“And suddenly you know: it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” – Meister Eckhart
Today I did something that I’ve been waiting a long time to do: I turned in my two weeks notice to my office job. I’m making a huge change in direction. I am leaving a career so I can live a life of travel and I am starting off with one year in Australia on a working holiday visa! I am both proud and slightly nervous of my decision. On the one hand, I am about to start living the life I’ve been dreaming about and on the other, I just said goodbye to a stable income. I know I won’t steady my nerves until I find a job, but I also believe that I can do this, I know I can!
I have been preparing for this lifestyle change for around a year now. I’ve been paying off credit cards, saving up money, and researching like crazy! I have sold and donated almost all of my belongings (and I will be covering how I did this in another post, so stay tuned!). And even though I’ve known I was going to do this for almost a year, I’m still anxious! I have had plenty of time to prepare, but are you ever prepared for a huge lifestyle change?
How I Know This is The Right Choice
Let me start by saying I have been drawn to travel ever since I was little, so this isn’t a new desire for me. When did I learn I wanted to travel? Well, I have been dreaming about traveling for a living for years, ever since I can remember in fact. In high school I wanted to join the Air Force as a psychiatrist and travel. At the beginning of college I wanted to be a traveling nurse. My major ended up being in English and towards the end of college, I wanted to teach English abroad. I’ve wanted this life all along, but I’ve been neglecting my passion. I’m not doing this on a whim just because I’m unhappy. I’m doing this because I have always wanted to do this. And now I’m finally going to take the leap. I’m a little late, but at least I’m going!
I have to say that one reason I’m sharing my experience is to inspire others. One of the most rewarding feelings is to hear that someone is going to do something because I inspired them. I have people who I tell about my plans and they think “if she can do it, then I can.” Yes! Yes you can! I’m a huge believer in people following their dreams. Life can take you by surprise, and the time you may have allocated to ‘later’ may never come. If you want to travel, why not start now?
I do have to admit, there were a couple of times where I doubted myself. The first wave of doubt hit when I had really cleaned out my belongings. There were three days in a row where I kept thinking to myself, what am I doing? My was room de-cluttered so much that all my belongings could fit in my car. I looked around my room & thought, I’m really doing this. I was scared and wondered if I was making the right decision. Fear was setting in: what if I regret it? What if I can’t find a job? What if I’m doing all of this for nothing and it’s all a huge mistake?
And just as I was about to drown in doubt, a lifeline emerged: And what if I don’t do this? What if I never try? What if I live my life day by day with my dreams only living in my head? Can I live with that? No, so while this is the hardest choice I have to make. So even though I’m nervous now, I just have to remember why I started. And as scary as this lifestyle change is, I know I have to do it or else I’ll always wonder what would have happened.
The Nudge I Needed to Make My Dreams Reality
I have to admit, the biggest force that pushed me to this decision wasn’t positive. The main reason for my lifestyle change was my corporate job. When I first joined the corporate world, I remember my boss telling me about her upcoming vacation and that while she was excited, she hated missing over a week of work because of all the catching up she’d have to do. Turns out, she ended up working a lot on that trip, and I couldn’t understand why.
At my most recent job, my boss told me close the same thing: that it almost wasn’t worth taking a long period of time off because of all the catching up to do. And it just hit me, the reason I have a corporate job is to be able to afford travel, but am I going to actually have the time? I don’t want to spend year after year only taking a few days off and not going on big trips because the company needs me. And furthermore, working ten hour days and being stressed out about work after hours or on the weekends or on my vacation is not how I want to spend my life. These things only validated my decision that I’m making the right choice. I don’t want to live all of my life engulfed in work that doesn’t satisfy me.
My Life for the Next Year
I am about to leave everything I know and live out of a backpack! Talk about crazy! My life is going to change dramatically. I’ll be living in a different country and I’ll basically have to start over. I have to find a job for an income, a place to live, and friends! Despite the challenges, I can’t wait for all the people I’m going to meet and the things I’ll be able to do! It’s going to be a huge change, and I am ready for the challenge.
Why I Chose Australia
So why Australia? Well, to tell the truth, I started off my lifestyle change on the plan of teaching ESL in either China or Thailand. But then as I read post from other bloggers, I discovered most of them had first gone on a working holiday before teaching abroad. And lot of the bloggers had taken working holidays in Australia. So as I looked into it, I decided that’s what I wanted to do! If all of these people can do, then so can I (I will also be writing a post soon on how to prepare for a working holiday in Australia, so keep posted for this, too)! Australia is so beautiful and there is no language barrier for me and it won’t be a huge culture shock. I cannot wait to get there and explore. My bucket list for Australia is so long!
So in conclusion, 2017 is going to be a big year for me! I’ve decided to make my dreams my new reality. The adventure side of me cannot wait, but the practical side of me is hesitant. I’m going over without a job and that’s the scariest part. But I know I just have to take the leap and figure out how to land when I get there. If any of you have ever gone on a working holiday or have been to Australia, I would love to hear about your experiences!