Just over three years ago, I quit my job, sold everything I owned, and set off to travel the world. For anyone who is wishing they could quit everything and travel right now, I want to ask you a question. Why haven’t you done it? Yes, you.
I know. You have a million reasons excuses about why all the travel bloggers you follow can do it, but not you. The real reason you haven’t done it yet is you are afraid. You have let fear stop you from following your dream.
Are You Letting Fear Stop You?
I was in the same place as you. I let fear stop me for the longest time. So, to get to the bottom of my fear, I asked, “What is the worst thing that can happen if I sell everything and travel?” And, I realized that my biggest fear was that I would run out of money. I was afraid that if I got off the path of “safety and security”, I would run out of money, become unemployable, and be forced to beg for money. That I would wind up having nothing left.
Isn’t it funny how much we let worthless pieces of paper control our lives? I did for so long, but I finally realized that I feared something more than running out of money. I feared dying with the knowledge that I had lived a life without following my dreams. So, I decided I would do whatever it took to follow my dream of traveling, no matter what it cost me.
And, through discovering the world, I discovered myself. I had time to reflect on my life, to figure out why I did things the same way, and discovered what would happen if I did things a different way.
I learned that I could love a place as much as I could love a person. And, I learned I could love myself above anything else. I learned that there were whole outer worlds to discover which led me to whole inner worlds inside myself.
I can truly say that making this decision to stop my life as I knew it and to travel, while being the scariest thing I ever did, was also the best thing I’ve ever done.
And My Worst Fear Came True
So, why did I stop traveling? Well, it happened. I ran out of money. I realized recently that I had just enough money to return to the US, buy a car, and put down money for a rent deposit before I would be out of money.
At this moment, I have no money. That’s right. No money.
I am currently job hunting, have my rent paid until March, and I have some exciting interviews coming up, so I have hope.
Am I scared? Maybe a little. But, I also have peace. I have faith that I am exactly where I’m meant to be.
First of all, know that I didn’t stop traveling because I ran out of money. There are many ways to travel for free. I didn’t retreat out of fear. But, being that close to the end of my savings caused me to take a close look at what I wanted my life to look like.
I realized that, in the end, my journey had led me back to myself. I was ready to be rooted again. To live in a place that felt like home, Portland, Oregon, where I lived before I started the journey. I was ready to return. To have dear friends back in my life.
I will still travel, and I will still write on this blog. But, I will also more fully appreciate the comforts of home. I’m ready to have a job with a steady income again, and I’m ready for stillness. Today, in my yoga practice, the theme was stillness. The first words of practice today were, “We are going to come up to moments that ask us to stay awhile.” And, that’s what I am ready for.
Why I Don’t Regret It
Do I regret having spent all of my carefully earned savings to travel? Do I regret having nothing left? What if I end up on the streets?
I can honestly say that I don’t regret it. I’ve learned just about everything in life is more important than money. Our moments with each other. The things that happened because we’ve followed our dreams. Who we have become.
I’m grateful that I was able to save to take this journey. Grateful for those who have helped me along the way. And most of all, I realized that all along…I was asking the wrong question.
The question isn’t, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”, but rather, “What’s the best thing that can happen?”
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I am always looking for the perfect escape, the perfect paradise, the kind of place that tosses your cares into the sea. Fortunately, I have discovered many! I created this site to show you where to go and how to get there. My goal is to show you that Paradise is only a plane ticket (or boat ride) away. I have inspired many others to travel and to create a better life. I am available for inspirational speaking, coaching, writing, travel planning, and photography.
I love your stuff! I know exactly what you mean about all of the above. But…job….uggg no, couldn’t do that ever again. The blogs make enough to support us now and this year, hopefully, will be the year my husband does absolutely zero chef work. But then, I have a feeling he’ll get bored, I love blogging, he loves the kitchens of London, even if it is a crazy amount of work. Wishing you lots of luck and love Valen xx
Thanks for all of your support. I feel lucky to have connected with other bloggers like you through this adventure!