Does your head do battle with your heart?
Do you ever have you mind completely made up and then, with niggling questions and common sense (that relentless bitch), your resolve crumbles. It’s just not – my least favourite of all words – practical.
We live in a world of quotations and idealised snapshots on social media. “Follow your bliss” is a thing people actually say seriously. Google ‘how to quit your job and travel’ and you get 152million potential rabbit holes to fall down.
There’s no shame in thinking, fuck it, if they can do it so can I!
So what happens when you’re not coming from a corporate finance background, making six-figures annually, or there’s no trust fund waiting to be plundered? You adapt your plans, that’s what.
Let me set the record straight right now; I am not well off. There’s no family inheritance with my name on it. I’m a window visual merchandiser, making a VM salary. I pay my own rent, phone bill and credit card charges. I enjoy more than my fair share of wine. I also live in a city where the average rent for a one-bed is $2,100 (vom). Let’s just say my savings aren’t what I tell my parents they are!
Dropping it all to just follow whatever the fuck I think will make me ‘blissful’ is not an option for me (I’m Irish, we don’t know the meaning of bliss, but we can do a cynical excitement if you like?). This is also the case with some amazing travel bloggers. But it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of potential opportunities to flee (I’m always borderline running away – not always a good thing!).
Reigning yourself back in is hard. And humbling. It’s not easy to look at yourself and your circumstances honestly if your soul is telling you to go. It’s not easy to hear that maybe waiting a year would serve you better when you’ve made your mind up and already have flights, a travel route and fifteen ‘must eat’ dishes in your bookmarks.
I’m going to quote my mother now. This is a well-known saying. You’ll have heard it hundreds of times. It’s also my least favourite thing to hear out of her mouth. I mean, it makes my blood boil for some reason.
“What’s meant for you won’t pass you, Katie” – Mary Clinton (aka my hero)
See, this goes against my belief that by sheer force of will I can get things done. This approach has worked! I’ve gotten where I am today, largely, because I’ve set my mind and bullishly refused to be moved.
But maybe I’m growing. Maybe I’m finally embracing adulthood. But I’ve mellowed to the fact that this is not always the best approach. I`ve postponed plans, re-evaluated needs and had a good long chat with myself about how I want life as an almost-thirty-year-old to look like.
My focus is yoga teacher training, travelling and learning. I`m not tied to motherhood or marriage. I plan to leave this world having see a good bit of it. Mindset is everything. Time will give me a chance to get on top of my practice, meaning the training will be even more beneficial. Also, having signed my permanent residency permit in August 2017, this brings me closer to my citizenship requirements (3yrs in Canada after becoming a PR). Most importantly, it’ll give me a breath to get some money behind my trip, not only allowing me to breathe freely but also to really make the most of my routes without a constant stomach ache.
The Revised Plan
How do I feel about coming to this realisation? A little embarrassed – I’ve told you all I’m planning ongoing and now I’m going back on my words. A bit disappointed that I can’t embrace this ‘follow your bliss’ attitude with abandon … you should know that this version of me has long blonde hair and wears fringe particularly well. I’m also feeling a little trapped. Knowing that staying in Toronto is the logical choice makes me want to run for the hills #commitmentissues.
But, deep down in a very honest place, I know that there’s magic in this decision. To pack my bags would mean forcing so many situations. I’ve come to the point where I no longer care to force circumstance, plans or people. So I’m working with myself. And my story will follow.
The point of this long, self-centered post is to say please, please, please don’t be discouraged if you can’t 100% commit to a life of travel right away. There’s no shame in your circumstance. If travel is a priority for you, you’ll make it happen on your terms. And you know, your stories will be better for it. You’ll breathe deeper, embrace more fully and allow yourself to be truly present for each step you take. And that seems pretty damn blissful to me!
I’ll be putting together my top tips for travelling within your means because I want everyone to know that seeing the world isn’t just for the privileged. We can do it too, we just need to put in a bit more leg-work!
I’ll of course be keeping you updated on my travel plans and any exciting routes I find.