Every big change in a person’s life comes from a moment…a moment of clarity, a moment of happiness, and even a moment of desperation. Even if the change you have been thinking about has been in your mind for a while, I have come to discover that a moment of just something will make the thoughts a reality. So here were my moments that brought me onto this path towards my UK adventure.
As I talked about in my first post, I realized shortly have graduating post-secondary that I was not happy with the career path I had chosen. The hospitality industry was just not for me, for many reasons and so as another job opportunity fell into my lap, I choose to take a break. Go about four months into this new job, and I started to think about working visas in other countries. This was when I first discovered SWAP, and so I played around with that idea for a few weeks at most, but ultimately I came to the realization that I was not ready to leave my life, friends and family that I had at home so I put it aside for the time being. I chose to focus on other career paths that I thought could potentially be “it”.
Now bring us to about a year later when one of my moments happened. Oddly enough, the moment was not brought about from anything that had happened in my life but rather my best friend’s. I still remember it…I was at work and I got a text from her saying that she had applied to university. The information was not a shock, she had been talking about it for over a few months now. But she was actually doing it. After already completing a post-secondary degree, she had decided to leave the industry that was making her unhappy and pursue a new dream of hers. She was choosing to prolong her future plan of getting a house, getting married and starting a family so that she could be happier in the long run. And in addition to that, she made the big leap of moving back to our hometown so that she could reach her goal in the best way possible. She had decided to be brave and follow her something more than planned no matter the sacrifices it required.
I was excited and happy for her, and incredibly proud, this was a great move that I know will pay off tenfold for her in the long run. But it left me with this unsettled feeling. It really got me thinking…what the HECK was I doing with my life? I had this thought a lot in the past two years or so, but this was the first time in a long time that I admitted to myself how unhappy I was with not having a direction. I didn’t even have intentions to get a house, get married or start a family anytime soon. So what was I waiting for? It was time to pick something and head in that direction. I knew that I did not want to go back to school, there was no other career path at that time that I seriously wanted to pursue. So it was then that I started letting the thoughts of travelling long term and going on an adventure sink into me. I had pushed them away, tossed them aside and buried them deep within me since Europe. It was just a dream to me, not a reality and not conducive to a conventional life.
However, I was reaching a point in my life that anything was starting to seem possible. I had gained back some much lost independence and was feeling a bit more confident in myself and my choices. So later that same night, I was on my Aeroplan account and so I looked up an RTW ticket – way to many points to save up obviously. Then I googled the cost of an RTW ticket through an airline – the number shocked me, in a good way. It was not even a fraction of what I expected. This then led to a google search of “around the world travel” and “ travelling solo as a female” . I was astounded with the information that came up. I must have found dozens of blogs from solo female travelers. Wait a second? This is actually a thing? I couldn’t believe it. I mean, I knew that people made it happen but I never realized how common of an idea it was until that moment. So from that moment on, an around the world trip became an idea, which eventually led to a decision to save up for it.
That was roughly a year ago, and my plans changed from then. At first, I intended to save up for two years before heading out; this would give me enough funds to make it roughly a year of travel. A few months into that, I became miserable at the thought of waiting two years. So with some advice from others, I made the decision to split the trip up into a few smaller trips so that I could leave sooner. With that plan in mind, I made more concrete steps to making the trip a reality, including putting a down payment on an tour in China. I also made the decision to talk to my manager at my current job at the time about my choice even though I would be staying at with the company for a year still.
I will always be glad that I told him about my plans. For my entire two years with that company, he was more of a mentor than anything, always encouraging me to pursue my dreams no matter what they were or if they changed every week. But the reason that I am glad I had the chance to talk to him about it is because he was the first non-parent “adult” in my life that more than encouraged my dreams of travelling. It was the moment where I realized that travelling as a lifestyle was a more than an okay idea. The moment where I could stop fighting with myself and just listen to my heart knowing that, that was the right choice for me.
As time passed, things started changing in my heart. Financially, I was stretched to thin. I was so obsessed with saving money for the trip that I stopped enjoying my life in the present. I started to feel emotional about the trip in a negative way. The excitement was not there anymore, and it just did not feel right for me anymore. Around this time, I got an unexpected job offer. It was that moment that I realized I did not want to go around the world anymore, all the reasons I wanted to go in the first place were gone. I took the job offer as a sign that I was not meant to go, at least not in that time frame.
So I took the job and in that time frame also moved out of my apartment and into a house with four other friends – I completely changed my environment. I decided that I wanted to change myself as well, and be the kind of person that was as happy as she could be every moment of her life. And I was, for the first month or so I was SO happy. The happiest I had been since my Europe trip probably. I woke up each morning with a smile on my face, and lived the day to the fullest. Positive attitude nearly all the time, it was great. Then for some unknown reason, I woke up one day to that being changed. Life did not seem so grand all of the sudden, and I started to become unhappy and unsettled in my life again. I was not enjoying the new job as much as I anticipated, and I was not finding happiness in the little things like I had been. I did not really give it much thought as I was about a week away from a Vegas vacation and so I chalked it up to that. I still don’t know what brought on that happiness, and I don’t know why it went away. I hope to get it back soon.
But on the last day of the Vegas trip, I felt like the last place that I wanted to be heading towards was home. I was ready to leave Vegas, but I wanted to be jet setting to somewhere else. That desire to be abroad came trickling back in. When I got back home, I started to think about my options. I did not feel like I wanted to re visit the RTW trip again, financially it would take awhile to build up that point again and I wanted something sooner. As well, I wanted something more with a permanent feel to it. So I briefly looked into other countries, but ultimately revisited SWAP and crunched the numbers for the UK, realizing that I could leave within a year. It was in that moment that I knew this was it. This was where I was meant to go, this was the something more that I had been looking for. It took a while to get to that realization but it took me as much time as I needed. I was now at the point where I knew even though I would still miss my family and friends, I could go without them. I could not come up with a single reason to stay or think of any commitment that tied me here.
So there you have it. All of my moments that led to the ultimate decision to move to the United Kingdom for two years. I am sure there will be many more moments in my life to come that will lead me to other places, maybe even back to my around the world idea. Who knows? But all I do know is that we have moments every minute of our lives. Some pass in the blink of an eye and others stick with us. Pay attention to the ones that stay, those are the moments that can change your life. My moments came in unexpected ways and at unexpected times, but listening to them brought me closer to my something more than planned.
– xoxo Veronica