Squinting at the sign-posts while sweating under the January heat, I rushed through Santiago airport back in 2013 as I arrived for what would become an eleven month stint. What lay ahead for me was a mixture of adventure, random interactions and of course, adverse weather conditions. The street-sellers shouting words ‘Helado’ (meaning ice-cream) smoothly transitioned to ‘Paraguas’ ( umbrella) as did my small travel-sized wardrobe- I experienced all the seasons of Chile. My taste buds didn’t escape the excitement as my cupboards would vary from week to week depending on the amount of money I had in my account. One day I’d be ordering fancy sushi from the super pricey (and tasty) Japanese restaurants, the next, a staple diet of chicken noodle soup and white wine was on the menu.
Losing weight became easy as routine was inconsistent and actually, there were days where sitting in and reminiscing about the homeland would send me into a sad state. I’d mope but then quickly jolt myself out of it so as to prepare for the latest mountain trek, volcano tour or trip to the local mercados. Culture was all around me and I certainly wasn’t going to miss out on it for the sake of a bit of home sickness.
I read recently that the reason we hold ourselves back from pushing for a goal is because the pain we envision that dream causing seems bigger than the pain we’re feeling now. Taking the easy way out can become a temptation. Something that seems painful or scary might just be enough to keep us away from the adventure that deep-down, we’d love to partake in.
Not to be the bearer of bad news but actually, there’s pain in everything. Nothing is going to be 100% perfect 100% of the time. There will be poor weather, weird noodle soup and sadness that you didn’t expect.
When I look back on my year of South American adventure, I indeed remember the challenging times but mostly, I remember funny strangers I met, laughs I had with friends and deep meaningful conversations over the latest stunning sunset.
If there’s a trip you’re thinking of taking, course you want to do or a career move you’d like to make, what’s stopping you? Whatever it is, below are my top questions to consider before stepping out of that comfort zone.
-How do you feel now? Is your life super content without anything you’d like to change? That’s cool then. Perhaps, taking that step isn’t for you right now.
-Why are you considering this? Have you heard that it’s the right thing to do? Are the magazines painting a super amazing picture of it for you? Do what you need to do but ensure you’re doing it for YOU!
-Resources are KEY! For me, having money was important however as it turned out, I could’ve been more prepared in this area. Know what you need however be prepared to reassess down the line. Not everything will go 100% to plan as I’ve said however there are areas you can prepare for.
-Do you have a support network? I was super fortunate when I went away and actually, in general as I’ve had people who believe in what I’m doing and give support. For me, this is important especially when it’s a big decision. Decide if it’s necessary for you and act accordingly.
-Don’t take life so seriously, nobody gets out alive. Did you know? Therefore, making a decision doesn’t need to be the final ‘no turning back’ moment of your life. Originally, I had planned to travel for four months – it turned into eleven. Likewise, I could’ve decided to leave after one month if it felt right.
Sure, every choice is going to make a difference to your life. Why don’t we make choices that lead us in the direction of our dreams?