I’m talking about Change, people! Big, fat change, and the rollercoaster of emotion that has me strapped into its rickety carriage, hurtling towards destination Great Big Unknown, via a series of oh-my-god-this-is-awesome highs, and some I-think-my-guts-is-in-my-mouth lows.
I’m just as scared of change as you. No, not you, professional traveller cum blogger-extraordinare cum citizen-of-the-world-slash-digital-nomad. You! Yes, you, who has inadvertently stumbled upon this blog after a bungled google search, whilst attempting to alleviate work place boredom.
You, who is stuck at work, pretending to care about Key Performance Indicators, or smiling between clenched teeth at the customer who is always right.
I’m scared of change too!
What’s that? I’m leaving my job of ten years, selling my home and setting off on an indefinite travel adventure, to destinations I haven’t even decided on, for an indefinite period of time somewhere between one year and the rest of my natural life?
So that means I’m one of those people who thrive on risk and change, you say?
There’s nothing special about me, no bravery chip implanted under my skin by aliens. I have no secret book of answers to life’s big questions, whilst you people wallow in an unenlightened stupor.
I’m just like you, with all the same fears, hopes, dreams, insecurities and anxieties, if not more.
I have no crystal ball showing me how bright my future of unencumbered travelling bliss will be.
The truth is, it could be a total disaster. Any number of unfortunate events could come to pass.
I could even hate it!
But I’m choosing to have faith that I’m going to be okay, and that despite the tiny (and sometimes booming) voice in my head (what, you don’t have one?) that says, “you are making a huge mistake,” I’m doing it anyway.
A favorite quote of mine at the moment is, and I’ll probably misquote:
“Do not go where the path may lead, find your own path and leave a trail.”
I think it’s by Emerson.
I’ve never been a trail blazer, always a follower. So much so, that at 30, I don’t really know who I am or what I’m capable of.
I wanna find out.
I want to spend time with myself. I want to read what I want, eat when I want, and sleep whenever takes my fancy. I want to stroll, aimlessly and keep to no schedule except that of my instincts.
I want to be led to serendipitous experiences. I want to let go, and let the universe, or god or whatever it is that I feel watching a sunrise, surprise me with whatever gifts it sees fit to give me.
Most of all, I want time, to experience life on it’s terms rather than trying to run the show myself, between work, appointments and social commitments that are expected from me.
Not necessarily forever, but at least for a while. I want to be kind to myself and not put myself under pressure to achieve certain goals. I want to let go of all expectation of myself, my relationships with others, and even of the journey itself.
Not much to ask hey?
Experiencing these things, however, requires a great deal of change on my part. Apart from the obvious external changes (job, house, car, country) there has been internal change of epic proportions.
My ideas of security, both financial and emotional have been turned on their heads.
What is security anyway?
For me, it used to be about ‘owning’ my own home, and earning more money. It used to be about fitting in, and following what was expected of me.
Now, security is following my own path, one that is dictated by my inner voice, rather than someone else’s.
The fact that I will be living off money I have saved, rather than earning a steady income bodes well with the fact that my desire for material possessions is slipping away.
Now, I must make mention that if it wasn’t for my job, or my investment in property from a young age, I wouldn’t have the resources to embark on adventure of this type. So whilst I am grateful that I was once ambitious enough to work hard and buy my own place, I don’t want to work and acquire real estate for the rest of my life.
I don’t even want to be wealthy. Sure, if someone wanted to give me a million bucks, I wouldn’t say no, but becoming materially rich is no longer my main ambition in life as it once was.
And I think this is an important point to make, since I have recently had so many people saying to me that they wish they could do what Tyrhone and I are doing.
Single friends attribute my leap of faith as a testament to my relationship with Tyrhone, which is a fair call.
I wonder sometimes if I would be doing something like this without him. I’m not sure what the answer is to that, except that we have developed our dreams together, and encouraged each other to reach higher and further than we ever would have had the courage to do alone.
So yes, my relationship has given me a lot more gumption to make such a big move.
Other people may think we must be extremely wealthy to be able to afford such a lifestyle change, but we are not. We are not in debt either (except the current mortgage of our apartment which is for sale) because we don’t drive flash cars, and we attempt, not always successfully, to keep our spending to a minimum.
Our whole lifestyle is geared to achieving our goal of setting off on our adventure with the least amount of stuff, and the most amount of money. Oh, and the least amount of stress, which means selling our home rather than renting it out.
And yes, I still have days when I think what are we thinking? and am consumed with negativity and fear.
I think sometimes, but our life is pretty good, isn’t it? or, why aren’t I happy with all this, am I just plain ungrateful?, but I always come back to the fact that this is just something we feel drawn to.
Sure, it has required a hell of a lot of hard work combined bucket loads of soul-searching and tough decisions (and we are not even on our way yet), but this is right for us.
Change is tough, especially if it is forced upon you. We have enacted our own change, and sometimes even positive change is hard enough.
I am not immune to the fear-inducing aspects of change, but I have given myself over to the process with the faith that I am being transformed in exactly the way that is right for me.
What started as a seemingly impossible dream that other, more adventurous, more wealthy, more spiritually enlightened people are allowed to have, is coming into fruition, thanks to a little, but very powerful F-word called faith.
Maybe you should give it a go, who knows, it might even work out fine.