Baecation: Amirah & Jarrell Cook
JET loves Black Love. In our newest series, we hear from couples who turned their honeymoon into a permanent voyage. First up, Amirah and Jarrell Cook…Are you on a baecation? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Baecation.
The idea of living a mediocre life was terrifying, so in September 2013 Amirah and Jarrell Cook decided to bet on themselves and set out to see the world. The journey hasn’t been easy, but nearly three years later, this couple is still making cool young history on their permanent baecation.
JETmag.com caught up with the Cooks via email while they explored Tokyo to discuss how they deal with the ups and downs of married life while traveling the globe.
JET: Shortly after you were married, you decided to quit your jobs, pack up and see the world. How did you come to that decision?
Amirah: Fear. I was terrified of putting off my dream of traveling the world. Jarrell feared not being in control of his own professional and economic destiny. So we decided to burn the ships and force ourselves to make our dreams a reality.
JET: It’s been over 30 months since you’ve set out on your adventure, what are some of the challenges of traveling together?
Jarrell: We started out broke, and from there we have been launching businesses on the go, which makes for challenges on its own. Also we’re not fluent in any foreign languages, so we have that struggle while navigating new locations every other month. But because we are away from our family and friends, we are forced to work through things together, and that’s been great for our marriage.
JET: How has travel strengthened your relationship?
A&J: Something like this will quickly expose your flaws, insecurities, and weaknesses. There’s no way that we could spend every second of every day together if we didn’t enjoy each other’s company. We’ve been able to experience things we both thought were impossible, and that has given us confidence in ourselves, as well as our union.
JET: What’s the most annoying, and amazing, thing about traveling with each other?
Amirah: The most annoying thing about traveling with Jarrell is filling out his customs forms. After 24 countries, he has yet to fill one out. He never knows what airport we’re flying into, where the apartment is, how long we’re staying, nothing. Secretly, I enjoy it because I’m a control freak, but the times when I forget a detail, I know he’s not going to be able to help.
The most amazing thing is his ambition. It’s what attracted me to him in the first place. He is a real dreamer, and I love that about him. I would have never thought that we could send snacks to people around the world, but he doesn’t think anything is too ambitious, and he always encourages me to dream bigger.
Jarrell: The most amazing thing about traveling with Amirah is her passion to see places that I would never really consider. She is a person that just wants to see the world. It’s never been about a bucket list for her, she is open to any and every place, and she’s opened my eyes to places I would’ve never thought I wanted to see.
The most annoying thing is her passion for traveling! Haha! Every month there’s a new ‘must see’ country. Right after she sees one place, she wants to see more and I have recently embraced the fact that she will never be tired of traveling. Most people don’t have anything they are that passionate about, so I feel very blessed to be able to watch her experience her dream, and live it out with her.
JET: Bad finances can destroy a marriage, and traveling isn’t cheap. How have you worked together to stay afloat and maintain a happy home?
Amirah: Traveling has always been my dream, while entrepreneurship has always been Jarrell’s. Without planning it, going after my dream led into his, as we built a business sending international snacks from every country we visit in a monthly subscription box. The commitment we have to each other’s’ goals has been a huge motivator and source of inspiration for us both, and hopefully to others.
JET: What advice do you have for traveling as a couple?
A&J: Remember to focus on the journey, and not the destination. Just enjoy the ride and collect experiences, not stamps.
JET: Describe your permanent baecation in three words.
A&J: Love. Growth. Independence.
Danielle T. Pointdujour is a Brooklynite living the passport life to the fullest. With over 70 countries under her belt, you can always find Danielle traveling the globe in search of new experiences and the hottest luxury hotels. You can follow her writing, musings and global adventures on her blog Hotel Whisperer and on Twitter and Instagram.