This time last year I had a few short months before I would leave the States for Scotland. Most days I can’t believe how far I’ve come, and it hasn’t even been a year yet since I started travelling internationally full-time.
By the time I graduated high school in 2002, the extent of my international travel included living in Japan for a year or so and visiting Italy and Greece on a school trip.
My first trip abroad as an adult was in October 2014. I visited Madrid and Barcelona with my friend Christina for about a week. This trip is what inspired me to quit my job!
I returned to Madrid five months later. I spent a few days in Madrid, a few days in London, and then travelled to Edinburgh. This was my first time visiting the UK. I returned home knowing I’d soon depart the States for full-time travel a few months down the line. I purchased my one-way ticket soon after I returned, and began planning my move to Glasgow in December.
At this point, I had visited or lived in six countries other than the US: Japan, Italy, Greece, Spain, England, and Scotland.
By the time this 6-month Euro trip ends, I will have added six more countries to this list: Germany, Poland, France, Slovenia, Croatia, and Ireland. And then I’m off to Thailand!
From high school until the moment I booked my first trip to Spain, 12 years later, I travelled around the US but never considered the possibility of travelling abroad. Mistakenly, I assumed trips like this would cost too much money, that I could never afford it, and I didn’t necessarily want to take off work for a trip anyway. I was too focused on work. I liked working hard because that’s the type of person I am, and I love learning new things so pushing myself at work was always my focus, no matter my career. I wanted to keep climbing the ladder so to speak. Not only would work be more challenging the higher I climbed, I’d earn more money.
Now that I’ve completely changed my way of living, I realise my focus back then was misplaced. My life is incredibly simple now that I’m a minimalist and raw vegan. It doesn’t feel like it at times because I’m bouncing around Europe, but my worries are far less now that I’ve streamlined my life.
This transformation wasn’t easy and didn’t happen overnight. My life now isn’t a product of luck or chance, I worked hard to get to this point. All of my ‘mistakes’ in the past taught me invaluable lessons and shaped me into the person I am today.
It doesn’t matter where you are at this moment, if you are unhappy about anything in your life, take steps to change it. Don’t waste time complaining about it, actually get up and do something to improve your situation. It’s never too late to completely change your life.
But to do so you must take that first step. Maybe it’s quitting your job after working there for years unsatisfied, maybe it’s opening up a savings account and creating a budget, or maybe it’s cleaning out your closet and donating all the clothes you never wear. If you don’t take that first step, you’ll NEVER change your life. We all need to start somewhere, so take that first step today!
You alone control your destiny, so take charge, be patient, and put in the work.
Nearly a year has gone by since I began this journey. By next summer, my boyfriend and I plan to visit Italy and Bosnia before travelling to Panama. A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined that THIS would be my life. I’m grateful to be in this position and can’t wait to see what the future holds!