Why I've decided to leave again...
People have asked why I've decided to pack my bags and hop on a plane to another third world country. They ask what I'm running away from. To set the record straight if I was going to run away I would have left a long time ago. With all the heartache in my life at the moment I'm surprised I'm still standing sometimes, but then I see my close friends gets married and I spend time with my beautiful support system and I feel assured that the good will outweigh the bad. I came home to get my head sorted out and spend time with my loved ones in a time of crisis and grief.
Since being home I've realized I don't have much of a purpose in the states at the moment. I feel pressure to succumb to societal norms such as finding a career, settling down in an apartment, start saving for a home, finding someone to spend the rest of my life with while staying fit and healthy, etc... I'm twenty six years old and when I'm in America I feel somewhat like a failure because I'm not living up to the expectations of others. Let's be real for a moment, these expectations placed on young people in America can be overwhelming and unrealistic. Everyone is stressed out about something it seems. What we have to remember is everyone is at a different step in life. Everyone's path varies in some form or fashion. No two have the same journey and this is why comparing yourself to others is always a dark downward spiral.
People ask me all the time, what are you doing for a job? How are you affording this? How are you going to find a job with such a large gap in your resume?
To answer your questions:
1) Working along the way is possible. I had a job in Australia for a couple months, but I didn't feel like it was a right fit at the time.
2) I got a severance from my old company two and a half years ago and I have learned to budget and stretch the dollar quite well. I do not stay in lavish hotels or go out for super nice meals. I spend my money on experiences rather than material items.
3) I have over two years of sales experience on my resume and traveling to what soon will be 30 countries in two and a half years by myself is quite a feat. I believe it's the experiences in life that mold your character and to be honest I've learned more in the last two years than I ever did sitting at a desk behind a computer.
In San Clemente I was working a bit to make some extra cash, attending counseling sessions and many beautiful weddings, practicing yoga and staying healthy, but realistically I was more wrapped up in my depression and grief not doing what I love to do.... travel. I love to travel. I love to experience different cultures with my backpack strapped on my back. I love stretching the dollar. I love the unknown. I love to explore new places and meet new people on a daily basis. I do not travel to escape, but rather to grow and learn. To learn about the world and understand different cultures and how people in other areas survive. To learn about the cultural values and morals of people around the world who may sleep on the ground or eat the same thing everyday because they can't afford anything else. To find out what's important in life. What I've found so far is appreciating what you have and living in the present moment is second to none the most important skill to practice daily. I will say my geography skills have significantly improved, as well.
I have learned more about myself in these past two and a half years than ever before. I have learned I am worthy. I am intelligent in my own way. I am independent and sometimes, I am way too loud. I have learned I am super outgoing and somewhat intimidating in scenarios. I am particular, but I am open to meeting new people and experiencing things that are foreign to me. I have learned I am strong. I am lucky to have grown up in California with my amazing family and friends. I am so incredibly blessed beyond measure. I don't mean that in a religious way, just pure blessed by whatever higher power is up there taking care of us all.
I am embarking on this journey to Nepal and India to reignite that fire in my belly. To fill my soul with adventure in hopes to find solace and happiness. To prove to myself that I can still do it even though I feel broken. I am going to pursue my passion to travel and experience different cultures although a part of me is terrified, anxious and disheartened by the unfairness of this world. I've learned that living in fear is a waste of time and energy. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, but I will live in the present moment and seize the day. Jumping out of my comfort zone has healed me once and I do not doubt that it has the potential to heal me again. Why not do it? Travel while I'm young and able, as I know I'll never have this opportunity again.
I go to learn. I go to appreciate. I go to live in the present moment. It's too easy to get caught up in societal pressures and norms placed on you in America. Maybe it's time to jump out of your comfort zone.