I had this crazy idea in my head – to take a year off to travel and rediscover my purpose. I’ll admit, it’s not exactly original. Am I a cliché? Yes, technically I’m another young millennial woman who’s been dreaming about living out of her backpack through SouthEast Asia.
And yet it’s still a little crazy, right? I had a job that I loved and a clear vision of where I wanted to be in the next five years. I was living in a cool, slightly hipster neighbourhood that left me just enough cash to still have the occasional avocado toast, go out for drinks with friends and pay for a gym membership I rarely used. I was the poster child for “adulting done right.”
So, how did I go from there to now writing from Bali, unemployed and totally okay with it?
But then again, how do you look at that old life – the work grind, the limited holidays squeezed into days of annual leave, the endless strain to climb the corporate ladder – and go, “yes, that’s it for the rest of my life”?
I started telling my friends early this year about my grand plan. They were supportive and excited but I could tell they were doubtful. In their defense, I had these epiphanies often.
What made this any different from the other times?
In truth, it was just about saying “fuck it.” I was fed up with all the talk, embarrassed that no one believed me and unable to scratch the gnawing itch to just leave.
I’m not saying it was easy. The voice of doubt still creeps in and the fear of uncertainty can be crippling. But with every uncertain thought is a new possibility. There’s another voice whispering in my ear asking me “what if it all works out?” I choose to listen to her and haven’t looked back.
So, for those of you with your feet at the edge, here’s a gentle push from someone who took the leap.
1. You’ll know when it’s the right thing.
It will play in your mind, keep coming back; you won’t be able to escape it. Maybe it will scare you a little bit. That’s how you know it’s real. That’s how you know that this is what you really want and what you should be going for. That’s when you know you can’t ignore it anymore.
2. Count on your support network.
Firstly, they’ll motivate you. I’ll always be grateful for my friend who said she’d check in with me six months after I mentioned my plans to make sure I’d booked a plane ticket. It was the exact push I needed to make sure this happened.
Secondly, they’ll catch you if you fall. There’s nothing like knowing that if this all goes up in smoke, or even if I’m just having a bad day, I’ve got people who will pick me back up.
3. Accept that things will just work out.
If it’s what you really want to do, just taking the leap will be enough. Everything else that follows is just the cherry on top. If it’s failure, maybe it’s the failure that you need.
I’ll admit, I’m only a month into this crazy experiment and I’m hardly qualified to have all the answers. But accepting the norm was never going to help me find them.
By: Tiff Ng
Just another girl with wanderlust on her mind and a stomach full of smoothie bowls. I quit my job in social media marketing to travel through Southeast Asia studying, blogging and trying new experiences every day. I might not have a ticket home to Australia, but I do have a blog, Twitter and Instagram so you can see what I get up to.
I love travel (surprised?), a good boogie and my dog - I mean, family (I really mean dog).