I’ve planned an escape. An escape from my comfort zone. I’ve learned that for me, living in my comfort zone too long, makes me extremely uncomfortable. I had a nice job that paid me a pretty decent salary, I had my own apartment and I just lived that good ‘ole 9 to 5 lifestyle we all seem to adore so much. Well not that we adore it, we are forced into believing that that is life. We believe there is no other way and any other way is too hard and takes too much work. I mean, why pursue your dream of travel when you should be focused on building a career, so you can then get married and settle down and buy a house and fill it with children. There’s no time for traveling the world. And it’s also expensive. So it’s just overall a bad idea. Why live your life the way you want to?
I had all of those thoughts stop me from traveling right after I graduated. I wasn’t ready. I needed to plan to go to grad school instead or plan on starting a career. That’s what I saw everyone else doing and I felt left out. So I spent my free time looking up schools and career paths while deep down in my heart all I wanted to do was travel. I started saving up just to make my life even more comfortable for myself. After a month of saving, I decided to screw what people thought I should do or even, where I thought I should be compared to everyone else in the world. I realized that life is too short and I would be pissed if I died tomorrow while I was trying to live everyone’s dreams and following everyone else’s paths. I have my own and it involves seeing the world. I can start a career at any time. And I can go back to school later. I cannot backpack the world any other time than now.
Of course I had experienced my own roadblocks and plan changes. One of my biggest roadblocks was the loss of my little sister. We were supposed to do this trip together. We always talked about traveling the world, especially after our trip to Thailand for study abroad. She was my partner and crime and my best friend. Traveling the world with her would have been the most amazing experience because we have the exact same sense of humor and awkwardness. Those are two traits that generate some pretty interesting stories. Unfortunately she committed suicide two years ago, shortly after our trip to Thailand. I was broken and my family was broken. I waited two years to get myself together and tried to figure out my life during all of this. At this point I didn’t know when I would travel so I just buried myself in my work and in going out to distract myself.
Earlier this year, I was starting to feel the weight of the pain and heartbreak that I was trying to distract myself from. I knew I had to get away so I bought a one way ticket…for one. No partner in crime this time. I have to do this by myself. I have to live this dream for her too, not just me. We said we were going to do it and I’m going to get it done. I don’t care what it takes. She doesn’t have to physically go with me, I can carry her spirit with me everywhere I go. I know she would do the same.
So now it’s that time. Time to go out and explore the world. Let fear consume me and then teach myself to overcome these fears. It’s time to live my own dreams and figure out what I want from this life. You only get one life: I know that sounds obvious, but I’m surprised at the way some people choose to live it, waiting around for their dreams to come to them. Live a little, take a moment to breathe and appreciate life. It doesn’t necessarily have to be through travel, but whatever you love to do, go out and do it. Life is way to short for your dreams to be squandered away due to societal expectations or a fear of failure. Go live life now. You only get this one.