Well, I did it…. I made the shift, so here is the second part to that story, my travels. Let me start off by saying that the reason that I was able to travel and request time off of work, was because I budgeted, saved and hadn’t taken a full week off in my entire professional career. So I had some time, and I had some money that I decided to use on myself, but that took a lot of work and a lot of time. The reason that I preface with that, is because often times we look at people’s lives online and we get jealous and wonder how they pulled it off, but we aren’t getting the whole story. In my case, it wasn’t achieved by waving a magic wand, it was achieved through hard work and finally admitting to myself that life wasn’t going as planned and I needed to stop being stubborn and allow myself to enjoy what was unfolding.
My first full week off, I spent in Tulum. I have to admit, that I had the hardest time letting go of my money and requesting time off, but once I was out of the office and exploring a beautiful new place all of my stress melted away. It was amazing. I didn’t have any stomach aches, headaches or panic attacks while I was on that trip. It was truly a testament to why we need to take the vacation time that we are given. You don’t even have to go anywhere, but you need to take time to rest, relax and re-focus!
After returning from that trip, all of my reservations about taking vacation time had disappeared and I started planning my trips for 2017. I usually set my goals and intentions for the following year, during the holiday season since I do a tremendous amount of reflecting during that time. I decided that 2017 would be the year that I focused on myself, my growth, and overcoming my fear of taking risks with money and time, which meant that I needed to stop coasting, and leave my bubble. It was then that we (myself and my friend of 19 years) finally pulled the trigger and booked our trip to Ireland. We had been talking about it since we were in high school and decided “If not now, when?” There was nothing holding us back, and we took full advantage of our ‘go get it’ mindset and made all of our plans. It was a trip of a lifetime. My first time being overseas and it was everything that I thought it would be, and then some. That trip not only gave me inspiration to pursue other things that I have been talking about for years, but also gave me a renewed sense of confidence! Planning of trip of that magnitude, traveling alone as women, finding our way around a new country…it was just what I needed and I had no idea that I needed it.
My next two trips were deeply moving in so many ways, I cannot express them all here. I spent 3 days at a yoga retreat in Camahuiroa Beach, Sonora, Mexico and made lifelong friends with people that I had never met. Sitting around a bonfire with strangers on the beach, preforming an exercise on letting go I remember thinking “I never thought that I would be here, in this place, but I know that I am here for a reason and whatever that reason is, I embrace it.” Upon returning from that trip, I went to visit friends in Hawaii. It was my first time, and I almost have no words (almost). After my experience at the yoga retreat, all that I wanted to do was see this planet and her beauty and I landed in the perfect place, with the most encouraging people. Hiking, snorkeling, experiencing local food and people, it was a dream come true and again, just what I needed at that time.
A side note, and huge blessing in my opinion is that both of my sisters do not live near me, so I have been able to take time to go see them as well and have adventures in Napa, Alaska and Georgia. Words cannot describe how much family time means to me, so to be able to see them as well as travel to new places, meant the world to me.
I could write for hours, and probably will at some point about what each trip means to me, but the point that I am trying to get across right now, is this: Sometimes you get a strong sense of urgency to do something that you have never done, a strange push that is telling you that you need an epic adventure or a change of job, or to change the people in your life. Do not ignore these urges, they are preparing you for a life event and they are trying to get your attention. You won’t know why at the time, so stop trying to figure it out. Just listen. It will be uncomfortable for a while, and you will be confused but it will start to make sense at some point. I could not ignore the fact that I needed to get some traveling under my belt in order to clear my head, so I finally did it and I wouldn’t change any of it.
I write this, as I am starting to reflect back on 2017 and look toward 2018 (time is seriously flying these days). I recognize how different my life is right now, from this time last year, and all I can do is smile, because I have no clue what my intentions are for 2018 and I cannot wait to allow my adventures to find me.