So here is the real story, when people find out that I am selling everything I own & leaving ‘home’ to travel the world the reaction typically is:
1) Oh My God! You’re so lucky! I wish I could do that but (Insert a bunch of excuses here), you’re smart to do that before you (Insert a plethora of chosen commitments here).
2) Wow, I could never do that. You’re so (Insert a number of compliments here).
The truth is that I love telling people about my ambitions to travel the world & I love the sense of pride it bestows when people react to such exciting life events. However, it is a double sided coin, some days I get my cake & some days I get to eat it too. Today I want to share the less glamorous side of becoming a permanent traveler. I’ve been questioning whether I should write about this but I either feel the need to be honest or the need to vent. Choose the reason that best suites you.
Woe is Me
Am I living the dream? YES.
Is it always dreamy? NO.
There are A LOT of preparations that go into something major like this. But you already know that right?
House? Sold. Somewhere to stay until my flight out? Good thing I’ve got a very generous friend that traded my couches for a couple months of rent. U.S. address while you’re not in the States? My parents will be receiving all future junk mail very shortly Birth Control? Check (no more details needed right? Camera? Yes, but is it the best or right one? We shall see. Computer? Well obviously since I use it to share this grand experience with you.
What about the loose ends?
Plane tickets? I have initial one-way ticket into Europe but I don’t have my arrangements in South Korea set in stone so I’m nervous to buy a plane ticket out of Europe to Korea which means I have 3 weeks to prove that I will leave Europe within 90 days of my arrival or they just might turn me right back around to the States. How anticlimactic would that be!?
Money? Yes. I have been strategically planning my eventual move out of the U.S. for over 2 years & knew that if I waited to get laid off my job that I would get a hefty severance package which would enable me to travel for a few months before I headed to South Korea to teach English & save money for more travel, my student loans and my dental bills.
My toothless grin that cost A LOT of money to get rid of!
BUT, is it enough? The mountains of what ifs are seriously overpowering my ability not to have a panic attack about ending up in a ditch on the side of the road. Every scenario in my mind that has me ending up bankrupt somehow also ends with me in a ditch somewhere. I swear I really am an optimist!
My Car? The one thing I thought that wouldn’t be a problem has turned into several panic attacks! First I accidentally switched the positive & negative cables when trying to jumpstart my car (oops! I’m such a girl when it comes to cars!) then the A/C stopped working in the middle of the Utah desert in the middle of the summer which sucked but also meant that it would be really hard to sell for a good price in the middle of July, unless said purchaser hated themselves! THEN 2 weeks ago right as I was headed out of town for a long road trip someone backed in to my car! Seriously AND NOW I am being told that my (crappy) axel is going to lead to my eminent death in the next 3 weeks before I have a chance to sell it. (Not that I’d want to sell it & leave an unknowing consumer to their eminent death)
Why even bother telling you all of this?
I want your damn sympathy, that’s why!
These are all the pre-travel stresses, that doesn’t include the planning that goes into the actual day to day traveling, the never ending work that comes with having a travel blog or the insane emotional rollercoaster that comes with this kind of massive life change. I might be 25 & maybe to some that seems adult & mature but I have friends the same age that are married with 4 kids + a husband. Now that is what I consider adult & mature!
I on the other hand, I am FREAKING OUT!!!
No, I don’t want you to say “If it’s so hard then why even bother? Just stay here.”
That is clearly not the answer to what ails me, the only thing harder than leaving, is staying.
What I DO want is for you, my readers, to know that while I share the more exciting & wonderful aspects of being a travel writer & getting to see the world, that it is still very much work. I want to share the good, the bad and more often than not the insanely challenging but completely rewarding experience of pursuing your passion & finding your own harmony!
With 3 weeks left at ‘home’ I implore, beg & demand that you actively share in this experience with me. That means commenting on posts that interest you, ask questions, share ideas, if you have something you want to read about just ask. I would even go so far as to shamelessly invite you to share this blog with friends via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, google +, e-mail, word of mouth, LinkedIn & any other form of communication. Notice the websites changed a little?
All those social media icons that make it so easy to tell your friends about this awesome travel blog you read religiously! (right?)
So, with that, what can I do to improve this blog? What interests you about the journey of becoming an expat?