Everyone has their reasons for NOT doing something. In high school I was “too young,” in college I was “too busy” and now – after graduation and as a working professional – the time just “isn’t right.” Travel is expensive, I can’t take that much time off work, we’ll do it when we’re older… the excuses are endless and to be honest, I’m tired of them. I don’t want to proceed in life under the assumption that I’ll take that trip eventually or that I’ll travel once I have more savings or that I’ll even be ALIVE in a few years. How dare I assume that the universe will afford me that luxury? Icicles fall from skyscrapers and impale people all the time! Freak accidents really happen! I could spontaneously combust!
I approached my decision to apply for Remote Year in the same way I like to approach a lot of jump-off-the-cliff moments in life – with a hunger for adventure and a why-the-hell-not attitude. In my experience the “follow your gut” mantra is a whole lot of hippie-dippy-mumbo-jumbo but I can honestly say that this time I felt it and I felt it deep. I’m tired of planning for my future, I’m ready for adventure right now.
I'm working on a lot of professional things like building my portfolio, diving deeper into the world of copywriting/marketing creative, making more art and diversifying my client base. I'm also working on a lot of ~emotional~ things like building self-confidence, kicking fear to the curb and being a kinder, more open person.
America the beautiful has been my home all my life. I've been to London, Edinburgh, Dublin and all the stereotypical "let's go on a cruise" places like the Bahamas and Mexico.
I didn't, I made myself one!
My passion for travel comes from the fact that I haven't done much of it before. I never got to study abroad, which made me bitter enough to say "SCREW IT, let's turn this whole travel thing up to 11."
Wake up. Coffee. Sometimes breakfast but let's be honest, probably not. Open my laptop, check a few emails. Oh look, clickbait! Reddit. I should really work on that deck. Write a little copy. Back to Reddit. More emails. Spend 3 hours looking for the perfect picture because this slide needs to look good and why are there no good photos online. Emails. Two hour lunch because Europe doesn't understand that I am very busy. Finish the latest round of edits on that deck (the picture I found will work but the fact that it isn't perfect will secretly haunt me forever). Figure out dinner plans. Hang out with remotes and have the best time ever. Home. Book. Sleep. Rinse, repeat.
It makes me so much better in a significant way. My constantly expanding world view has contributed to my professional life and made me more valuable as an employee. It makes me more creative, more laid back and more awesome.
Bring a lot of plastic bags (sandwich and gallon sizes). They'll save your butt when you discover that your hair oil bottle is leaky or you want to take an emergency sandwich on the road.
Sometimes it can be really hard to be productive. It's easy to fall down the rabbit hole of braid tutorials on YouTube, or Breaking Bad, or other deep dark internet places. Sometimes you don't want to go outside and deal with the fact that you can't read the road signs, understand what people are saying about you on public transit, or what they say to you in the supermarket.
There's never a shortage of things to do.
People may tell you that it's easy, you just have to do it, and I feel that's partly true. Physically and financially it's a lot easier than you may think, but emotionally it can be TOUGH. You have to trust that this type of experience will help you grow, even though that growth is accompanied by some serious growing pains. No stretch marks though, so that's a plus.
"Let it Be" (and I have a whole blog post about it on www.therambleandthegrind.com)