As I reflect on what has brought me to this point in my life where I would be willing to change my whole path by embarking on this 6 month world adventure, I realize that it was never just one moment, one person or one phrase that got me here but rather a combination of it all.
I can think of many examples but I wanted to share the most important ones for me.
My Parents: I’m sure they probably kick themselves in the butt now but even if they knew back then that their actions would result in the free spirit that I am today, I highly doubt they would change anything. Our family doesn’t come from money so I’m not here to tell you that I have a trust fund from mami and daddy for this trip. What my parents did give me was far more priceless and it was learning to use the money that I have on those things that are important to me. For my parents, this came in the form of travel and education. With regards to travel, every year my parents made it a point to take my sisters and I on vacation. Whether it as a road trip, camping or flying to spend time with family we knew we would have at least one big vacation. What my sisters and I didn’t know was that each year my dad would empty out his savings and 401K just to ensure we went on vacation. My parents knew that creating memories was far more valuable then any monetary amount in the bank and they were willing to make this sacrifice for it. It’s no surprise now why I would be willing to tap into my savings for a trip like this.
Teco Teco: May 2017 marks 7 years since I lost my Grandmother from Cancer and coincidentally marks the beginning of my travel story and a welcome back so to speak for myself. Blessed cannot describe how I felt to be able to book a last minute flight to Guatemala to spend some of her final days with her. My Teco Teco read to me from her latest book selection, shared meals and old pictures but what still brings tears were her words. My own Grama an unofficial feminist was preaching girl power. She couldn’t stress enough during those days that just like her I too needed to be a reflection of what being independent meant. That their was a big world out there and that just like her I needed to see it for myself witout letting any man stop me. Grama unconsciously hit very close to home. At the time I was in a controlling relationship which had me settling into a life that made my partner happy but caged me. I won’t get into the details of what I had to deal with from my then boyfriend who was back state side during the days that I was with my grandmother. What I can say is that when I landed in Chicago and as he drove me home with tears in my eyes because I knew that was the last time I would ever see my Teco Teco I ended the relationship. 2 weeks later I found myself in Miami, the following month I made my way to NYC and 29 countries later here I am. To this day, I know my Teco Teco has been working in my favor from above and was the one who set me free.
Soul Cycle: How does a spin class motivate you to leave on a 6 month world trip one asks? If you haven’t experienced Soul Cycle then you may not think it’s possible. I started attending classes back in October and maybe the timing was right, maybe the music gave me new life, maybe the dark studio brought out an inner fire in me but what I do know is that one of the instructors always ended their class by saying, “Don’t be too busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” That simple phrase spoke to my conscious as a reminder that I was falling into this trap. As I looked at my “life”, what did I have to show? Only my “living.” Even today, after I’ve made the decision to leave on this journey this instructors class reassurs me that if I can make it through this 45 minute workout sweaty, out of breath but with a fighting spirit I can “make a life”.
Wheather it’s travel, work, family etc. consider what is helping you pull this trigger and use it to get you where you SHOULD be.