One day in July 2010, I drove to work with my heart pounding and thoughts racing. A few weeks later I was due to fly halfway around the world to begin a study abroad year in Georgia, USA. Those thoughts were something along the lines of:
What am I doing? This is insane! I’m leaving everyone I know to go live somewhere I’ve never been before!
I went anyway, doing my best to ignore all the fears. I had one of the best years of my life. I met amazing people from all over the world, spent the summer roadtripping the US & Canada, changed half my degree and travelled solo for the first time. That prompted 7 years of further travel, up to the present day.
I’ve been waiting for that fear to return for the last year, ever since I started planning a trip around the world. At the end of March, I handed in my notice so I could leave the UK to travel until December 2019.
This isn’t one of those posts telling you that anyone, even you, can quit your job and travel the world. You might be able to, you might not. Travel is a privilege that’s not possible for everyone for a multitude of reasons.
I’m lucky. I’ve worked for it, yes — four years of savings are funding this trip, and the level of planning needed is ridiculous even for me, with my penchant for colour-coded spreadsheet itineraries. But I’m lucky in that everything fell into place for me at the right time. Plenty of things can become barriers to travel — mortgage, pets, relationships to name a few — but I found I had a solution for everything. Even the risk of leaving a steady job didn’t seem as bad, now I have five years of experience in an industry that keeps growing. I realised that I was in the best situation I had ever been in to do what I had always dreamed of; travel the world for an extended period. The only thing stopping me was myself and my fears.
I could stay at home in a very comfortable life with friends and family nearby, a good job and holidays abroad. But I’ve got the rest of my life to do that, and we only grow by experiencing change. If I don’t go now I might never go. If I don’t go now I’ll always regret it.
My flights are booked, my passport renewed, my visa sorted. On Monday 23rd April I flew to Spain to spend the summer learning Spanish, doing odd jobs and exploring. After a brief stop back in the UK in July, it’s on to Oslo, Bangkok, Cambodia, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, the Gold Coast, and finally New Zealand where I’ll stay on a work holiday visa for 9 months or so. After that, who knows where? Even I can’t plan that far ahead 😂
So a couple of weeks ago I found myself back in that car every day as I drove to work, heart pounding, thoughts racing.
What am I doing? This is insane! Quitting a perfectly good job, leaving everyone I know to go travel and live somewhere I’ve never been before!
But this time I know the fear is worth it.
If your dream isn’t worth the risk, what is?
–Sense8, season 2
(Better late than never? Looks like I forgot to hit publish on this when I wrote it a few weeks ago xD More updates now I’m actually on my travels coming soon!)