I knew all along
It’s funny to look back on your childhood self, your wildest dreams and aspirations. For some, it was a clear path: to become a teacher, a doctor or some sort of high-flying business person. For most people I speak to, the path curves and forks and takes you to places you never thought you’d end up, or even knew existed. Many people think school is the answer to indecisiveness. For others, travel.
My path has been anything but smooth or one directional. I used to hear myself saying more often than not, “I don’t know what I want to do yet,” and this was sufficient for the time. Being young, people would just answer to this, “Well, you’ve got lots of time to figure it out, no need to worry.” However, from the moment I was released into the “real” world, I can remember feeling like time was running out. And as I got older, I became more and more uncomfortable with not knowing. At points, even panicked and felt depressed. I felt I knew myself, and yet couldn’t figure out what I should be doing with my life. I saw people around me starting careers, starting families and looking all-round content in their lives.
My life has never been without love and support from the people around me, but I couldn’t help but feel that I was not reaching my potential. I felt, and still feel, that I have so much to offer the world, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I knew that I loved to help other people reach their potential: listen to their struggles and help them figure out a solution that would ultimately move them forward.
I guess I started traveling “late”. It took a lot of years of dreaming before I left my bachelor apartment with only a backpack. It never seemed possible before this. It seemed like it was only a dream, but then I realized that if I just started saying it out loud, that it would happen. I also set an alarm on my phone that went off every single day at the same time for about nine months to remind myself that I was going to make this traveling thing happen, one way or another. It just said one word: “India”.
And it did happen. It was the catalyst that set me on my current path. It’s really hard not to sound cheesy and / or like Oprah when talking about your life’s path, but everything that had ever happened to me, the people that I had met, the struggle’s I had felt would never end, lead me to that point. The times that I felt I wasn’t in the right place were necessary to get me someplace else. In hindsight, it all worked out beautifully.
It was, and I’m sure will continue to be, a combination of many things in my life that make it work. Pursuing one avenue (the arts, to be extremely general) for the past decade or so has been at times incredibly satisfying, and at others incredibly draining and unfulfilling. Knowing that travel is in my future excites me. It’s comforting to be in a place where I am not looking to travel as an escape, rather to supplement my life, which requires an array of things to feel complete. The comfort I feel knowing this, is accompanied with the discomfort of leaving life as I know it in the city. Together they are the cheeky universe’s symbiotic truth that that keeps things moving onwards and upwards.
Now looking back at the twisty road I’ve taken, it all seems so simple after all. I wasn’t playing doctor or imagining myself as a successful business woman when I was a child. I was reading adventure non-fiction and watching Lonely Planet on the OLN with my parents. The world was such a colorful place and I wanted to see all of it. It never occurred to me that this could be my life, if I wanted it to be. But then, here I am. Travel was always the way; I just took a different route.