My Road Less Traveled

Traveler. Teacher. Food lover. Happiness seeker.

How Did I End Up Here?

Have you ever woken up one day and wondered “How on earth did I get here?” Has your life ever taken a ton of turns and you all of a sudden realized you’re not where you wanted to be? Welcome to my life. I had a plan. I knew what I wanted and all of a sudden I was somewhere else. Walking through the motions of a great life, but not one that I wanted – and lately every day has been spent trying to figure out what I should do about it.

I returned home from a 18 month stint abroad to move back into my parents’ house until I came up with a plan. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Spend some time at home with my family – a few months max. – and then I was off again. Australia. I’d find a job, travel, explore and make it work. I’d get a job to make as much money as possible until then, enjoy my family time, and then I’d be back on the road. I had it all figured out. Until things took a turn.

In most people’s opinion I’m sure they’d think it was a turn for the better. My “make as much money as possible” job didn’t turn out to be that. I saw an opening for a marketing position at a local travel agency and I figured what the heck. I applied and two interviews and 5 weeks after my return to America I was working. I wasn’t making as much money as possible, but I figured that opportunities for jobs like this – jobs in the travel field, marketing, and something I might actually be interested in beyond teaching English – might not come around again so I should probably give it a shot.

I liked my working environment. I liked the people, proving myself, being creative, utilizing my knowledge of the world, computers, the internet and traveling, to take on new projects, show that I was more than capable. My responsibilities quickly amounted and before I knew it I had been living at home for 6 months, had taken on several working accounts of my own, and created new initiatives, and started to help things turn in a good direction.

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Once my 6 months passed I then needed an apartment because any late 20’s girl shouldn’t be living at home any longer. But wasn’t living at home before, it was a means to an end. It was a temporary situation until I got to where I was going. I started looking for apartments and before I knew it I was living in the city, spending way too much money for a room in a house and a train pass so I could commute to my job.

So quickly that things had happened. I was apprehensive constantly. I told myself in the beginning I’d only stay for 3 months. Three months will be enough. Then it became 6 months. After six months, I’ll go. Then came an apartment and the commitment to a year. I’m getting there. Four more months and then my year will be up. Commit a year and then I can have my life back. I like what I’m doing so do I trade it all for the world. Do I trade my a-little-more-than-mediocre job to set off for the unknown again? The anxiety, pressure, and constant feeling of wanderlust that I feel inside of me doesn’t end. But when does a traveler become a tourist? When do you give up life on the road for a real job, a real life and real stability? When do I stop starting over and start growing my professional career to where it probably should be for someone in their late 20’s?

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So until my four months is up I will continue asking myself these questions. I’ll continue wondering what’s next, which direction I want my life to go in and when I’ll finally feel like I started living again instead of just going through the motions. But until then… I’ll continue down this road frequently traveled.

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