I have felt every emotion possible in this last week. Fear, extreme fear, crippling fear, regret, joy, anticipation, elation– you name it, I bet I’ve felt it like a tsunami. I am officially unemployed and counting down until I fly out. Ever since my last day of work I’ve felt lighter. It’s like that phase of my life is done, and now I just have to do a few errands in order to prepare for this trip.
In the past two weeks I’ve had a lot of the same conversations. Co-workers, bank tellers, friends, everyone wants to know the same few things: what is the itinerary, are you really quitting your job, and what will you do when you come back home. Some people ask me if I’ll start a blog, some people unabashedly say they want to live vicariously through me. For the more negative reactions, I like to think about a passage I read when I was preparing for this journey. In his book, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, Rolf Potts says, “On one level, they will express enthusiasm for your impending adventures. But on another level, they might take your growing freedom as a subtle criticism of their own life.”
I have had people tell me this trip is “stupid,” and some have simply just told me to be safe and then checked out of the conversation. Sometimes I can see the confusion or fear in their eyes, subtly saying to me: “I could never do what you are doing.”
And that’s okay! I know travel isn’t for everyone, I know the thought of not having a job, or leaving your friends and family behind is scary. I know it’s scary, but I also know it’s not impossible. When reading other people’s blogs who have quit their jobs to travel, they all say they same thing. I can now say it too, because it’s really true: You could do this. I was once that person who thought this was an impossible pipe dream, but now I’m unemployed and seven days away from living my travel dream.