After my last blog post I received questions about how I did it. What did I do to step out of the box. Look everyone has their own path in life and what works for one person will not work for another but i’ll share my story with you in hopes it will help you discover yours.
I got married young and worked really hard to achieve everything in life that would in turn give me the freedom to travel. I was told that once you are financially stable then you go out and experience the world, so that is exactly what I did. Once I achieved economic and social success I fell into a deep depression. I started drinking a lot to surpress my feelings. I was only 26 at the time and most people my age were just finishing University, single and looking for a ‘real’ job. I felt so alone in my thoughts. Everyone was always telling me how I had the ‘perfect’ life. I had a good career, a fireman husband, a house, an investment condo, a new car, a motor bike……. I had everything but I was totally miserable. the only thing I could do to not start a heavy dose of anti-depresents was to start changing my life.
First thing I did was get a dog and started walking 2 hours a day. I needed time to think. I needed time to rediscover who I was. Day after day I opened up the box of where I put my heart and my dreams. I dug deep to find my desires, my childhood goals. After quite some time I found me. The girl who wants to be on the beach, laughing and hanging out by the fire with friends. After all this time she was still there with the same intensity. She never went away. I couldn’t out grow her, so I embraced her.
The second thing I did was apply for various jobs within the travel industry so I could spend my time talking about what I loved. I ended up getting a job as a travel agent which was the start to the best thing that could have happened to me. My days were filled with learning about the wonders of the world and helping others find their own journey. For the first time ever I started to feel like home. People working in the industry were the same as me. We all had that similar burning desire to escape. Putting myself in an environment that harnessed my desires instead of supressed them. In an invironment where I who I was is normal and I didn’t have to feel like the black sheep all the time. I began become more confident in who I was and knew that my new friends would support me in whatever I decided to do in life. I remembered my greatest desire as a child was to go to the amazon like Jacques-Yves Cousteau so when I saw the opportunity come up to join an experimental tour down the river I just about jumped out of my skin. It was stiff competition with only room for 19 agents in the whole world to join. I applied. I was denied. I applied again. I begged. I was denied again. I drank. One month later I was sitting alone watching TV when I got a feeling to apply one more time, so I did. It was a Sunday night 3 weeks before the tour was to leave and I had nothing to lose. The next day at work I got a call and I was in. There was a last minute cancellation and they picked me to join.
Peru was incredible, everything I dreamt it would be. I was blessed enough to go deep into the jungle because it was pre-tourism season and the water was at 22 feet. The moment I was playing soccer on the edge of the river with a tribe of people who very rarely see white people I felt it. I finally caught up to me. I joined my soul. I was there. From that moment on I could experience my life. I knew who I was and what I wanted. I would never again be the same person. When you get the opportunity to stand in the middle of where you have always wanted to be it is a magical moment. I felt like a 5 year old girl sitting on the floor 2 inches from the TV watching the nature of things with David Suzuki. God if he only knew he would have been so proud or so I felt.
When I got home I went for a weekend get away with my husband. We got to talking about my trip and my upcoming trip to Ireland. I ended up being very successful as an agent and was invited to the global ball in Dublin. During this discussion he turns and says to me “After this trip, no more traveling for you” This was the deciding factor for me. A week later I left my husband. It was the scariest thing i’ve ever done. I lost my home, my friends, my husband, everything. I drank. A lot. I ended up selling my house and doing what i’ve always wanted to do. I booked a 5 month tour around all of South America. 3 months later I was on a plane and a journey to the rest of my life.