For the past few years, I’ve saved my income as best I could, dutifully meeting a financial advisor, nodding responsibly as he highlighted my retirement options and murmuring agreeably as he’d point to certain savings and say, “Now this here is what you can use toward down payment on a home.”
I played the part of the American dream, for sure. But deep inside my heart, not for one second, did I really believe that my savings would go toward an equity-growing house. Sure, I got why it all made sense, but never did home ownership spark even the wee possibility of excitement in me. And it took some hardcore soul-searching to understand that what I really want, hope and work for has been the journey of my dreams:
A 7-month trek around the world.
Morphing this dream into a reality has been a work in progress, a long time coming if I really think about it — though the idea began to take shape as a real possibility sometime in January 2010, as good ideas often do, over a whiskey nightcap and a chat with a friend.
During the last 4 years, I’ve had the fortune to build my world in Philadelphia, creating a life surrounded by kind and fascinating friends and my family, all while working on a career I feel truly passionate about.
Still, I’ve desperately hoped to have the chance to travel long-term at least once more in my life, and wondered if I’d ever be in a circumstance where that would be possible. This summer I came to finally, really believe in what I already knew: YES it’s possible, I just had to deem it so and make it happen.
And so I have. I leave in 2 days, starting my travels in Turkey, then India, the Maldives, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. And the best part is, I’ll get to travel alongside one of my favorite people: he of the whiskey nightcap chat turned reality.
I’ve closed a lot of chapters in my 34 years, and some I admit I’ve slammed shut. Not this one. Not at all. I’ve had an extraordinary few years of personal growth; meeting people who’ve challenged me, and most importantly inspired me.
I’m thankful to be setting off on an adventure filled with gratitude for where I’ve been — a place which has left me ecstatic to see where I may, in fact, be going.