Jay Austin (vegan) and Lauren Geoghegan (vegetarian) decided they were wasting their lives working and quit their DC office jobs to embark on a year-long journey to see the world.
“I’ve grown tired of spending the best hours of my day in front of a glowing rectangle, of coloring the best years of my life in swaths of grey and beige,” Austin wrote on his blog before he quit. “I’ve missed too many sunsets while my back was turned. Too many thunderstorms went unwatched, too many gentle breezes unnoticed.”
They documented their journey and their philosophical musings on social media.
“You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” Austin wrote. “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil. I don’t buy it.”
“Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own… By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.”
On July 29, the idealistic couple learned the hardest way possible that evil is not make-believe. Five men from ISIS attacked and murdered them while they were biking in Tajikistan. Afterwards, the men posted a photo of themselves celebrating.