Gerard and Kieu are Day Dreamers. They have a deep passion for travel that has taken them all over the world, including a gap year in 2012. They’ve been a big inspiration for me to continue pursuing my travel dreams and I’m sure they’ll be an inspiration for you as well.
You can follow their journey and wild adventures on their travel blog, GQ trippin. They’re here today to share a bit about their story and some life advice for millennials and couples alike.
You took a gap year for travel around the world in 2012. Why did you decide to go on that trip and quit your jobs mid-career?
Travel sort of chose us on this one. Shortly after finishing his MBA, Gerard was laid off from his job. He was so burnt out with full time work and school for so long, he actually considered the layoff a blessing. With no mortgage, little debt and children of our own in sight, the timing could not have been more right. Soon after, Kieu decided to take a career break so we could travel long-term.
What fears did you have to overcome to make the decision to leave everything behind and travel? How did you overcome those fears?
Our career was probably the biggest concern. We weren’t sure how having a gap on our resume would look to potential employers and how we would explain why we chose travel over our careers. We also left during a time when employment was at its lowest. Our parents thought it was career suicide and could not understand why we’d leave when we had good things going. It took some convincing but we both were confident that everything was going to turn out just fine. We did not jump the gun. We went all-in with a plan, which helped ease a lot of nerves and fears.
What have you learned about the world through your travel experiences?
That the world is a big, big place. What we’ve learned: it’s not as dangerous as the media perceives it. Having a US passport is a privilege for travelers, practically a golden ticket to anywhere in the world. Having hot showers is not normal, it’s more of a luxury. Different languages are beautiful. The definition of poverty varies, as do people’s tolerance for everyday life…and struggles. The landscapes never cease to amaze us. And the food, well, can be awesome almost everywhere you go.
How has travel changed you and shaped your dreams since you’ve returned back to normal life?
With every trip, we return with a new and profound appreciation for the world around us. Travel humbles us. It teaches us to be patient and to appreciate what is around us, even the simplest of things we often take for granted. Travel helps us understand that happiness is making the most of what you’re given. That said, our dreams haven’t really changed, if anything, it’s just clearer. We know travel, however big or small, is something we love and want to continue to make a priority and be a part of our normal lives.
What advice do you have for millennials who want to quit their jobs, live their dreams, and travel?
Do it. But make sure you have a plan. You can travel in all forms these days. Quitting to travel is one. Working abroad and traveling is another option. If you have a desire to see the world and are able to, start saving and make it a priority and live in the moment.
We are Gerard and Kieu, GQ for short, and we’re just your normal Bay Area couple who share a love for adventures and good eats from around the world. 4 continents, 20+ countries and an engagement in Prague later, we’ve only scratched the surface. Now home, back on the corporate ladder (and married), we’re getting local and exploring our own backyard to quench our wanderlust thirst.
Day Dreamers are living their dreams each and every day. They aren’t daydreaming about a better life; they’re living their best lives today. And because they’re living their dreams, they are truly happy, content, and passionate about what they’re doing.
I’ll be interviewing people of different backgrounds with different experiences with the common thread that everyone is living their dreams, right now, with every fabric of their beings. You’ll learn about their stories and journeys to become a true Day Dreamer and how they continue to live life on purpose. And you’ll be inspired to take your life back into your own hands and start being a Day Dreamer yourself.