Last days I’ve read so many great blogs about people who travel the world, with or without a destined destination. Some of them started out going on a short trip, but ended up finding a new lifestyle. And they are still traveling the world working as they come across things they love. Others knew from the beginning that it was not going to be just one of those journeys, but a journey that would change their life for good.
One of those people who hit the road to see where it could take her is Alison Turner. After years of climbing the corporate ladder, thinking it would lead her to a better life, she felt trapped and uninspired. Reading her story reminds me of my own. Just like her, I felt like I lost myself on my way making a career, a living. The higher I climbed the ladder, I felt I fell further and further down. At first I felt like I was losing my grip, trying so hard to hold on to that ladder. After years of fighting I was so tired, I even thought about letting go and just end it. I had lost my passion. Even though I had reached my top, I wasn’t happy. Like Alison, I decided to quit my job and travel. I felt an urge to put down that map and get wonderfully lost. I didn’t know what I was looking for. Alison is still traveling and she has thousands of followers who would love to do the same. In one of her articles she writes:
“Many women tell me that I am doing something that they’ve always wanted to do. Each time they tell me this, it’s followed by, “if only.” Let me ask you: What would happen if you took away the “if only” from your dreams? Would you go through with it and make them realities? I’ve always told these women (and Men) that they can do whatever it is they want to do. It’s all about making choices in life that eventually bring you to the goal you have in mind.”
In my case, traveling led me home. And I started accepting who I was. I realized that the corporate world and being an employee was not for me. But I had to get lost first, before I could settle down. If I hadn't gone away for a while it would have been much harder to hear my own voice. I mean - how are we supposed to hear ourselves and our own thoughts in a world that can’t stop talking? Even though I have found a place now that is good for me, I still have a constant urge to travel. Sometimes I just need space, time and something quiet. I will always admire people who hit the road, searching. For this reason, I want to write about those who inspire me, because they will probably inspire you too. I really encourage you to read Alison's article where she also says:
“You don’t need to go to the extreme of quitting your job, selling your home and leaving your family to get a sense of a nomadic lifestyle. It’s all really about taking time for yourself even if it’s just for a weekend or a week; it’s important to give yourself some time to be alone and experience an adventure (whatever that may be). Read the whole article here.
And if you wonder how she manages it economically, well that's really the interesting part. Even if you start out with one dream, it might lead you someplace completely different. Alison started taking photos and documenting her adventure. Over time she received more and more comments about her work from people who admired her. Today she is published in magazines and awarded for her work. I guess she couldn't see that coming when she first started with her point-and-shoot camera. She had another great article published in Womens Adventure Magazine where you can read the whole story about how she changed career. What can we learn from this? You need to be willing to start trust yourself, listen to your heart, and stop being so obsessed about "everyone else". The important thing is to dare ask yourself what it is that you want. And always remember one thing:
The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone, is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.
For a while it might be a lonely place. And you might be questioned for it. But eventually, I am convinced that your place will be crowded too! People who are brave enough to go their own way are proving that life has many different paths and you can find yours too. You just have to dare to be different and leave the crowd, ignore your head and follow your heart!
I will continue to share stories like Alison's so stay tuned!