there's been a lot of judgement (skepticism? opinion at the very least...) regarding our decision to cruise
before we're as financially ready as we could be. since i've been pretty open on other fronts, i'll be open here as well. saltymonkey's interest not withstanding
there are basically five big considerations that are pushing us to leave:
1. as mentioned, there's the kid thing. people have pointed out that we could either wait until returning or have kids
before leaving. both are true, however: the wife is absolutely 100% excited and into the trip right now. she may still feel the same way after we have kids
, but she may not. i've seen lots of buddies who's lives change DRASTICALLY after kids (actually, i have yet to see any who's lives haven't...), and i think the chances that my wife's eagerness to set out for places unknown with our three year old range from somewhat possible to unlikely. so, having kids before we leave isn't the plan. we could just postpone everything a year, but she's already a little uncomfortable about the age thing. personally i think we'll be fine but i don't want to push her. if there was some issue (infertility, down's syndrome or other), i don't want to have wondered if the extra year made a difference. it may or may not be what each of you would do, but that's where we land on it.
2. i work days and my wife works nights. this results in an unacceptable amount of time apart and it's stressing the marriage (i'm home now and quite literally passed her in the hall as she headed out). changing the schedule would mean a career change for her. possible, yes, but not a slam dunk call when we're talking about leaving (either soon or in a year from soon). the reality of the lives we're currently living is a little depressing, and it's time for that to change.
3. the company i work for is in the process of being acquired. it's possible that i'll be offered a job with the new company or possible that i'll be let go. if i'm let go, then we could actually end up eating into our savings rather than adding to it while i look for a new job in this economy. it makes more sense (to me) to leave. i think it's also a more straightforward story to tell a future employer when i get back.
4. my family's pretty unconventional - my dad went to a prestigious college, got a high paying advertising job in manhattan and then quit with $900 in his pocket, hitchhiked to alaska
, built a house in the middle of nowhere and is a happier man for it. i've both got a little familial pressure (he's not impressed by the 9-5 gig and has been encouraging me strongly to make a life change for awhile now) and an example of a life that can turn out wonderfully when conventional considerations are abandoned in favor of pursuing one's dreams.
5. i had a cancer scare about six months ago. after two MRI's, i've been assured that i'm not actually dying but the experience shook me up a little. planning for the future's all well and good, but there's a certain amount of uncertainty inherent in life, and i want to seize this opportunity while i can.
all that adds up to incentives for leaving that outweigh the pressure to pay off a $10K credit card bill, at least for me. i respect everyone's prerogative to accept whatever financial risk they're comfortable with, and for us where we are now, it's more important to pursue this dream now with whatever uncertainty that brings than to wait for the money
to catch up.
sorry for the long posting
, but people seemed to be wondering.
again, still not looking for advice (at least on that front), but that's a little more of the back story for those who might be curious.