Picture: Volunteering in Yukon, Canada
Hometown: Bydgoszcz, Poland
England. 1st of March 2018
I still remember this day very well as it happened yesterday. You would think this was just another ordinary day, well not in this instance. Even though my life outside looked “comfortable and safe”, there was this huge and empty gap in me. I wasn’t happy. Yes I was scrolling through life as everyone else BUT I wasn’t living my life to the fullest I just tried to convince myself that extremal things and the world around me was enough to be. It wasn’t anymore.
Something inside me cracked me open.
As I sat in my chair at work during my lunch break, I needed to check something online at once. I got onto Skyscanner website. I was somehow nervous but extremely excited. I was ready. I was ready to leave everything behind and to go for the dream traveling adventure I had in my head for so many years. ALONE. I chose a random date and promised myself to go whether life pointed it’s way for me. It could be Asia, Australia, Africa or South America. I didn’t care anymore. Anywhere. As I clicked the search button, Vancouver came up as the cheapest option. I was excited, I always dreamed of visiting Canada. The ticket wasn’t pricey at all, the full amount was almost too affordable taking into account the long distance involved. The flight was direct too. “Is that even for real?” I wondered as I stared at the computer screen.
I felt in my whole body, that was it, this ticket was for me. I had no doubts. I was nervous because by clicking ‘buy now’ I would be leaving everything behind that I have worked so hard for. So many years, so many sacrifices and so many sleepless nights. No hesitation though. I bought the ticket instantly. The ticket was mine. Fuck, I did it! I felt so much excitement but also the anxiety hit me at the same time. What have I done? Have I lost my mind completely? You silly girl, do you always have to come up with so many weird and unpredictable ideas? Who is going to help you? How are you going to survive? Where? How long for? Even if you go, what are you going to do next, when you are back? Where will you go? How will you survive?
Shut up mind. Enough of the nonsense chatter already!!
I calmed down. I felt as though the heavy baggage I carried on my shoulders disappeared on the spot. I felt alive. I could breath again. I wanted to scream out of joy. Due to obvious reasons I was in touch with my friends straight away. I felt their sadness but also knew they supported me all through it. They knew I was excited. They were my best motivators. On the other hand, my family thought I completely lost my mind. They were not happy, they were worried. They didn’t want me to go. They said: “it’s too dangerous, too wild, too unpredictable, you are alone, a single female”. They tried to convince me to change my mind. “How are you going to feed yourself, what if you are sick”, they asked further. “Mom, Dad, I already made my decision. Believe in me. I don’t want anything else. Just trust my common sense and my ability to find myself well in new environments” was my response. “This isn’t your dream perhaps but it’s mine. I always dreamed about it. Let me free and be happy for me”, I pleaded.
I was getting ready mentally, emotionally and physically for months.
I knew I had to deal with all the unresolved issues and even the grief I had after my pervious relationship. Please don’t fool yourself that by changing a destination you will be free of worries, pain and all the baggage you carried till this moment. You won’t. You carry the baggage wherever you go. Clear the internal baggage of the unnecessary pain, drama and even ask for professional help if needed first. There is no shame in that. BE REAL. BE HONEST. Clear and then plan. Be realistic with finances too. You see money doesn’t grow on trees. Well not yet. Till then forget about parties, concentrate and put a little bit of money to the side every month. SAVE. Obviously enjoy your life but be responsible.
All in all, after 6 months of preparation I have notice at work in the Educational Department (9 years of employment to be precise) and 12 years of my life in the UK. I was getting ready to start my travels very soon. Before you ask….YES I was shitting myself, however since life is so extremely short there was no point waiting for the perfect moment, for the perfect partner, for the perfect body, for the perfect house or the perfect job. I had no backup plan. I didn’t want my worries and fears to run my life for me anymore. Whatever meant to happen, it was going to happen and I completely accepted that. I wanted to explore the world, meet inspiring people, try new cuisine, learn new skills, listen to local people’s stories and share my wisdom and love with others. I left all my security and comfort behind me. I let go of so many material possessions. I am not joking. I gave almost everything away. I ended up sending just 2 boxes worth of my 12 years of living in the UK back to my parents. I didn’t want my happiness to rely on those anymore. I trusted my my instincts and yes I agree that safety was very important especially for a single traveler. I didn’t question that. I couldn’t be naïve about it and I wasn’t. I was ready to face the world. I was scared by MORE EXCITED THAN ANYTHING ELSE!
Perhaps the 20 month worldwide is done for now, I can proudly say that I gained: self confidence, inner strength, explored my feminine and masculine energies, acquired a set of new skills and the ability to work with anyone really. Compassion and appreciation of everything that happens in my life, determination, motivation, the ability to be kind, even how to be happy when shit hits the fan. The opportunity TO BE ME, to share to overcome my fears of heights, sing, to deal with finances, to be responsible, to swear when needed, to be crazy and childish like there is no tomorrow either. The list doesn’t stop here. I’m still learning.
Travel Advice: Don’t be afraid to risk it all, don’t wait for that special moment. Be happy and live your life to the fullest. If you are unhappy, change things. You are the master of your own life. Claim it. No on can do it for you. Be brave.
“Feel the fear and do it anyway” – S. Jefferes