what am i doing with my life?
I want to be a travel writer/ blogger. Many of you know this is my goal, but most of you didn't. Truth be told, I didn’t even know if this was my plan up until a few months ago. Here's what lead me there and how I've decided it's my next step!
I was let go from my most recent job in January, and frankly, I was happy that it happened. I had been more miserable than I've ever been in my life at that job, and I was finally free! Walking out the door, I immediately called my mom and told her I was going to Europe. I went home that day and immediately started putting my things online for sale. It felt frantic and looking back, I was definitely in "flight" mode, but that initial visceral reaction was something I couldn't ignore.
Some of my New Year's resolutions this year were to put myself out there more, stop caring so much about what other people think, and stop second-guessing myself and my talents. And so, I started posting more of my thoughts, opinions, and ideas on social media, mainly on Instagram. Initially, I wanted to grow a following, but I didn't really have a reason why, other than the fact that I was applying for new jobs at the time and figured it would "look good" to potential employers.
But eventually, I just really liked using it as a platform and was surprised when people I didn't even know reached out to just say "hi" or to tell me that they liked my content. I found it to be a positive and supportive place, and I liked feeling more connected to friends and could-be friends. I didn't post nearly as frequently as I do now because I previously saw it as self-indulgent. While that can certainly can be some people's M.O., for me, Instagram is a place where I can freely be creative and expressive, feel inspired by others, and hopefully inspire others in some small way.
Finding My Spark
Getting fired made me realize what I do and don't want out of life: I do not want to be sitting in a cubicle all day wishing I was somewhere else. I do not want to dread commuting to a job that I hate. I do not want to cry each morning or continually distract myself from my sad reality or feel like "well, this is it." I do not want to feel like I'm missing out on what could be a much better life.
What I want is the freedom to express myself and be creative every day and on my own terms. I want to explore new places and cultures. I want to write in a way that feels true to myself. I want to have the freedom of working from anywhere in the world and making money as I go. I want to learn from others; I want to meet others; I want to motivate others. And above of all, I want to be happy.
Asking Myself Questions
Was I serious about leaving New York, or was it just a fleeting idea? Should I just stay and try to make it work? Should I continue applying for jobs? Should I travel? Should I start a new career? What do I really want? What have I been doing? Why have I felt so miserable for the last two years? How can I change my path?
Putting It All Together
After a lot of sleepless nights, research, self-reflecting, and conversations with friends, family, and strangers, I decided that I want to be a professional travel writer/ blogger. And with my previous writing experiences, love for travel, and drive, I know it is possible.
That isn’t to say that there are days when I feel doubtful about this choice. The realistic side of things always has a place in the picture: the financial aspect, where I'll live, my safety and (in that vein) the state of current affairs. Those things that are important to consider and constantly reassess and it would be ignorant of me not to.
While it may seem like I'm going on an extended backpacking trip or vacation, that is not my intent - I'll be traveling and working simultaneously, balancing my time between freelance writing for a few clients and building up my own blog content and brand presence as a travel writer/ blogger. Although my life itinerary isn't (and probably never will be) entirely mapped out, I'm finally going in a direction that I'm happier with.
Follow my adventures and maybe one day, we'll meet somewhere on earth ;)
xx - Steph