Arg! I am supposed to be ‘journaling’ and keeping you up to date and have fallen down on the job.
As you know from my earlier posts, I have been ‘gigging’ or hustling for work over the last 6 months, and it has been surprisingly profitable. While it would not sustain my previous lifestyle, it was doable…and just plain fun.
Yet sometimes life presents us with challenges and it is up to us to turn it into a positive opportunity. Sometimes we are so in the middle of a crisis that we can’t see the forest for the trees and we have to climb one of those trees to get perspective.
If you have been following my vblog on Instagram (@emptyspoon01 ), you will know that I have cashed out my retirement and plan to travel the world solo for an indefinite period of time. I have no idea how I will make a living. I have no idea what will happen. I may be back in 6 weeks; I may never come back.
I have always wanted to travel the world and two things have stopped me: childhood poverty and people telling me it was unsafe.
Childhood poverty…this is a hard one to share but I promised all my followers that I would be real and authentic.
My childhood was full of uncertainty. In many ways I was essentially homeless. I lived with different aunts and uncles, a foster home, neighbors. Often it was a matter of who could watch me while my dad went off to find work. You can imagine that I would crave stability as an adult. Yet I also have wanderlust. So did my dad. These are two opposing desires that I have always tried to balance.
To obtain stability, I have always wanted a house with no mortgage. A home no one could ever take away from me. I have spent most of my life putting ever extra dime into my mortgage to pay off the loan. I have lived with this fear of, “What if something happens?” I wanted to protect myself from never being homeless again. I have always made sure I had a solid home base.
The other thing that stopped me from following my passion was the idea that a woman traveling alone was ‘unsafe.’ I remember wanting to backpack across Europe after high school and my dad telling me how unsafe it was to travel alone. A woman should not go into a bar. A woman should not eat in a restaurant by herself. A woman should not go to concerts or sporting events alone. A woman should never travel alone.
This was the messaging as a child in a generation wedged between the traditional Baby Boomers and the empowered Millennials (I’ll address THAT can of worms in a later post) . I had the traditional messaging programmed in my head while being surrounded by world of empowered younger women.
So I became a travel agent. I chose a career that made it acceptable to travel. Later I transitioned into a traveling sales person. Again, a career path that made it socially acceptable to travel, though I still got pushback because even traveling sales women was considered inappropriate when I first started.
I had an epiphany in April. I had just ended an unhealthy relationship with someone who fed me the same “it is unsafe” messaging. It was subtle and I didn’t realize until later that I was traveling less and less, even for my job. In all honestly, the lack of traveling led to my being laid off. In April, I realized that “something” had happened. I lost my job and not only did the world not fall apart, but I had enough ability, skill, and intelligence to go out and create income. I was able to let go of that fear of being homeless around the time I was able to let go of the unhealthy relationship that was holding me back.
For the first time in my life I was able to let go….of fear, of loneliness, of other people’s doubts and opinions.
So I am doing it. I have liquidated much of what I own and put the rest in storage. I have found someone to care for my house (I am no longer thinking of it as ‘home’) and my dog. I have reduced everything I need to a suitcase and a bag (ok…I am still working on this part). I don’t know what is going to happen. I only have my travels planned out for the first month.
After that…the world.
PS…if you are not following me on IG or FB Page, you really should.