My professional career as a Designer began just two weeks after I graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. It was quite a leap going from art school to working at Target Corporate Headquarters, and I learned quickly that it was going to be a challenge to get used to this next phase of my life. Six years later I’d worked for Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart, gaining invaluable experience in my industry as well as a wonderful network of friends and professionals. I had made the transition from art school to being a “successful” professional, but something was still lacking. I was not getting the creative stimulation I needed. The long grueling hours and high stress were taking their toll. The only things keeping me going were my friends, family and my ten measly days of vacation each year.
For the last eleven years my boyfriend, Stefaan, and I have vacationed on Block Island, Rhode Island for at least a week. A couple years ago we started to talk about taking an entire year off to travel as much of the world as we could. A year! We could see whole world, right?! From renting out our apartment to taking on freelance work on top of full-time jobs, we spent the next year and a half saving money to reach our goal. Our rough plan was to start with a road trip around the USA and then head to Iceland, Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Ok, it’s not the whole world, but it’s a good start!
We decided we would document everything, and keep a visual diary of the trip on our website called Miles & Miles. Photography has always been a creative outlet for us, so this would be a perfect opportunity to select our favorites and get them up for people to see and follow along. Now, eight months later, we’re still sticking to our original travel plan although it hasn’t always been easy. We’ve had sleepless nights spent in our rental car, nights we pitched our tent in unassuming places and rare evenings of luxury in hotel rooms when we couldn’t take it anymore. We’ve been homesick and we’ve been physically sick, we’ve had plans change and flights cancelled, we’ve cried and laughed and hated and loved, but most of all learned about ourselves. To be completely honest, it will be a long time before we’ll really be able to say how this trip affected us.
Although this journey began as a way to creatively refuel ourselves, it has become much more than that. Traveling is the most rewarding experience, but we didn’t realize how much hard work it was going to be. It is not always fun. It took a lot of confidence to pull the trigger and leave behind something safe at home, but every day we are grateful we made the decision to do this. The day you realize you have no idea what day of the week it is is the day you realize you made the right choice. Then there is the question people always ask, “what will you do when you get home?” My answer is that I have no idea, and I am perfectly happy with that. If we’ve learned anything at all from this trip, it’s that in the end something always works out.
With Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand still to come, be sure to check in with us at www.miles-miles.com to see how the trip is going! Also follow us on Instagram:@sarahirenemurphy, @sdpnt, #miles_and_miles
Photo Source: All photos were taken and submitted Sarah Murphy and Stefaan duPont.