“This story is about choosing exactly the life you want to live, and running towards it,” Amy Seder writes on Away Lands — the travel/videography blog she shares with her boyfriend, Brandon Burkley. It’s an introduction to a site full of stunning images taken throughout Southeast Asia, Spain, Morocco, and the U.S. But that’s only the beginning of it: starting this fall, Amy and Brandon are set to embark on the adventure of their lives. And they aren’t coming back any time soon.
“We came up with the idea almost a year ago,” Amy told me over the phone. They’d both advanced in their careers — Brandon in finance, Amy in the business end of photography production — but they realized it wasn’t enough. “We got to this place we were just getting through each week for the weekend, and trying to get through to the next vacation. We were like, ‘God, is this all our life is going to be?’”
“I made the decision years ago to just drop what I was doing and going and travel the world,” Brandon said, “but I didn’t have the balls to do it until I was miserable.”
The day of reckoning came after Brandon returned home from a work trip last July. “We sat by the water here in New York, and we were just like, ‘Alright, fuck this…We’re doing what we want to do.’ And here we are, seven, eight months later. We’ve accomplished a lot and come a long way.”
“The decision was so instant, so simple, and so unwavering,” Amy writes on AwayLands. “We would leave our comfortable lives here in Brooklyn, and see the world. Not in these two week spurts between months of day-in, day-out monotony, but for as long as we could.”
Their plan is certainly ambitious. Starting in the fall, the pair will drive from New York, where they’re currently living, to the California beach town they both grew up in. “Part of our both of our dreams was to drive across the country. We thought it would be a very liberating experience to leave New York and drive across the country with nothing but time on our hands.” In California, they’ll spend the holidays reconnecting with family and friends.
After the new year, their big adventure begins. From California, they’ll go on to Southeast Asia, a part of the world they both fell in love with last winter. This time, they’ll live there for at least a year.
“Our plan from July was to save enough money between July and the fall of 2016 to be able to live on our own for a year in Asia if we had made no money at all,” Brandon told me.