“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Planning for year long travel is not easy, especially when you have a great group of a friends, work for a wonderful organization, live close to your family and are in a loving relationship. I’m slowly working up the courage to commit to taking the next year of my life to travel, but it’s not without fear. I’m afraid of what I may be doing to my career trajectory – what are the blind spots I’m not seeing? I’m scared to leave my relationships (family, friends, boyfriend) – what major moments will I be missing out on while I’m gone? I’m unsure of how I’ll feel to travel alone – what if something happens to me?
I do feel incredibly lucky. My friends and boyfriend have been nothing but supportive. I expected skepticism and hard questioning, but instead, have received so much love and support regarding this next chapter in my life. I’m able to save what I think will be enough and I think I’ve made enough good decisions around my career that I can’t really screw it up that much.
I’ll be honest – there’s something liberating about deciding to forgo the typical career path and truly take the one less traveled. I feel excited to be independent, challenged and completely in control of every moment of my days. I’m energized by the possibilities that lay ahead. As a twenty-five year old woman about to embark on roughly a year of solo travel, I feel charged to ensure that with each step my eyes are wide open to the world, literally, around me.
I can imagine myself reading this post six months from now, a month or two into the first leg of my trip, laughing at my own fears. I’ll hopefully be starting in the Mediterranean after participating in Birthright and as I’m eating a gyro in Mykonos, falafel in Tel Aviv, or babaganoush in Istanbul, I know I’ll have no regrets. So why do I still fear pulling the trigger? Telling my boss…and then my father? It’s odd that logic and feelings can diverge so much at times. But alas, they do.
Those of you out there who have done this – what was your point of departure? What forced you to make the decision to finally go?
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