Today I called the American Telegraph and Telephone Company (AT&T) to suspend my phone account. Since I’m traveling for a year and AT&T has awful international roaming options, my best option is suspending my account for a year and buying prepaid SIM cards in every country I visit. This ends up averaging $20 per month for data, calls, and texts. This is significantly cheaper than adding a $30 per month international package to my existing AT&T bill.
Since account suspensions have a maximum of 6 months and I’m halfway through the year, it was time to re-suspend.
I was greeted in the typical fashion.
“Hello, and thank you for calling AT&T. My name is Ebony. How can I help you today?”
“Hi Ebony, I was wondering if you can help me suspend my account for 6 months.”
“Sure, I can do that. May I ask why you’re suspending it for 6 months?”
“Well, I’m traveling the world and I won’t need my –“
“WHAT? You’re traveling the world for 6 months? That’s amazing…” her voice trailed off.
“Yeah, it’s really fun! But I’m actually traveling for a year which is why I need to re-suspend it.”
“Oh, wow… I wish I could do that. How can you even do that?”
“Well, I started saving eight years ago. And a lot of cost reduction. Like think about your cable bill. Let’s say it’s $25 per month. That doesn’t sound like much, right?”
“But if you think about a full year of cable, that’s $300. And over eight years –”
“That’s $2400.” She was much faster than me with the arithmetic.
“Yeah, and that’s just TV. Imagine what you’re paying for a car with insurance, gas, upkeep, and the car itself. Or anything you pay for in life.”
We ended up talking about finances, travel, and other non-AT&T related things for 10 minutes. Knowing these calls are recorded for quality purposes, she started winding down because Tom from Delaware probably needed help suspending his teenage daughter’s account.
“Well, I’m inspired.” she said.
“I’m so happy to hear that! It was nice chatting with you.”
After hanging up, I got a giddy feeling. I never thought my journey for inspiration would be something that could inspire others. But this conversation made me realize some people want to do what I’m doing but can’t imagine it ever being possible.
So, thanks Ebony. You’ve inspired me to start sharing how I planned this year off and how to overcome the fear and doubt that prevents us from believing we can do what we dream of doing.