Throughout the past three months as we have been exploring how to best share our adventures with all of you, certain questions keep coming up. “What are our goals? What do we hope to accomplish from this sharing? What do we want our story to be?”

In the search for the most relevant, simple yet effective platform to use, we found ourselves arriving in the world of Instagram. When we first stepped off the proverbial boat, new to this digital world, we were dazzled by all the crisp, stunning images of picture perfect tropical destinations. The beaches were pristine white, the water piercing turquoise, the sunsets a vibrant medley of harmonious colors. Impeccably made up woman in glamourous dresses were savoring opulent platters of delectable breakfast foods from the balconies of their private beachside cabanas. The captions said things like, “Just another average morning. What’s your fav breakfast food?” or “Breakfast in paradise. Would you travel here?”

It’s like a digital version of high school. Suck up to the popular girls, like their photos, comment, hope that they will notice you and introduce you to their friends. Hope that they will tell everyone else about you and say that you can be popular too.

I see the game, I am beginning to understand the rules. The difference is that now, unlike high school, I find that I do not wish to play. We can jump through the hoops, we can create exactly what the masses want, but at the end of the day where will we find ourselves?

I thought that the popular girls had it all. Now, I am not so sure. I envy the image, the simulated veneer of perfection that they flawlessly portray. A part of me does wish that I too could be the star of such stunning travel photos, the envy of everyone who views them. But is that really the point? Is that really the goal? Is inciting feelings of jealousy really what I hope to accomplish from sharing our journey?

Who we are and what we are doing is so much richer and deeper, is about so much more. “What do you want to be?” I want to be both popular and authentic, but if I have to choose one, I choose authenticity.

The Beginning

You know that feeling you get when you look at the crisp, clean, unsoiled pages of a new journal? You shopped around and waited until you found the perfect one that really spoke to you, the one that you would use to record the deepest, most meaningful insights you have about your life and yourself. You brought it home, sat down with a mug of tea and your favorite pen, opened the journal to the first page and…

If you are any sort of a perfectionist like me, you may fear failure. The unknowns, the skills and lessons not yet learned, the opportunity for others to excel where you are mediocre, the shadow of your own potential – all of these can stand in your way and convince you to agree with the big scary voices in your head saying that you will fail and that it is better to save face by not trying than to risk it all and not succeed. One voice turns to two, then three, and the more you listen, the more you find yourself drowning in a cacophony of chaos.

This is how I felt as we counted down to our June 3rd launch date. Each day that the countdown timer ticked off was a day closer to the unknown and a day less to wrap up all of the many loose ends that life inherently seems to create as we live it. Sometimes it felt like chasing a dropped stitch in the middle of knitting a sweater; how would we ever be ready on time? Were the naysayers right – would we be returning home in a month saying we were ready to wash our hands of the whole idea? Other travelers work successfully from the road; would I be able to find a mobile career that I could excel at?

Thankfully, the universe has a sense of balance and for every doubt and reservation I wrestled with, my amazingly prepared and determined husband had done the research and had the answers. Where I approached this experience with a, “What if we fail?” mindset, he instead always asked, “What must we do to succeed?” Success became an inevitability for him and that mindset drove him to push this dream through to fruition. If it were not for his unwavering strength and determination, I know that I would not be sitting here in Maine the night before my 32nd birthday reflecting on all the experiences gained over the last two months on the road.

If you find yourself staring at the journal of life, too fearful of marring it by your potential shortcomings to make that first entry, imagine this:

How much worse will it be if, at the end of your life, you look back and all you have is that empty journal still pristine and untouched – a testament to unrealized potential?

Go. Write. Live.