What’s your situation? Do you have a job you love? Do you have your own place and love going to Ikea to fill it with more stuff? That was me.
But despite the aztec rugs and beloved plants I wasn’t fulfilled. I’d tried to see if home decor was my thing, then I tried writing a fiction novel. The truth is the travel bug was back and I knew it wasn’t going to go away. I was single, living alone, working crazy hours, never made time for family or friends, never made time for myself, never ate or slept properly. I’d turn up to that family event avoiding everyone because I felt too guilty for not visiting them. I was unhappy for a while but when it gets to a certain point it becomes clear what needs to happen and so I was determined to make it happen. But let’s not jump ahead, I want to start from the beginning so that you can be certain if this is the right way to go about things in your life or if actually you’ve just had a bad day and you actually do like your job and would never want to leave.
So here it goes.
The story starts in 2012, 5 years ago at age 22, my life ahead of me, no important decisions to be made yet, I’d left college with no interest in University just a lust to get out there and travel. Having already worked a couple of Summers in Cyprus with my then boyfriend we got our Australian visas and we were off! We got jobs and a place to call home on the Gold Coast and lived the dream for almost a year. I worked in a bar/restaurant making lots of money and split the cost of a luxury apartment with another couple.
We lived 16 floors up overlooking the ocean and on the odd occasion depending on the season we’d wake up and watch the humpback whales migrating outside our bedroom window. When we’d saved enough we bought an old campervan and drove up the coast with ideas of swimming the great barrier reef and off-roading on Fraser Island. They were all unforgettable experiences but Australia came to a sad end when the campervan broke down and we had to sell all of our stuff to buy a ticket out of there. After 2 months on the road without earning in an expensive country money just wouldn’t last long.
We spent a month in Thailand before flying home, unbeknown to us, for good. –> By the way, Thailand to this day is my favourite place I’ve been to, I’ve returned for a holiday a couple of times and will probably always try to return there whenever I can, check out my next blog post for more about the Land of Smiles!
We got home, after a few years we broke up we moved on. I hate to breeze past this relationship so easily, we were together for 8 years and nothing bad happened, we just grew into different people, it was a bad time in my life being single really for the first time and not knowing how to be.
I moved out of my mum’s and into my first flat in the UK and for a while it was great and exciting. I progressed in my job in a restaurant up to General Manager and with that increased my responsibilities and my hours. The first year of management was great, I received praise for all sorts of things, we met targets, morale was high, feedback was 5 starts. I won employee of the year out of 3,000 people, I was on an all time high and I felt like I’d gotten everything I could possibly get out of a job.
Over time, up went the stress and down went the happiness. I accepted love from bad people and sent myself into a hole I didn’t know how to get out of. I pushed away friends and distanced from family. If I wasn’t working I was crying, If I wasn’t crying I was staring out the window. If I was ill I was still working. It became apparent to me that I’d stop caring about my health but it was my mentality I was worried about. I was a completely different person for the worst, friends fell out with me, a guy I was seeing cheated on me again. I had lost the love for the job completely but I didn’t know what else I wanted to do. I’d done hospitality since I was 16 and couldn’t really do anything else. At the time I didn’t even WANT to do anything. One thing was clear, day in day out, I needed to leave.
I didn’t have children, I had saved money for years and I didn’t want to settle before seeing the world especially If I end up in a job I hate so now was the time. NOW.
But then what? I leave my job but what about my flat? I’d give notice to vacate but then what? I’d have to move all my stuff, but where will it go? I’d have to sell it or give it away, but I had SO much stuff, what if I don’t move out in time I’d have to pay more rent without having a job, but then I’ll have no money left to travel. Just some of the things that held me back. So many people have anxieties and I wouldn’t have put myself in that category 5 years ago but like I said I became a different person. I decided to take things a step at a time without too much planning involved because when you have anxiety you assume all your plans will go to shit anyway.
Step 1: I quit my job, YAAY
I handed in my months notice, this doesn’t seem like a big deal but when you’re a General Manager with anxieties who’s just won employee of the year this was something I debated for months. Of course I would need to be replaced for the business’ best interests and I fulfilled my part and stayed until I was replaced. I collected my last wage slip and said my goodbyes.
Step 2: I moved all my stuff
I had 3 weeks to move all my stuff and clean the apartment to get my deposit back. One thing I should mention is that during my notice period at work I met my other half who was moving to the area and had nothing in way of furniture and so I moved all my stuff into his apartment round the corner from my old apartment. I don’t think everyone would be that lucky but my original plan was to put everything in storage at various family members houses as they’d all offered space in their attics. Another option would have been safe storage companies.
Step 3: Book a flight, Plan a trip
I’m still working on step 3. Like I said before I’m not one to plan too much but I have been deciding on where I’m going and when so keep posted. My first trip is February 7th 2018 without a return flight so you never know where the journey will end.
I hope you enjoyed reading my story so far and I’d love to hear yours.
I’ll get back to any questions as soon as possible
What’s stopping you? What fears do you have?