7 In Travel

Taking the Wanderlust Leap

Ever since I can remember I have wanted to travel the world. I grew up taking road trips to national parks and historical sites with my parents and brother. Then, as a teen I went to Europe for the first time and those trips to Europe changed and evolved from high school trips to meeting a friend in Italy to spending a month in Sweden. My travels evolved from a hobby of taking holidays to a passion and craving for non-stop travel.

Taking that Craving to the Next Level

In 2015, I took the biggest trip of my life at that point. My best friend and I dropped everything and set off for Southeast Asia for 101 days. Crazy enough, though, just before catching my flight to Cambodia, I met the love of my life. On a spontaneous first date literally the day before moving halfway across the country, I found myself falling in love. I started a whirlwind long distance relationship that had me flying to and from NC, meeting him in Kentucky and towing him all around the Ozarks when he would make the insane 12-hour-drive (each way) to spend 48 hours with me. After 6 weeks of dating, Matt asked me to marry him, and I said yes.

Photo by Christian Gideon

101 days later, I got back to the states and moved back to North Carolina with him. We filled every weekend with hiking trips all around the Blue Ridge Mountains, took a big road trip down to Key West, Florida, and started to seriously talk about this idea of taking a big trip where we would take off and go around the world. We immediately put our plan into action to start saving for this trip, hoping to embark about the time of our honeymoon (9 months later). The universe had other plans for us.

A Change In Plans

Circumstances led us to my hometown of Springfield, Mo. It was a move that I was excited about (because I am very close to my family) but that I honestly didn’t want to make. Matt had the idea to move there where the cost of living was lower and he knew that I would also be more available to help plan and work on our upcoming wedding. Needless to say, our trip didn’t start at the time of our honeymoon. Our (decently expensive) honeymoon to Hawai’i came and went and we had just a couple thousand sitting in our travel account. I was discouraged. We still managed to take weekend trips, and explore, I just felt like this big trip wasn’t going to be in the cards for us.

Making Moves

Finally, in October of 2016, we decided to just go for it and purchase a one-way ticket. Nothing encourages you to get your ass in gear like having a date that you need a massive amount of money by. We told ourselves that we would be able to save enough to go for six months at least. That spring we took significantly less weekend trips. Meals out decreased, my parents let us move into their upstairs and we pinched pennies.

Our motivation paid off because by the first week of August we had been able to save enough money to be gone 12 months without working. Even though I’ll still be blogging + Matt will be taking on photography projects, we will be able to do these things at our leisure. We want to explore and not be tied to our laptops in these awesome, exotic destinations. You can still expect about 3 post/week along with updates on social media along the way, but we’re putting the adventure first.

What Was that About Taking the Wanderlust Leap?

All these things have come together and all our hard work has paid off because at this moment (the moment this post published, at least) we’re in the air, on our way to Southeast Asia. With only our packs, a one-way ticket and each other we’ve taken that wanderlust leap.

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  • Reply
    September 12, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Wow Paige this is soooo inspiring! I got chills reading about how you fell in love too! Such a fab post. Can’t wait to hear all about all of your travels!!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Beautiful story!

  • Reply
    Courtney Minor
    September 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    How exciting! Good luck on your journey. I can’t wait to follow along.

  • Reply
    September 13, 2017 at 1:33 am

    Hi Paige – awesome post!!! Have a bloody wonderful time away!
    Holly xxx /// http://www.mrshollycrocker.com
    LATEST /// https://www.mrshollycrocker.com/blog/2017/9/12/upcoming-trips-2

  • Reply
    September 13, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Damn you guys did it! So exciting! Cannot wait to follow along!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      September 18, 2017 at 2:07 am

      Thank you, Liz! It’s been a long time coming, but damn it feels good to be full-time traveling again! It’s already been a memorable trip and we still have at least 357 days left! I’m really hoping to see you guys somewhere along the way! I’d love to show Matt Uppsala too. Plus, you have even more insider info now! Love to you! Xx

  • Reply
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