Here I am, on the morning of my last day of work, two days before hopping on a one-way flight to the adventure of a lifetime. Several people have asked me, “how does it feel?” There are about a million thoughts swirling through my head, and in an effort to hone my writing skills, I’m trying to quantify them. I’m not very good at talking about how I feel; I were to organize them in the most natural way for me, it would look like this:
But I recognize spreadsheets are not everyone’s preferred method of communication, nor do they make the most gripping reading material, so please bear with me as I attempt to convey my feelings in this post. If you’ve ever embarked on a long trip, or any life-changing experience (going to college, getting married, having a baby, etc.), maybe you’ll recognize some of these emotions.
#1 feeling right here! I’m so excited for the experiences I’m going to have. I’m excited to see beautiful landscapes and cities, to try different foods, to meet fascinating people, to spend lots of quality time with the love of my life, to make memories around the world, and to taste true freedom. I’m excited to get out of my comfort zone.
At the same time, there are so many little things to think about! As much as I try to relax and go with the flow, the compulsive planner part of me (which is the majority) doesn’t want to relinquish that control. My head is spending with questions like: do we need a visa to go to x country? How do we apply for it? What’s the weather like there? Where did I put that long-sleeved base layer? Can my bag hold anything else? Should I bring my social security card? What about batteries for my electric toothbrush? And should we bring allergy pills? This is my mind lately.
During the last few days at “home,” everything feels like just that, the last. The last trip to Whole Foods. The last bottle of my favorite Trader Joe’s wine. The last time seeing coworkers and friends for a while. The last spinning class at my favorite studio. The last walk to work. The last day of work. The last night in my own bed. The last sunrise from my balcony. Ahh! The feels.
It’s a funny feeling knowing that you’re going to see so much, do so many new things, meet so many interesting people, and eat weird, delicious foods. My mindset on the world and life will change. And I know I’m going to change, too. But how? I have NO idea what that will look like or who I’ll be year in a month, six months, or two years from now. It’s a similar feeling as when I went off to college.
Quitting your job and packing your life into a suitcase with no concrete plan to come back is a big risk. It’s a dream that many people have, but only a few achieve it. If you know me personally, you know that I’m not a big risk taker. I like having a routine and planning everything out to a T. But somehow I had the guts to do this. I did something risky, and now I feel brave. Maybe this is how you feel after skydiving or bungee jumping (two things that are NOT on my bucket list haha) – like you can take on the world. And it feels pretty damn good.
Then that “get us out of here already!” feeling kicks in. Like when you’re trying to get home from a work trip (or out of the bomb cyclone) and your plane is delayed and you just can’t get out of there fast enough. After months of preparation, I’m ready to leave! Now!
And most importantly, and most often, I’m grateful. Grateful that I’m healthy enough to sit though ultra long-haul flights and eat all sorts of room-temperature street food. Grateful that I have a buddy to go on this adventure with. Grateful that I have an education and skills that allow me to find freelance work online. Grateful that I have worked a job that let me save money to travel. Grateful to be from a first-world country with a powerful currency and passport. And grateful that you’ve chosen to follow along on this journey!
Have you embarked on a similar journey? Or any life-changing experience? Are there any emotions I left out? Maybe you identify with some of these feelings too. Let me know your experiences in the comments! And if you’re planning a trip of a lifetime, pin it for later!