For so many reasons, I never thought I’d be writing a blog; sharing my thoughts/feelings/10,000 emotions with the intimidating abyss that is the internet. Firstly, I’ve always loved the way pen flows across paper, the physical feeling of creating words and scratching them out, writing and rewriting. It feels like art to me and has always been the best way I express myself; I’m a bit of a spaz when it comes to anything else. Secondly, in a lot of ways I’m a pretty introverted person, especially when it comes to sharing ideas, feelings, dreams, etc., and ESPECIALLY when it comes to sharing these types of things with such a vast audience, strangers or otherwise. My friends might even be surprised to hear (read) me say this because I’m also very sociable, opinionated and loud. This side of me, however, is nowhere to be found when meeting new people or when I’m in large groups – unless I’ve got a few bourbons on deck. It sounds so contradictory, a shy loud person.
In school, I was always that person who would have an answer to a professor’s question or something to say about the topic being discussed, but would often keep my opinions to myself for fear of being judged or criticized. I can remember so clearly sitting on the edge of my seat, willing myself to raise my hand and speak up, but that fear of failing holding me back. More often than not, someone else would speak up with the correct answer and it’d be exactly what I was holding just on the tip of my tongue. Shit. I’m sure so many people can relate to that and I often kicked myself for these moments, but rarely changed my ways. “Why would anyone want to hear what I have to say? What if I’m wrong? Everyone will think I’m an idiot.” Once I entered the corporate world after graduation, I started to speak up a bit more, but really, it took traveling halfway across the world for me to find my voice. To really realize that keeping quiet was the thing that made me the idiot. Of course I ‘knew’ this all along, knew I should have been speaking my mind, but knowing what’s right and putting it into action are two very different things. It takes an immense amount of courage to embrace the vulnerability that comes with openly expressing your thoughts, sharing little pieces of yourself, and I have a real respect for the people who can do that.
What prompted the creation of this blog was, first and foremost, that I’m not the best at keeping everyone in my life updated on what I’m up to on the other side of the world. I figured if I have it all in one neat little package in cyberspace on a universally accessible platform, that’ll keep everyone happy. Secondly, a major inspiration for me to finally make this massive move was a post that I randomly stumbled across on a travel blog (find post here). I remember sitting on my bed in my apartment in Stamford, Connecticut one night after work, reading this stranger’s post about how she “affords” to travel and why she left her run-of-the-mill life behind to do so and thinking “…WTF am I doing with my life?!?!” – a thought that had crossed my mind on a daily basis at that point. It’s not that I was profoundly unhappy; I was working in my favorite city, I lived close to so many of my friends, I was making enough money to support myself and live comfortably, I had minimal complaints. I just knew that I wanted more. Not more in the materialistic sense, more in the ‘set your soul on fire’ sense. I had this relentless gnawing feeling that I was just going through the motions, that something was missing, that I could be happier. While I had been debating making this major life change for almost two years, I realized then that all the while I was dreaming of going on this adventure, I was making excuses for why it wasn’t a good idea, why I shouldn’t do it, or why it wouldn’t work out. How disgustingly negative. It was at that moment that I signed onto the Australian Government’s website and applied for a Work and Holiday visa. A few hundred dollars and about half an hour later and I was on my way to the land down under; pending visa approval, of course. No looking back. While, ultimately, it was my decision to make this change, it was what I read about someone else’s experience doing something similar that helped me to get out of my own way and do what I wanted to do (not something that I love admitting, I am painfully stubborn and like to think that I can do it all on my own – silly, I know, I’m working on it).
While this massive leap of faith journey of quitting my job and relocating to the other side of the planet entirely on my own has been difficult (excruciatingly so, at times), the decision to go through with it has been one of the best I have ever made in my life. If this blog can inspire even one person to chase their dreams, then it will have been worth writing.
“Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it.”