The crazy whirlwind of emotions when saying goodbye to loved ones and taking that first step into the airport not knowing when you’ll be back was one of his hardest moments. Between his travels from Iceland, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Madeira (Portuguese Island), Spain, Rhodes (Greek Island), Greece, Italy, Vatican City, Germany, Croatia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, each came with a new challenge to take on. The first challenge they conquered may have been the hardest. That was leaving your family and the place you know to explore things out of your comfort zone.
The first stop was Iceland. When the Nolan family(my family) got out of the car to say goodbye to Connor Nolan(my brother) and his girlfriend Kelsey Adams, it was for sure a tough moment. Connor said, “I still tear up a bit when I think about it”. He realized it was one of those moments that you never know when you will see your family again and it really impacted his emotions. Once he got on the plane he felt as if everything in his life was going to change. “The farther we got from home, the more excited I became and once we landed in Iceland, I was beaming, it was one of the most exciting days of my life”.
The idea of traveling was never a huge part of Connor or Kelsey’s life “it kind of just sprung up”. He felt as though there’s a little more to the world than what existed on the route to and from his office. He and Kelsey came up with a traveling plan called “GART 1 and GART 2” for “Great American Road Trip”. After that idea was stirred around for awhile, it stopped being a fantasy and became real life. Starting with small road trips began to spark up their desire to travel and they began to have a new love for the world.
Money was the least of their worries. Connor and Kelsey had been saving up for around a year and a half after college and budgeted everything they can to make their dream come true. “It was insanely easy to say no to things like eating out and impulse purchases.” Most places they visited were extremely expensive to get there but incredibly cheap. For example: Thailand was around $900 each person with one stop at Hong Kong. That flight was around 21 hours from Boston airport to Phuket Thailand. ROUGH. Once they were on the road, the downtime decreased immensely. This caused less time to try and budget their money and keep track of how much they have and how much they already spent. They spent over 90 days in Europe, and hit 13 countries. That’s two-thirds of the total countries they visited, in only one-third of the total time they spent traveling. Everything worked out eventually but it for sure took some time and effort.
One of Connor’s most vivid memories was when he, his girlfriend Kelsey, and Quinn his brother were riding motorbikes across northern Vietnam. They had no plan whatsoever. “No matter what we ended up doing, it would be fun getting there by motorbike, not by bus”. This experience led them to a true sense of freedom and immersion. Just you and the road. They did have some rough patches though. A few breakdowns occurred causing a delay in their adventure, but what’s an experience without a few bumps in the road?
Their next journey is buying a bus and converting it into a long-term living RV. From there on, “the plan is to drive around the USA and see if we can grow tired of exploring, knowing that we won’t.” Their puppy will love the stops along the way where he can be his high energy, crazy self. “When the bus is up and running, we will let charlie(the puppy) run amok in the National Parks.” Charlie is going to make this exhilarating experience for them harder but worthwhile. They will take their travels minute by minute and soak up every ounce of freedom they can while it lasts.