of Bath and Stonehedge, eye opening, full of history, and a must do on any ones list. And we were able to learn all of this, in only a few days of travel.
The venture continues onward to Ireland, Glasglow , Edinburgh, Holland, Belgium, France and Spain.