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Mirling Around the World

The Beginning, or "WHAT are you doing?!"

CANADA | Wednesday, 10 January 2018 | Views [1331] | Comments [4]

Here I am, sitting in a Starbucks on Granville Street in Vancouver, trying to spend the last couple of dollars on Sterling's Starbucks card. I'm staring at a blank computer screen, getting up the courage to write my first blog. I'm a perfectionist, and because of this I can be a serious procrastinator. How do you start a big, ambitious job (like writing a cool, follow-worthy blog once a week for a year) when you know that you will obsess over perfection? The answer is, just start throwing words on a page and see where it takes you.

Now let me back up a bit. I'm Miriam, a physiotherapist from Ontario, Canada. My boyfriend Sterling and I have decided to take up “early retirement in our thirties” in the form of quitting our jobs, shoving everything we'll need for travelling multiple climates into two backpacks (each), and leaving home for Asia. Ideally we hope to spend one year finding adventure, challenging ourselves, and experiencing different cultures and ways of life. It's important to do something that scares you, right?



So while our friends have been getting married, buying homes, and having children, we've been sticking it out and slowly saving money to jet off on our Grand Adventure. We have no mortgage, no children, and no pets – when better?

It's been interesting to explain what we have been planning to friends, family, co-workers, and clients. Most people have been truly interested and excited for us (and dare I say, a little jealous?). There have been a few who have had questions: “WHAT are you doing?!”, “What about buying a house?”, “Why not Europe, why Asia???”; but luckily these people have been in the minority.

Why are we doing this? Why make the decision to be purposefully homeless? (Literally right now the only thing on my key chain is a bottle opener).



The real answer is, we've felt stuck in our lives and in our jobs and we've been hungry for change. A good friend recently described an exchange between Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Doug Tompkins, founder of North Face during the movie “180° South”:

“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It's so easy to make it complex.... What is important is to lead an examined life.” (Chouinard)

“In response to people who say you can't go back. Well, what happens when you get to the cliff? Do you take one step forward or do you make a 180º turn and take... one step forward? Which way are you going? Which is progress?” (Tompkins)

The solution might be to turn around and take a forward step.” (Chouinard)

Regarding big choices in life and regret, Sterling has a clear, simple view on the subject. He likes to take the perspective of looking back at life from his deathbed, and think “am I going to look back on my life and regret making this choice, or am I going to regret not taking this opportunity? Having some regret is unavoidable, but if you always try to be aware and actively involved in your life choices, regret can be minimized”.

So here's to minimizing regret- cheers and with love,





Tags: coffee shop, gap year, vancouver




A little jealous...I'm green all over...different shades too!

I'm super excited for you! I loved Asia...of course travelling with the safety of family. You two are nuts. Nuts in a great way. Sensible nuts. I look forward to living vicariously threw you!

  Steffany Elford Jan 12, 2018 3:17 AM


Good start Miriam! Can’t wait for the next one!

  Jenna H Jan 12, 2018 1:32 PM


I love the picture of you and Sterling! Its a great way to start a blog. Right now is the perfect time for adventure, enjoy where it leads you, and lean into both the good and the bad. Enjoy this year!!!

  Julia St. Lawrence Jan 14, 2018 3:41 AM


Great start to your blog! Dare I say "perfect" even?! I am more than a little jealous but hope you and Sterling have a wonderful adventure full of memories and stories to last a lifetime! Hugs to you both!

  Heather W. Jan 16, 2018 6:15 AM

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