As a kid, I never knew what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. And to my dismay, that sense of no direction lasted well into my young adult years. I had hobbies, sure. I loved to write, and I loved to travel and be outdoors – ever since I was a toddler, in fact. I’d go outside and search for “natures” – which were usually just pine cones and mossy rocks. But those were only hobbies, and my family was more geared towards practicality.
So, not wanting to waste time or money on a college degree I may or may not use, I started working. From the time I was old enough to be working, really. I worked at a chocolate shop, hardware store, restaurants, title insurance company and then finally I landed a job at a law firm as a legal assistant. It was a great job, but it was overwhelming. I was afraid to ever take a sick day since I knew I’d come back to piles of work. I was often working overtime and honestly; it was taking a toll on me. I was temperamental, I complained all the time, and I was starting to fear I might push the people I care about away. I mean, who wants to hang out with someone who’s miserable 24/7?
So I decided, to keep my sanity, I’d set a “quit by” date. At the end of that year, I would quit my job. I’d take whatever money my husband and I had saved, and we’d travel the world and write about our experiences. It was perfect! It was everything I ever wanted to do.
I could tell people thought we were crazy. And there was always those questions “What is your plan?” “How will you make money?” “What will you do when you get back?” – I never had an answer. But it didn’t matter to me. I was over the moon. I was living my dream! It honestly didn’t even matter to me if I made no money at all. I just loved my life and loved what I was doing.
It’s been almost a year now since I quit my job and got on that plane, and I still haven’t run out of money, I still haven’t given up, my relationships are healthier than ever, and I’m happier than ever. And honestly, even if I walk away with nothing, I feel I’ve still succeeded – because I took a risk and did something that brought value and meaning to my life. Something that healed my mind and made me kinder, wiser and more confident.
Maybe travelling and living out of a tent is unconventional, but who’s to decide what’s conventional anyway? Do what you love. And when someone tells you it’s crazy, take it as a compliment. Because it means you had the guts to do something most would never dream of doing.