Lost Girl of the Week: Julie StoneAdventure Travel, Argentina, Backpacking & Trekking, Brazil, Car, Couples Travel, Fitness & Workouts, Lost Girl of the Week, Lost Girls, Wildlife & Animals — By Amanda P on April 30, 2008 at 9:20 am
As much as Jen, Holly and I loved traveling together as a dynamic trio of girlfriends, we always wondered what it might be like to do a similar trip with a boyfriend. Happily, our questions were answered after stumbling upon Globestompers.com, created by fellow backpacker diva Julie Stone, and her fiance Jared-both fellow New Yorkers.
As we learned through their blog (and a lovely email exchange), Julie had been an official member of the NYC rat race for just over 7 years by the time she and Jared made the decision to travel the world for a year. They’re camping their way through New Zealand right now in the world’s coolest camper van
Since graduating from college, Julie has tried her hand at acting, waiting tables, representing actors, selling advertising, marketing and blogging, with varying degrees of success. Even though she loved living in the Big Apple, the rest of the world beckoned…
Julie: To be honest, I had to be convinced (by my fiance) to travel the world for a year. The thought of completely uprooting my life scared the wits out of me. What if I missed my bed? What if I wanted to go home? What if I couldn’t find a job when I got back? Eventually I started to realize that it would be pretty difficult to see the entire world in one or two week chunks. If I ever wanted to run away for a year, now–while I had no mortgage, babies, or real career–was the perfect time to go. Jared and I wanted to take this time to ensure that we were right for each other, and we both hoped to figure out what we wanted to do with our lives.
Jared and I left the U.S. on October 11, 2007, on a flight from Miami to Quito. Since then, we have traveled through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Fiji, and New Zealand, plus a quick jaunt back to the States. We are planning our journey as we go, so if we hear about a cool place, we go there. (Fiji was not on our original route, but the cheapest flight to New Zealand included a layover there. Twist my arm, really.) Our next stop is Australia, where we will work for a few months and replenish our bank accounts before taking off to Southeast Asia. If we decide to travel for longer than a year, we hope to visit China, Japan, India, and Nepal.
For the first time in my twenty-nine years, I feel like I am living life to the fullest. I have seen places I only dreamed of: Iguazu Falls, beaches on tranquil islands in the South Pacific, Tierra del Fuego. I have slept in hostels, on buses and planes, in a tent, and now in a camper van. I have cheered during a championship soccer match in Rio de Janeiro, eaten lunch with the chief of a Fijian village, jumped out of a plane in New Zealand, and learned to speak Spanish with a distinctly Argentine accent. I have gazed up at the Southern constellations with wonder, and now I can find the Southern Cross in the night sky. Most importantly, I have learned that I am capable of stretching myself more than I ever thought possible.
So many people have said to us, “oh, I wish I could do what you are doing!” We always say the same thing back: “You can! You should! Come meet us in Australia!” All you need is time off, a passport, and less money than you think. (In South America, I traveled quite comfortably on $1000 per month. New Zealand, however, is a different story.) The hardest part is letting go of the familiar, but the rewards are endless.