I’ve wanted to write a “Why I’m Going” post since I started this blog a few months ago, but I’ve put it off until now because it’s been a hard subject to pin down.
Offhand, it’s easy to say my reasons are:
1. Because I want to, and
2. Why not?
I’m not a Type A, hammer-out-all-the-details sort of person, so those reasons are justification enough to hop on a plane, as far as I’m concerned.
But why is it so easy to just go off without much of a plan?
1. I have nothing to lose.
That might sound like a bad thing, but I swear it’s not.
Earlier this year, I knew that just about everything in my life would be up for renewal in July. I needed to find a new place to live, because the lease was up on the house I was sharing with a couple of friends. I needed to find a new job, because things weren’t really working out. Plus, the feeling that I didn’t belong in Seattle was growing stronger by the day (though it is a great city). Several of my friends were moving away as well, and I didn’t have a boyfriend. I felt like a bored, stuck, miserable failure, until it occurred to me that since I had to start over anyway, I had the freedom to do anything I wanted. And that freedom was an unbelievable breath of fresh air – so much better than the idea of another job, a new apartment and more of Seattle’s questionable dating scene.
I believe this trip will take my life in a whole new direction – if I didn’t, I wouldn’t bother with it. But, let’s say for a moment that it doesn’t. Say I travel until I run out of money and have to return to the US. If that happens, I’ll be in exactly the same position I’m in now, except with a year or two of incredible adventure under my belt. I’ll be looking for a new city, a job, and a place to live – just like I’d have to now if I were staying in the States. But it would be worth it.
2. I can spend part of the trip working.
I learned the hard way that I need to do this.
Two years ago, I took a big trip through South America, drawing up ambitious plans to squeeze in as much adventure as humanly possible. I had no idea what I was going to do or where I was going to go when I got back, but that little detail was easy to conveniently forget – until I got back to the States. Then I had to deal with the unfortunate reality of having spent absolutely every penny in my bank account. And I mean everything. At one point I walked to Starbucks, thinking of buying a latte, and had to walk out shamefully when I realized that I couldn’t afford one. So I had to stay at my parents’ house for a few months while I somehow got together enough work to get myself to Seattle – where I applied for jobs blindly and madly, panicking daily about finding a job in time to pay rent on the lease I’d signed.
I’m not doing that again.
At 26, like at 24, I have no idea what I’m going to do or where I’m going to end up. But, this time I know that the time it takes to figure that out needs to be spent working – and if I go to Asia, I have the option to get a working holiday visa in Australia or New Zealand. They last a year, so I can save up some money to fund the next step, whenever I figure out what the hell I’m going to do with my life. Knowing that I have a job (even a temporary one) on the other end of the trip takes the stress off.
What would your reasons be?