For almost as long as I can recall, I have always had a bone to pick with a little thing called “society.” You know, that part of life that dictates what your life itself should be, and how you’re going to live it, thank you very much. For a long time I followed along like a good little girl, grazing through the proverbial fields with a half-hearted smile on my face, and a knot in my mind. This college > corporate job > marriage > house > baby > retire > sayonara life may be right for some people – maybe even me one day – but who says it has to be for everyone?
I made it to ‘corporate job’ before I got the chutzpah to go my own way. About a year into my first job out of college, I knew with undying certainty that what I had suspected about myself was true: sitting at a desk from 9-5 every day would suck the soul from my very body if I didn’t do something to stop it. For a whole host of reasons, it wasn’t for another three years that I would actually do that something, which for me turned out to be traveling. I will gladly go into the details of said reasons another time, but let’s just take this one very pressing fact here into consideration: three years! It took me three years of tossing and turning, of swings and roundabouts, of the surety that I would be ridiculed and outcast from my family and society before I was able to make my move. And ya know what? I am so grateful that those three years were all it took, long as they seemed, because I know there are so many people out there who take much, much longer than that, if they are ever even able to change their lives at all.
Once I left the confines of New York City, USA, I wondered what it was exactly that held me back from leaving in the first place. Everywhere I traveled, I met inspiring people from all walks of life, from all over the world, who were out there living their dreams, and spreading the love. I learned what a Gap Year is, and that they are quite common for people to take either right after high school, college, or mid-career in many other parts of the planet (and not necessarily for an entire year, usually a number of months). But what intrigued me most were the folks like myself, who had been working for however many years, and knew it was time for something new. Somehow it seemed more rewarding to me to know that you’d been in the “real world,” and were now ready for the real world. Nevertheless, I knew why I had taken so long to get to that point; the only dream I had been living up till then – nay, pursuing – was the ‘American Dream’ and not my own.
For some reason, this idea of going against the grain and getting out for an extended period of time to see the world skipped over America. Yes, we like to vacation with our two weeks off, but the idea of taking any significant amount of time to breath for a minute and figure out what you really want out of life, virtually non-existent; doesn’t follow in accordance with our God given Dream. Now I know what you’re thinking: all these people probably have rich mommies and daddies who fund their every desire, and don’t know what it’s like to have to work for a living. But au contraire, friends, most of the people I met, myself included, were entirely self funded from their own savings accounts, not those of their families. Yes, you have those stereotypical types as well, who are indeed funded the familial way, but they tend to be of the younger crowd, the post-high school/college set (although certainly not all of them).
Now, after being abroad for eight months of the last year, I realize that what was missing in my life before, what I could’ve so desperately done with on all those nights that I knew I wanted to do something different, was a little inspiration. Trust me, I read a million articles about taking a leap (mostly from countries outside the US, mind you), and blogs galore of people who were out there doing what I wanted to. But very rarely did I come across anything that really spoke to me, that showed me other people who went through the same fears, the same thought processes, the same anxiety of breaking the mold, that I went through. I do believe that had I had more of that, it would’ve helped me to get my tail moving a hell of a lot sooner than I did. It would’ve shown me that there were plenty of others just like me out there, who had so many of the same obstacles and still made it happen. That is what I want this blog to be; an inspiration to all you dreamers out there; a support system and a friend, nudging you in the direction of your heart. It is a quest to turn the American Dream on it’s head, and re-write our own rules for what it means. For me, that dream was – and still is – traveling the world; for you, it might be something else. Whatever your dream may be, I hope to help you on your way, and show everyone that it can be done. All you need is a little inspiration.