Gap Year 1-1 Are you Chicken??
Well, let me tell you a little bit of my routine and what is known. I am a consultant and as glamorous as it may sound, what that really means is long hours, constant traveling, early mornings, being away from loved ones, constantly playing the “game”, and walking on water for your clients. (that was a Jesus reference btw)
In the last 1.5 years before I gave the deuces to my job, I would wake up a 5 a.m. every Monday morning after hitting snooze button one too many times and then rush to the Atlanta airport to be herded through the security line with so many other walking dead consultants. I would take a weekly 5 hour flight to sunny San Diego, which had beautiful weather btw, but then work 10-12 hours day, so never really getting to enjoy it.
Then, I would grab some food after work, say I was going to gym but rarely did, call my girlfriend and talk to her for 1-2 hours while I sat it my hotel room and then hit repeat until Thursday. On Thursday there was a glimmer of light that the weekend was near but sometimes it would be decimated if I had to take a red-eye back. If you ever wanted to see an angry black man then come see me when I get off that 5 hour red-eye at 6:30 am.
Do I look happy to you??
I was just mad at the world. Even after taking a nap when I got home, my internal clock was just completely disrupted so I was cranky all weekend. This was my routine and this was what I was holding on to. Sounds terrible doesn’t it?
Gap Year1-2: So, a little about me
In most cases I was upgraded to first class for my coast to coast trips and I would get suite upgrades in my hotel at random. I also used those points to take “almost” free trips to places like Hawaii, Costa Rica, Brazil etc (in prior years).
Oh yeah, and I also got extra cash from my traveling per diem whenever I was on the road. Oh yeah (again), instead of coming back to Atlanta, I had the option to go to any city in the world that was a comparable price on the company’s dime. Whew!! Now, I bet you are like what the heck is he complaining about?
To be clear, I am not trying to brag but just trying to paint a picture of the good and bad of what was major part of my life at this point. If you haven’t, check out the bad in Gap Year 1-1
Gap Year 1-3: Oh I think I like you..
I was doing well in my career but ultimately I wasn’t happy and really where I wanted to be. But on the flip side, I really liked the people I was working with. My co-worker and clients actually became my legit friends.
Although we worked hard, and we did work hard, we played hard and we were really like a family. I don’t know how many times they helped me plan a surprise or select a gift for Najah (that would be my girlfriend). Or when it was just after 6 p.m. and things started quieting down, it would turn into a Karaoke session. When my birthday came around they got me a special cake (I required a lot out of the team so when I didn’t get what I expecting they would call me princess…lol)
When you reach a milestone and you decide to pop champagne in the parking lot or you have a van full of consultants that are taking calls on the way up to a vineyard to get lit
or you make an unsanctioned trip to Tijuana, you know you have something special. I went through roladex of pics and even found a pic of me wearing my “princess” crown.
Some of my fondest memories have been with working with people on this project. Tear, tear. So if you can’t tell I was hella confused. However, I still had a choice to make. Continue with my routine or take on a reckless but potentially very uplifting opportunity of a gap-year.
Gap Year 1-4: The Opportunity (WTH is a Gap Year???)
I mean from going to Cuba illegally before Obama made his historic trip, to playing Mas in Trinidad Carnival and no knowing a single soul there (highly inadvisable lol),
or making our way to the ruins of Machu Picchu,
we have seen a lot of countries together. After going on so many trips and talking to so many non-Americans we always heard this reoccurring theme of a gap year. Our first response was “Ummmm, What’s a gap year?”.
A gap year is break the many Europeans and Australians take to travel the world after graduating from secondary school and before they take job. It is an amazing opportunity where it gives individuals the ability to become global citizens and reflect on what they really want out of life.
Some people do the gap year and decide that they want to stay in that country and work as a professional or as a surf instructor. Some people do a gap year and go to just about every country in South America or Asia. The idea is that they learn about the world before they put their heads down in an office or any job for the next 30+ years, something I think Americans can really learn from.
So after hearing all of this insightful information since 2009, are question to ourselves was , why not us?!!!
Gap Year 1-5: Planning For A Reckless Experience at 30
As I was just perusing the internet one Saturday afternoon I just got the urge to start looking for flight deals. I went on Delta’s site to check what trips I could get with points. I remember I started to daydream about the possibilities of a gap year and then something caught my eye….Delta’s around the world ticket program is expiring!!! Wait, it’s expiring?!!! Wait, it’s expiring in literally 2 days!!! <mouth drop>. Are you #@^&$ kidding me.
My heart fell out of my chest. Using Delta’s RTW ticket was the only “affordable” (and I use that term loosely) option for us do the gap year. So no RTW ticket means no Gap Year!! I immediately called my boy and we had a long phone call and kind of just went back and forth with each other and were like are really doing this? We aren’t in our mid-20’s anymore we are grown men that are about to be 30. Are we going to quit our jobs?
I mean no job means no income, we have both have serious girlfriends now, we both have mortgages, this trip is cost a grip, wait so……..are we really doing this????
Gap Year 1-6: The Decision
The very same day we figured out that we had 48 hours to make a decision, I had an emergency meeting with my buddy. It was game time. We were nervous, we were scared, and we were mad at Delta for springing this on us and discontinuing the program with points.
We spent hours going over the pros and cons of going on the trip. We would constantly pace back and forth in my living room and ask each other question after question. What about our girlfriends? How do we tell our girlfriends?
What about our jobs? Do we like our jobs? How does this ticket even work? Can we afford this? If we do it, we are saying “Yes” to an amazing opportunity but also “Yes” to a very uncertain future with our girlfriends, jobs, income, and life!!
If we say “No” we are saying we want to be comfortable and play it safe. We are saying we want to go back to jobs that we don’t really care for but, hey, at least it doesn’t disrupt the routine. Everyone is happy except us. Both options kind of suck lol. What would you choose if you were in our shoes?
Gap Year 1-7: Selfish or Self-Worth To Leave Your Girlfriend Behind
So this is a legit question. Was this decision selfish or more about self-worth or is there even a difference? (add a comment and let me know). I really want to know what people think.
Gap Year 1-8: Why I Chose…
Another reason I chose to do the gap year is that I am hoping this can inspire others. A black Bajan-American male from the ghettos of Boston who sometimes ate bread and butter for dinner (btw bread and butter is off the chain) because there was no alternative and had to keep the oven open to keep the house warm some nights is going to travel to all 7 continents on a gap year. Umm, you said what sir? So in other words I am saying if I can do it, you can do it.