An award winning chef has opened a branch of his famous restaurant here in Perth, where the steaks are aged longer than most of the staff, and the wine is priced higher than liquid gold. The other day, a dear friend was disappointed that I wasn’t going to be joining her for this dining experience. She inquired whether or not I was depriving myself of great experiences that I would usually jump at, to achieve this goal of traveling long term.
Yes, a lot has changed for me recently, and this dream of extended travel has turned many of my values on their head!
Now, just a bit of information about me… I have never before had to save money. I have worked continuously since I was fourteen, through school and university, so I have always had a steady paycheck coming in. When I moved to London six years ago, I lived it up right until the day I left- my company flew me over (first class- there are some perks to working for an airline!), and paid me a rather large sum of money to set me up (much of which I probably squandered in one of London’s many night spots). When I returned home with a Tyrhone shaped souvenir three years ago, same deal.
Many of my friends who have traveled have been on tight budgets for years, and I must admit, it didn’t look very appealing to me, until now. This is happening. Our once ‘pipe dream’ of setting off into the world on a whatever-comes-our-way journey, with no concrete plans or agendas, is happening. We are leaving our jobs early next year. I will be unemployed for the first time in my life since adolescence. This is actually going to happen, and the fear and the excitement and the uncertainty and the small notion I have of how great this could be has me feeling more alive than I ever have.
I did a happy dance a couple of days ago. I had emailed a fellow blogger to thank her for inspiring me on this journey, and she wrote back! Not only did she write back, but she asked if she could use something I wrote to her in an upcoming blog post on her site! It filled me with such a deep sense of joy and gratitude to connect with someone on the other side of the
world on a similar journey that I just had to do a happy dance (involving a very embarrassing display of flailing limbs and gyrating hips- not something I would like anyone else to witness).
For the first time, in a really, really long time, I feel like I’m on the right path. I am actually going to be doing what I love-
traveling and writing, and whether or not I am able to make a living out of that eventually is irrelevant at this stage, because whatever happens, at least I tried. I have been stuck in a job I don’t enjoy anymore, living a lifestyle that doesn’t feel like it fits me, too scared to follow my dreams for far too long.
So, yes, I am on a financial diet. And I am cutting back on my spending, but it has been surprisingly easy! I still donate to charity, do a fantastic dance class every week, and go out to lunch and dinner with family and friends occasionally. But spending a hundred dollars on a piece of steak, as delicious as it may be, is just not one of my priorities right now.
And though I am not shopping or buying, well, anything right now, I have never felt more fulfilled. I have deprived myself of living out my dreams for far too long, because of fear of failure and lack of confidence, andnow that Tyrhone and I are helping each other to achieve our goals, I have never felt more alive.