Follow Your Wandering Heart
Maybe the naysayers are right. Maybe you are little crazy. Maybe you will fail. Maybe you will hit rock bottom.
But doesn’t that sound a little exciting too?
Letting go of all inhibitions and jumping into the deep end?
I have wanted to travel to Europe since I was 7 years old and my dad traveled to Rome, France, and all over the world for work. When my dad traveled, he would bring home trinkets and books for me. These books and trinkets instantly sparked my curiosity. I wanted to be the people in the books. Language Learning books filled my shelves. I had everything from Spanish to Greek to Russian. I was obsessed. Not good at any of them, but obsessed. I wanted to see the world, learn languages, and meet interesting people. I had a wanderer’s heart and I was a flight risk.
What’s stopping you?
Following your crazy dreams can be difficult. It is difficult for us to let go of what’s safe, what’s comfortable.
But I didn’t want safe or comfortable anymore. I wanted to learn, to grow, to feel something.
My love of learning slowly slipping away and my curiosity of language diminishing.
Normalcy was out.
When I was in middle school I had a journal of all my life goals. The top 2: Live in another country for at least 2 years and learn a language. (Check on both of those. Middle school me would be so proud.)
I remember vividly one Saturday night in 2007, just before my graduation, my parents got incredibly frustrated with me because I could not decide on a career path. I remember saying, “all I want to do is travel.” I saw my dad travel a lot for work and I wanted that life… except I’m terrible at engineering.
The point is, I had a bad case of wanderlust.
I needed a change.
What’s the greatest thing about letting go?
You have nothing to lose because even if you fail, you can say you tried.
Failing is how we learn and how we grow. You come out the other side with a new view of the world and a bit more confidence in yourself.
In 2012 I finally got up the courage. It helps that I was pretty much at a low point in my life. I wasn’t doing well in college and I had just ended a long relationship. Looking back, I knew I wasn’t happy; I didn’t want to admit it. This low made me think, “well if this is rock bottom, can’t be much worse.” I dropped everything, sold most my belongings, and packed the rest in a suitcase. I bought a one-way ticket to England and got a job as an au pair in the Netherlands.
Au pairing was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It might be me, but I don’t suggest it for the faint of heart. (I will write about it in an upcoming post.) Yet, the people I met and the adventures we had made up for all the difficult times.
A little crazy
Maybe I am a little crazy.
In this process of chasing my dreams, I’ve been called crazy, I have met people who don’t understand me, and I have lost some friends.
My life is not the norm but I love it for that reason. I have stories to share with you and I hope you enjoy them. But I also hope they inspire you and encourage you to step out of the box a little because your adventure stories are waiting to be written.
What are your dreams and what is holding you back from stepping out to reach them?