Cecily and I have always had a passion for travel and have tried to fit it into our busy schedule whenever possible. We would often cram in as many short weekend getaways as we could to have new experiences and to get out of the city. After a satisfying long weekend trip to New York City in summer 2016, Cecily said to me “I wish we were heading off to the airport to jet off to our next destination. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?” I said Tokyo and she said Brazil. How nice would that be I thought!
We were both doing long distance at the time as we were heavily immersed in our careers. Little did I know that on my next trip to Vancouver to see Cecily she would have a full PowerPoint presentation ready for me pitching the idea to go travelling for a year.
The idea was appealing to us both as a way to discover more about ourselves and to learn about the world. Our fear however, was the unknown impact that leaving for a year would have on our career. When would the right time be to leave?
If we actually wanted to do this, there would need to be a “line in the sand” deadline to make the decision to go or not to go. Throwing our fear of the unknown to the wind, we made a pact that we would travel the world in three years.
Over 2017, Cecily and I were both simultaneously beginning the end of what seemed to be a career cycle. In our own ways, we had both hit a glass ceiling. We had noticed that the velocity of our learning was starting to diminish over time. I was coming to a fork in the road after a year working in Toronto. I thought, do I jump back into my existing business in Vancouver or start something entirely new? Cecily was questioning if she was in the right industry and was eager to take on a new path to open up possibilities and further grow herself and her passions. It was important that she explored the world before getting swept up into her career ladder. We began feeling excited about experiencing new cultures, meeting people, hearing different music and seeing more of the natural world. Travelling is what we believed would break us through our glass ceiling.
It was a hot day in August 2017 and we were off on a weekend holiday in Tofino, a mellow surf spot on the west coast of Vancouver Island. We had just finished an amazing massage where something had awoken inside of me. I said to Cecily, “Why don’t we go on the trip next year?” Shocked and amazed I could see Cecily’s eyes light up to the thought, our dream come true! Neither of us thought that it would happen so quickly, but it felt right. At that moment, we both crossed the line and committed to the decision. We decided our existing vacation plan to Switzerland in July 2018 would become the kicking off point for our adventure.
For the next year into July 2018 we took on a second job to plan our trip. We chose 35 countries to travel to over 14 months. No easy feat.
Groovy Mashed Potatoes is a creative outlet for us where you will find, pictures, videos, ideas and thoughts from our journey. In case you're wondering, the name was thought up on a tie-dye blanket during a camping trip when like a lightning bolt Cecily said "why don't we call it Groovy Mashed Potatoes". The idea flashed through my mind’s eye without objection, “That’s perfect!”