who are the watsons?
We are a 30-something married couple who decided to leave behind our home, careers and comfortable Silicon Valley lifestyle to try a new course. Join us as we travel the world to learn about other cultures, lifestyles and ways to generate income beyond the traditional 9-5.

What’s the plan, man?

A friend asked me to explain our travel plan today.  I gave him the same answer we’ve given everyone:  “We’re flying to Hawaii first.  We’ll spend four months on the Big Island and then we’re going to Japan.”

He followed with, “How long are you staying in Japan?”
“I don’t know,” I said.

“And where are you going after Japan?”
“Somewhere in Asia.  Undecided.”

“How long will you be gone?”
“I don’t know.”

“How can you not know?”
“We’re traveling slowly and playing things by ear.”

“Are you going to Europe?”
“Maybe, we’re generally moving westward.”

“Do you have round-the-world plane tickets?”
“No.”

“How do you know when you’re done traveling?”
“When we feel we are.  I don’t know.”

“You must have some parameters…”
“We have a monthly budget and a list countries we’d like to see — Japan, Thailand, India, New Zealand, Australia — but other than that, we’re seeing how things go.”

This is just the latest of many such conversations Brian and I have had; our friends and family often seem baffled by our lack of travel details to share.  The truth is we’re only preparing one leg of our trip at a time.  We have a reasonable idea of what’s happening in Hawaii, but even that is open to change.  Here’s what we know: We booked two plane tickets to Kona on March 31st.  For the first week, we’ll be searching for a long-term apartment rental.  Depending on how that works and what we find, either we’ll stay in that rental for the entire four months or we’ll move from rental to rental, if necessary.  Our only luggage will be two rolling Eagle Creek backpacks, so we’ll be portable and ready for whatever opportunities are presented.

The unspoken question: “How can we travel like this?”  Well, Brian is very comfortable with open schedules and actually prefers leaving plans up in the air.  For me, the part of our pair who prefers schedules and organization, this kind of travel is an acquired taste made possible by my complete faith in our ability to handle any challenges we may face.  When you’re traveling fast and covering a lot of territory, it’s only natural for schedules and logistics to be the order of the day.  When you’re traveling slowly like we are, there’s more room for flexibility.  ‘Oh, there are no flights to Bangkok until Thursday?  No problem.’  ‘The flight we want is overbooked, so we’ll be wait-listed for the next flight?  That’s cool.’  ‘Our apartment isn’t available until next week?  Ok, we’ll extend our current reservation.’  I’m sure there will be frustrations along the way, but one of the reasons we wanted to embark on the trip was to change our lives and to re-evaluate.  Life in Silicon Valley can be hectic, scheduled, vigorous…  It is the hotbed of American entrepreneurism and technical innovation, after all.  A delay or uncertainty in our daily lives could be a welcome change.  Who knows what we’ll learn along the way?

Cheers,

  • srorer

    It all sounds absolutely wonderful and at the same time scary as all- since I’m a schedule kinda person. Also I think the whole world is going to be jealeous – we all want to go with you so during your venture you must keep us on the mainland informed. Go for it!!!!!!

  • srorer

    It all sounds absolutely wonderful and at the same time scary as all- since I’m a schedule kinda person. Also I think the whole world is going to be jealeous – we all want to go with you so during your venture you must keep us on the mainland informed. Go for it!!!!!!

  • Steve Small

    Hey Brian and Kate,

    It was very nice meeting you tonight. Kelly and I are quite impressed with your plans, and quite jealous as well. I can’t wait to see how this goes for you. The blog is a great idea. Have a great time.

    Steve

  • Steve Small

    Hey Brian and Kate,

    It was very nice meeting you tonight. Kelly and I are quite impressed with your plans, and quite jealous as well. I can’t wait to see how this goes for you. The blog is a great idea. Have a great time.

    Steve

  • http://www.jrorer.com John aka “Dadums” & “Hunk-RA” Rorer

    The website looks great! If you need someone to count and bank all the royalties while you travel let me know. Have a great adventure.

  • http://www.jrorer.com/ John aka “Dadums” & “Hunk-

    The website looks great! If you need someone to count and bank all the royalties while you travel let me know. Have a great adventure.

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com/ Kate

    Thanks, Steve! It was great meeting you and Kelly, and thank you for your interest in our travels.

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com Kate

    Thanks, Steve! It was great meeting you and Kelly, and thank you for your interest in our travels.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SoulVisionInspires Lori Shields

    I found your blog through Cassandra Rae’s website and I am thrilled. You are getting ready to live my secret fantasy! I own the book The Four Hour Work Week, though I have yet to put the principles into practice (or even do more than admire it on the bookshelf). I hope to be able to live this dream one day; in the meanwhile, I look forward to living it vicariously through your writing. Can’t wait!

  • http://www.facebook.com/SoulVisionInspires Lori Shields

    I found your blog through Cassandra Rae’s website and I am thrilled. You are getting ready to live my secret fantasy! I own the book The Four Hour Work Week, though I have yet to put the principles into practice (or even do more than admire it on the bookshelf). I hope to be able to live this dream one day; in the meanwhile, I look forward to living it vicariously through your writing. Can’t wait!

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com/ Kate

    Thank you, Lori. It’s great to have friends of friends along for the ride. :-)

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com Kate

    Thank you, Lori. It’s great to have friends of friends along for the ride. :-)

  • Liz Coffee

    Kate- I saw your moving sale then I saw the key word overseas and got excited. HOW AWESOME! Dave and I- before breeding- lived in Thailand for 2 years, Puerto Rico for 2 – Dave previous me- Uruagay and Botswana- I couldn’t be happier for you and completely jealous. If you need any advice for southasia- I would love to help. AIRASIA is cheep and a great airline. It will take you all over southeast asia. I recommend Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. You can travel very easily for cheap cheap cheap. Some of the cutiest guesthouses we found as we arrived for 25$/nt and we weren’t doing it hippie style either. Oh- I could go on forever. Good luck- we still have friends in many countries if you want to meet them for dinner. Have fun!

  • Liz Coffee

    Kate- I saw your moving sale then I saw the key word overseas and got excited. HOW AWESOME! Dave and I- before breeding- lived in Thailand for 2 years, Puerto Rico for 2 – Dave previous me- Uruagay and Botswana- I couldn’t be happier for you and completely jealous. If you need any advice for southasia- I would love to help. AIRASIA is cheep and a great airline. It will take you all over southeast asia. I recommend Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. You can travel very easily for cheap cheap cheap. Some of the cutiest guesthouses we found as we arrived for 25$/nt and we weren’t doing it hippie style either. Oh- I could go on forever. Good luck- we still have friends in many countries if you want to meet them for dinner. Have fun!

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com/ Kate

    Thanks, Liz! Wow, you lived in both Puerto Rico and Thailand for 2 years? Now I’m jealous. :-) Thanks for the tips. We’ve heard good things about Vietnam and Cambodia, so we’ll definitely check those out. We’d love to meet up with folks along the way for dinner, so I’ll get back in touch when we’re in Asia.

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com Kate

    Thanks, Liz! Wow, you lived in both Puerto Rico and Thailand for 2 years? Now I’m jealous. :-) Thanks for the tips. We’ve heard good things about Vietnam and Cambodia, so we’ll definitely check those out. We’d love to meet up with folks along the way for dinner, so I’ll get back in touch when we’re in Asia.

  • http://bigislandonthecheap.com/ Kris Bordessa

    Hi Kate and Brian! I had to go back and look through our comments to find you. Leslie responded to you Kate, otherwise I’d have remembered reading your blog! So nice to have met you tonight folding origami. I’ll keep an eye out to see what you’re up to; we may cross paths yet again before you move on.

    Do you know about http://soultravelers3.com/? They are an older couple with one child traveling the world, much as you plan to do. You might find it interesting.

  • http://bigislandonthecheap.com Kris Bordessa

    Hi Kate and Brian! I had to go back and look through our comments to find you. Leslie responded to you Kate, otherwise I’d have remembered reading your blog! So nice to have met you tonight folding origami. I’ll keep an eye out to see what you’re up to; we may cross paths yet again before you move on.

    Do you know about http://soultravelers3.com/? They are an older couple with one child traveling the world, much as you plan to do. You might find it interesting.

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com/ Kate

    Hi Kris, It was great meeting you at origami class! Thank you for the recommendation of Soul Travelers; we are always looking for folks who inspire us and they are an excellent addition. We look forward to seeing you at a future Big Island on the Cheap-featured event.

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com Kate

    Hi Kris, It was great meeting you at origami class! Thank you for the recommendation of Soul Travelers; we are always looking for folks who inspire us and they are an excellent addition. We look forward to seeing you at a future Big Island on the Cheap-featured event.

  • debpundiscoe

    Aloha Kate: I remember reading this blog sometime ago via Kris & Leslie's Big Island on the Cheap website. I am so pleased to meet both you and your husband at my origami class. Such a small world on the Big Island. I'll be e-mailing you the bibliography from April 29 origami class.

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com Kate

    Thank you, Deb! It was a pleasure to meet you as well and we look forward to your next class. Brian is also interested in touring your egg & tea farm. We'll be in touch.

  • http://www.OnOurOwnPath.com bessiejulia

    We've had similar conversations with people, and they often end in confusion or me giving in and throwing out a proposed plan even though we don't want to make one.

    I was like you and was uncomfortable with not having a plan in the beginning, but it definitely gets easier, and also easier to move around slowly and be ok with not seeing everything.

    Somewhere you mention having a “not buying things” plan, and it can be challenging. I would try to just sneak photos when I could so I'd have a space/ weight saving memory. Now we're trying to get rid of something any time we buy something and it's a challenge! They're all wonderful & exciting challenges though! We're back in the States in June/July, but we'll be back in Asia in August around Bali/ Thailand/ India. Hope we cross paths!

  • http://watsons-unleashed.com Kate

    Hi Bessie: Thanks for visiting! 40 days in and I've already failed my no-purchase rule. I'm trying to be good, but it's difficult because I love art and am always thinking ahead to decorating my home one day. Brian encourages me to make a list of things instead. :-)

    We would love to catch up with you on the road. Enjoy your time at home and I'll follow along on your blog and touch base if we're in your area this fall.