This is part 2 of from the Introduction article for the Looking Back Series. The entry here is a continuation from the same article that was posted from October 14th. I decided it was best if I broke it down because of its length and to keep it interesting.
The Looking Back Series are articles that were posted on my personal blog that never made it out to the public. See the list of links below to catch up. This is how it all started.
Note: I might be adding notes as I may feel like you need more background information.
*********Posted: OCTOBER 14, 2008*********
So now we’re in mid-august of 2008, I started to panic at bit. I was overwhelmed with the bills, I felt useless at my job, and trapped because I felt that I couldn’t do much about it all. Before I continue let’s go back in time.
In March 2005, I went to Miami, Florida for the Winter Music Conference partying. I was at work when my friend asked me “Want to go to Miami today for a few days?”. My heart raced because I never made such a sudden drastic travel plan before. Out of pure gut – I accepted. That same night we drove for 24 hours from New Jersey to Miami. It was an incredible rush. I bragging about it for years on how my decision to go to Miami was decided the same day. We had no hotel and mostly just slept in a car. We met random people and showered in other random hotel rooms wherever we were invited. I had never experienced anything like this before and I liked it.
Fast forward a little — About a year ago, living at my parents house, I was watching the Discovery Channel or it could have been Travel Channel (can’t remember). There was a TV special about a man who had traveled across the globe. Before he went off to travel, he had the perfect career (or so he thought) that he had always dreamed of and earned a good salary. Still though, he felt he had been missing something from his life. He made a bold move one day and quit his job to travel around the globe for a full year, leaving everything behind. Watching his journey made me smile. I slept that night wishing I could do the same but I ended it with the conclusion I could never do that because I had bills, job, and a future to look after.
So now we’re up to 2008, mid-august, the idea somehow came back to me to travel. I was in a struggle to be free from all the mess I was currently in. I decided from then on, I needed to travel. But not just ordinary travel. I wanted to backpack and I really only had just learned about backpacking through the internet. This meant camping, hostels, couch surfing, and everything being extremely low cost. I started to research and I became fascinated with the idea. Soon it became an addiction and it controlled my every move by the idea of traveling. At first I thought I’d be traveling for 3 months in Western and Southern Europe. Then as I continued to research and it became 6 months all across Europe. Now it’s up to 1 year all across the globe from SE Asia, South America, Middle East, and Europe. The more books, online articles, and forums I was reading, the more I wanted. I finally felt alive and knew exactly what I wanted in my future. Now that my parents are happy, my sister is in college, my brother is doing very well in a house full of people to help him in various school work – I felt like this is the perfect time to go. I’m young and full of energy. The time is now.
For a while I kept this a secret because I was scared of everyone’s reaction. I know my family and friends love me for who I am no matter what decision I make but I also knew this isn’t exactly the norm. I didn’t want to seem selfish either for my decision to leave everything I have right now after getting a decent paying job. I don’t like hiding things though. It was hard enough telling my family. My grandma has traveled to a few countries and I’ve always thought of her as being very wise so I had no trouble there. My mother on the other hand, not so much. She liked the idea of three months but not for one year. Although she still disagrees that I’d leave for such a long period of time, I know she still supports me. My dad has changed a lot since the divorce, he realized how much more there is to life then money and objects. He started to explore more with hiking. When I was little, I did no hiking at all, barely went outside actually. I mostly played video games. When I told him, he was pretty accepting of the idea. If I told him the same idea a few years ago, it wouldn’t have been so accepting.
I’ve taken a lot of steps already to make this idea become a reality. First I had to cut back on the bills. I cut off cable TV. Now we only get 13 channels. Most of my TV shows are on the basic channels and I shouldn’t be watching so much TV anyway. It’s 2008, it’s all online these days. Then I started to cut back on my electricity usage. Next was to sell as many things as I can. Books, CDs, electronics, etc. Craigslist.com is the perfect place to go to sell ANYTHING. What was junk to me was worth a lot more to others. I had no idea how much junk I had. It was mostly things I don’t use anymore and could do without. Doing this taught me how to live a minimalist lifestyle. I then took a huge step – I sold my car. This was a BIG deal for me. My entire life I was taught that having a car is a necessity . So wrong. I live 10 minutes from my job with a car. When I take a bus, it takes 30 minutes. The impact is not bad. It allows me to read more books, listen to music, connect to other people on the bus, see the environment, better workout, and be more eco-friendly.
While I continue to sell more items on Craigslist to fund my trip. I’ve been reading plenty of travel blogs, books, and guides. I plan to only keep a few of my clothes and a memory box. This is going to be a journey of a lifetime. It’s difficult to explain the feeling I have about this. Best way to describe it is that it just feels like the right thing to do. I have this feeling inside me telling me to just go out there and explore the world. I can’t let go of it. Not a single day goes by without thinking about this trip.
This turned out to be way longer entry than I thought. I’ll continue post where I want to go and more steps I’ve taken to make this a reality. Happy Birthday to me tomorrow, I’ll be 24 years old.