I was Tennessee born, Kentucky raised, Chicago aged, and now I’m traveling the world without a true sense of direction, purpose or desire to stop.
In 2006, I was 17, and I traveled to France, Italy and Malta with the People 2 People ambassador group. At the time, I felt grown and adventurous, but then my passport went unused for nearly ten years! During my graduate studies at DePaul University in Chicago, I traveled to Munich and Berlin for a sustainable business class.
And that was kind of that.
When I came home to my Chicago life–my beautiful friends, the little studio apartment that was all my own, and a job in my ideal industry (publishing)–I started to wonder if this was the life I wanted or the life others wanted for me. It was unsettling.
So I made some changes.
At the time, the decisions I made seemed logical and easy. In retrospect, I can’t believe they worked out so well, and I can’t believe that I was actually brave/ ballsy/ strong enough to make them.
I convinced my company that I could do my job remotely, I gave up my perfect studio apartment in Chicago, I moved everything I owned into my parents’ Kentucky home, and I started planning trips around the world. At the time of writing this I have traveled to Germany, Brazil, Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Iceland, France, Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, Australia and Peru (updated April 2018).
My life is amazing.
I can think that, but you can’t.
My life is hard. It’s a lot of planning; missing family and working odd-hours; getting diarrhea in Colombia and having my phone stolen in Rio; getting hit by a car and missing flights; being 29-years-old and knowing that the fact that I’m sleeping in a hostel bunkbed is both the reason and the consequence for not having a partner.
Basically, it’s absolutely hell on my un-diagnosed anxiety disorder.
But I’m trying for the life I want, and I’ll try until it kills me (and it will kill me as it’ll kill us all). If you’re sitting there, feeling envious of my life, know this: We don’t get what we wish for; we get what we work for. Someone else said that, and I’m borrowing it.