As a child, I moved around quite a bit. I lived in 4 different states, countless different cities, and moved on average once a year. As a result of this rather hectic childhood, I was installed with wanderlust. While I hated the act of moving and re-establishing myself each time, I enjoyed the act of exploring new places, whether the town was large or small. As an adult it is comforting to own my own home and staying firmly put, but there is something desperately missing.
Up until recently, I’ve been unable to travel due to finances, time, and health. This year I vowed that things would be different, and I’ve been fervently working on a number of things including finances and personal happiness. I am the type of person that will put off personal happiness with the intent of cashing in later, which I feel is something we all do at one time or another. “Oh, I can’t afford it this year, but next year, definitely!”
Of course, by the time that next year sneaks up on you, plans have changed or finances are tight and you push it back just a little more. Before you know it, you are looking back on 5 years of your life wondering if that personal – supposedly temporary – sacrifice was worth it.
This is the year I’m cashing in some of my self given IOU’s and pursuing some of my dreams. In that, is travel.
Despite my hesitancy to indulge in spending “that kind” of money on myself, I booked plan tickets to Europe. This will be my first large excursion outside of the US and into several other countries, which have long been an entry in my bucket list. For two weeks, myself and two friends will be traveling to the UK and several European countries. The basic itinerary is:
- 5 days in London, England
- flight to Paris
- 4 days in Paris
- flight to Amsterdam
- 4 days in Amsterdam
- return flight to London
- return flight home
The tickets have been paid for, and I am still in shock. As my friends and I were planning out our travels and deciding where to go, we laughed as we discussed flying from Paris to Amsterdam. Uttering the words “I booked my plane ticket to Paris” is something that despite so badly wanting, I honestly never believed I would actually have the opportunity to do.
In this short period of time I’ve learned a few things about myself. It’s interesting when you make a habit of not putting yourself first for so long that when you finally do so, feelings of guilt creep in. I switch so often between happiness/elation/uncertainty and guilt. Yes, I’m finally doing something I have been longing for, but in the back of my mind thoughts of “should I really spend this kind of money right now,” and “can I afford to take two weeks off of work” abound.
As those thoughts slowly creep in, I push them aside. This is a year of change, of growth, of finding myself and my happiness. I mentally walk to the edge of my comfort zone, stare down into the precipice – and jump.