A few months ago I completed one more step into this journey.
I told the few select people that I needed to tell to make this even more real. While it is not a big secret for everyone in my life, I am making the choice to not make this decision officially public just yet. It is incredibly hard to not shout from the rooftops that I am intending to head to the UK next spring, but I have learned from previous experience that there are downsides and consequences from telling everyone in your life, updating your Facebook status and using any other forms of announcements.
The more people you tell, the less control you have over who finds out via third party source. While it is nice to think that a secret it still a secret these days, it is just not the truth. I always like to hope for the best when I tell someone to keep a piece of news to themselves, but I have learned that aside from a few exceptions this is almost always never the case. As well, the more people you tell, the more people there are to have an opinion or a thought in regards to how your adventure should go. When I was starting to make my around the world travel a reality, I told everyone possible. Short of making a Facebook update, the regular people in my life knew. Including my current workplace at the time. I was just so darn excited that there was no way I could hold it in, even if it was more than a year in advance. All I wanted to do was talk about it, to everyone.
While majority of the people in my life were excited for me as well, it also became a chance for them to include their dreams in my journey. I always appreciated the advice, thoughts and ideas from everyone but before I knew it, I was going to this location because so and so always wanted to go, or I was going to be in this spot at this date because someone wanted to meet me at that time etc. Being the person that I am, I fell into line with other people’s ideas and hopes for my adventure and at some point, it really did stop being my own journey. I hold no resentment towards that happening, I believe that the choice to travel around the world was not right for me for many reasons and this happening was one thing out of a few that helped me realize that.
I learned for this time around that since I am still heading for something that is still a quite few months away, it would be important for me to keep the dialogue about it to a minimum while I am still in the initial stages. Everyone will always have their opinion, but this time I am choosing to listen to my heart and and follow my own choices. Advice is great but shaping your dreams to include others who want to live through you, is not. It is easy to happen, but I just remind myself this is my journey, my dream, my something more than planned.
I also learned the hard way that just because I was super excited and happy about this decision, my loved ones might not be at first. I forgot that I had a lot of time inside my head to think about what it all meant, weigh the pros and cons, figure out my reasons for going, and finally come to the decision to go. I forgot what it is like to be on the receiving end of changes (because I do not take change easily). However, because they do not have that time or can read my heart for understanding my reasons for going, it can be hard to initially respond with excitement. I had to stop myself from getting overly upset or being disappointed when I did not receive the reaction I wanted. It is important to realize it can take time and space for big changes to be accepted in a positive light. So I gave space and time to those that needed it, and one day I was surprised with very supportive statements and actions showing me that all was well. I discovered how to not give into negative feelings when the news was not received in the way I had imagined at first. When my loved ones were ready, they came forward with more support and love then I could have dreamed of.
It was important to me that my parents and close friends knew about this in order for it to be a real decision. Now that they do, I am content to leave it that way. Once I have the visa in my hands, I will make the “public” aka Facebook post announcement and let the chips fall where they may, as well as inform other members of my family. Support is really important, it helps us move along. But what I learned through this, is that while looking for advice is great, do not, do not, look for someone to be giving you permission to go, it is of the utmost importance that the decision to do this come from you and only you. Once it got to the point that I was telling my loved ones I was going, instead of discussing it with them, I knew that I was finally ready to start out on my adventure with the confidence that the choice was solely mine.
– xoxo Veronica