Psst! Grab the audio here if you don’t have time to read.
A year ago, almost to the day, I read an article in the Emirates Airlines in-flight magazine, Open Skies. The article was about a photographer who walked away from the comfort of her day job to pursue a life of travel and freelancing. The issue was their wanderlust issue and there were several stories of travel and adventure, but something about that story stayed with me.
It was the April 2017 issue, and I was en route to Indonesia for the first time, by myself. I remember feeling inspired by the article, so much so that I cut the page out of the magazine, framed it and placed it on the desk in my home office when I got home. And that, as they say, was the proverbial beginning.
Like most, I toyed with the idea but didn’t take it too seriously. Ever so often I would glance at the article and allow myself to dream about the possibility, then I’d return to reality. The reality of a good job – a senior role in a company poised for growth – and a life of predictability and certainty.
Then somewhere in January of this year, the decision was made for me. I say it was made for me because I can’t exactly recall what shifted but there was a shift and I knew, just like that. I was leaving my life behind for something new. There was a conversation with my landlord, then everything else started moving into place. I began applying for visas for the countries that required it (I already had a US visa but that was just the tip of the iceberg based on what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go) then I put to use all the travel hacking research I had done during the previous year of dreaming.
The first leg
As I sit here in the departure lounge in Dubai awaiting my connecting flight to Cape Town, South Africa I am technically unemployed without a permanent address (unless you count my parents’ address that I still use on official documents). This is my first trip to Cape Town and I am ecstatic. In fact, it’s my first trip to the African continent. But, more importantly, it is the beginning of an audacious journey, a journey many wait for permission to take – a journey I have given myself permission to take.
Journey with me
If you’re reading this you’ve obviously stumbled upon my blog, in which case I really hope you will join me on this journey, whether to live vicariously through me or to be inspired to take an audacious step of your own. It needn’t be as drastic as turning your life upside down and selling all you own to see the world in all its glory. Maybe you will feel inspired to take smaller steps – perhaps to join that dance class, write that book, start saving toward that trip – toward you own incredible life-altering moment.
Cheers to the unknown
I don’t have all the answers. And I am by no means delusional about this journey I’ve undertaken. There will be challenges and I know well in advance that there will be days when I will yearn for nothing more than the comfort of the life I’ve left back home. But I am prepared to ride through those moments – definitely not on my own, but perhaps, with your support (call me presumptuous but I do believe we’re going to be friends) and the support of all the zealous cheerleaders I’ve left back home.
Until next time, as we Jamaicans say, likkl more.