What is an optimist and what is a pessimist? While an optimist will always find a way of seeing the positive in a situation, a pessimist will find every reason possible for things to go wrong. A doom and gloomer. Optimism vs pessimism. Which are you? A little clue. Know that it’s normal to be a little of both.

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A year ago my husband and I went through many different scenarios over what it would look like to live out our dream of taking the kids travelling around the world. This decision would involve throwing a lot of balls in the air and naturally, we talked through many scenarios. How it could be amazing but how it may be bloody disastrous.

Thankfully, Brian and I both air on the side of optimism, but many a night (usually over a bottle of wine) we battled with the negative ‘what ifs’.

If you are thinking of doing anything that requires you to step out of the box this post will show you what it looks like when faced with both the negative and the positive parts of your mind.


Optimism Vs Pessimism. How Both Look.


Optimism Vs Pessimism. A look at both when choosing to travel around the world

What about you? Is your glass half full or half empty?


Below are the thoughts we batted around for a few days before making the final leap into our adventure. Underneath each fear is the pessimistic answer to that fear versus the optimistic one. Which would you have gone with?


For Pinterest




Let’s Leave Our Jobs And Travel The World With The Kids!


The Pessimist:

  • Oh my god, are you mad? What would we do when we came back? What about the dog and the climbing roses? They are only just beginning to take hold. A year without water would surely leave them shrivelled and dead. And while we are on the subject of death, if we quit our jobs and spend all of our savings who would pay for our funerals?


  • We will, after all, be captured and killed by terrorists in Birmingham or Tokyo and someone would have to pay for our bodies to be flown back home.



The Optimist:


  • Let’s do it. We could spend a heap of time in the garden and give the house a lick of paint so that when we rent it, we could ask for extra money.


  • We will pay that kid down the road ten dollars a week to come and water the roses. We will rent the house out, so we don’t have to worry about the mortgage being paid and the little extra we make we will buy excellent travel insurance.




But We Have Pets!


The Pessimist:


  • The dog would have to be put down, and the cats would wander the streets and become feral. The kid’s hearts would be broken, and they would never forgive us. It was bad enough when we put the dog in that crate while we bombed the house for fleas.


  • No. Absolutely not. I think we are having one of those midlife crises. Let’s go and buy some red high heels or a pair of those belly hugging knickers and get a takeaway.


The Optimist:


  • We have lots of friends and family. We could ask them to look after the dog and cats for us. If the worse comes to the very worse, we can put a small chunk of money to one side to pay for long-term kennels. They are much cheaper when the animals stay longer than a fortnight.


  • There is also the option of getting a long-term house sitter to come in. They would take care of the house and pets for free.


Optimism vs pessimism.

Yes, that’s right. Leave me with your mum. I’ll be fine…



What About The kid’s education?


The Pessimist:

  • The kids will fail in every aspect of there education. They will forget everything they have learned and turn into video playing zombies who only feel comfortable around the zoolu tribe.


  • They will forget how to communicate in English and hate us forever for pulling them out of normality. They will become weird freaks who will never amount to anything other than working part-time in a goth music store. That only sells vinyl.


The Optimist:


  • The kids will thrive; they may find it a bit difficult at times but they will look back when they are older and tell people “guess what our parents did?”


  • We will be their heroes.


  • They will acquire so many skills other than reading and writing skills. They will learn the art of taking risks and how little they need to be happy. A far better life lesson than learning the difference between metamorphic and deriphoric rocks.



Then There’s The Food.


The Pessimist:

  • The kids will hate the food. We’ll get sick of the  food. I never truly got over that tummy bug that I contracted in Tenerife after I ate that dodgy curry. And you certainly don’t do spice unless there’s a stack of bicarbonate of soda handy.


The Optimist:

  • We can eat street food! The kids will get to try hundreds of different tastes and have an opinion on them. They will grow to love food that isn’t smothered in ketchup, and we can all finally get to discover what real sushi tastes like!



deciding to take the leap and travel. The positives and the negitives

You will be able to try all of those exotic foods that you’ve only read about in books


But We’re Not Young!


The Pessimist:


  • We’re too old. How the hell can we go travelling around the world at our age? You can’t function with your daily dose of glucosamine to get out of bed, and what about my ingrowing toenail?


The Optimist:


  • We are in our prime.  Middle-aged hippie parent travellers are all the rage. I can wear the wooden bangles that I got from Jamaica on our honeymoon and you can grow a beard.  It will be an exciting adventure, and the kids will see us for the people that we were before they came along. Maybe. I might be pushing my luck on this one…



Where Would We Go?


The Pessimist:



  • Well, we’re not going to Asia for a start. Far too much filth. And poverty. The last thing we need with your dodgy bowels is a dose of deli belly. I doubt they have a Marks and Spencers in Vietnam.


  • And I’ve heard they don’t even speak English in Japan.  No thanks. If we are going to go travelling, we’ll go to Rochester to see your cousin for Thanksgiving. It’s nice there, and we wouldn’t need a visa.


The Optimist:


  • Asia! Oh my god, can you imagine?! The colours and the spices. The tuk-tuk rides and the wildlife. Imagine telling the kids that they can bathe elephants and watch fireflies hovering over the river in Sri Lanka.


  • The food. We could try everything we have only ever heard of in books. We could visit early morning markets and see if there really are monks in orange robes wondering the streets of Thailand.


Optimistic or pessimistic. Should we or not?

It’s true! There are monks in orange robes wandering around Thailand. Listen to your optimism and go and see it for ourselves.


What Would We Do All Day?


The Pessimist:


  • We will be bored senseless. After two weeks we’ll be itching to get back to the house and the garden. Plus, Liverpool is in the premier league this summer, and there’s no way I’m missing that.


The Optimist:



  • You could indulge in your photography that you never have time for. We could start a small photography blog, and the kids could help with it. I could start writing again.


  • There is a fabulous bar in the centre of Florence in Italy where every true supporter of Liverpool must visit at least once in their life to watch a Liverpool game on the biggest screen in Italy. Ever.



The money The cost, The sponduneez.


The Pessimist:


  • We can’t afford it. Not with the kid’s university fees to find. And my back molar needs a root filling. That’s going to cost a bloody fortune. There is no way we can afford it. No. Entirely out of the question. What were we thinking?


The Optimist:


  • Yes, we can! Let’s go to Thailand. The dentists there far surpass the level of treatment and care you would receive anywhere else in the world, and the cost is a fraction of what you’ll pay elsewhere.  What we will save on our dental treatment will pay for our flights over there.


  • If we can rent the house out the cost of travelling works out cheaper than if we stay at home. Think about it. No car bills, after-school clubs, no new clothes, no meals out, no gas bill, no water rates. All gone. We just need the money to get from one place to the other and eat cheaply.


The Kids. Always The Kids.


The Pessimist:

  • They will miss their friends. They will become lonely. They will grow their hair and look like Bear Grylls.


The Optimist:

  • They will have unlimited time to just be. Discover what it is that they love to do. Explore what it feels like to be in their own company. Priceless skills. It will be the best thing that ever happens to them. I promise.



A Family travelling the world. A healthy diose of pessimism and optimism

The kids are going to love it. They will never forget it. Yes, you will have your wobbly moments. Still, do it if that is your dream.


Related posts that you will enjoy

Why travel changes your perspective. For the better!

Why do we love to travel?

How people on a regular wage afford to travel the world

How to live a life of travel with kids who want to go home

The cost to travel the world. 4 months in.

25 Awesome travel gifts for kids. Each for under $20


There you go then. You’ve heard both sides of what we went through.

Optimism vs pessimism. I realise now that had we listened to all of the negatives we would never have gained the beautiful experiences and memories that will always be ours. Which will you choose the next time you face an argument for both sides? Are you a naturally positive person or are you a bit of a Chicken Little and think the sky is going to fall in? Please leave a comment below and let me know!


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