As a child, I’d stare excitedly at world maps for hours at a time, looking at countries, capital cities, learning about geography. Even the Melways (the street map of Melbourne where I grew up) was interesting to me – planning out routes of how to get between different places, I was always itching to explore more.
While during my teens and twenties I had some experiences overseas, including time spent living in London and Japan, I had never been on an extended backpacking trip on my own. These trips had always been on someone else terms – never my idea and always with a friend, never making the leap to go exploring alone.
I’d tell myself it was not a good time, there is too much planned this year, or any other excuse I could muster.
There was always something or someone in my life that I allowed to hold me back from doing the trip that I had always wanted to do.
Entering into my thirties, as time went on I was even more afraid of making the leap to go. I’d entrenched myself a little too deeply in my career, built up a house load of “stuff” and forgotten about what was truly important to me – exploring the world and seeing new places for the very first time. For some reason I was hesitant to leave this comfortable life I had created, but which was ultimately making me more and more miserable. I kept telling myself “I’ll do it when….”
One day, in a turning point in my life I realised there would never be a perfect time. I just had to take a chance, trust my heart, and go and do what I’d always wanted to.
If I was going to live my life without regrets it was time to pack up and go.
So within the space of just one month, I sold almost everything I owned and boarded a plane bound for Canada. It felt so good to be rid of all the “stuff” I owned that was holding me back, and quickly realised how little I need to be happy!
However I soon realised that settling down to live in another country was not the answer. I had itchy feet and there was a whole world to see. Backpack on my back, I took the next six months to explore Latin America and saw some many amazing things, not to mention all the people I met with along the way who quickly became great friends!
So far, I have now been to over forty countries including Latin America, Europe and some parts of Asia, though I have so much more to do and am constantly adding to the list!
I’m glad I have taken this time for me, on my own, to explore the world on my terms. For sure I’ve been afraid, nervous, and sometimes lonely – but these feelings have only led me to more energy and enthusiasm as I continue on my journey.
I have not regretted the decision to leave the corporate life and go travel, not once. Not for even a second.
My best piece of advice –> Follow your dreams and never be afraid of the future as it hasn’t happened yet. Don’t sit back and wait for the perfect time to come 🙂