Taking the plunge. Living a life of travel.

Caitlin Featured, Thoughts 1 Comment

Not everyone has the urge to travel.

My brother barely has an interest in leaving the country town where we grew up. Some friends of mine went to Bali once and have no interest in heading overseas again. Others have just never even thought about it.

On the other hand, every few years I’ve been jet setting off to some new destination, and I know some of you are (or want to be) doing the same.

It’s just about different priorities.

I love to travel. That is my dream.

Your dreams might be different – maybe you want to start your own business, maybe you’re practicing every waking moment to be the next big musician, or maybe you’re looking at starting a family.

These dreams and ambitions change constantly throughout our lives.

While there are a myriad of factors affecting them at any point in time, what I believe these big life decisions should come down to is regrets. And that’s why I’ve decided to leave my job and travel.

It came down to one very simple question for me…

Will I regret not doing this?

My answer was a pretty definitive “yes”.

I’ve been dreaming of my next travel destination ever since I headed on a student exchange to Germany when I was sixteen. In the years since, I’ve always wanted to do one of those amazing “gap years” abroad.

I missed the boat when I’d finished high school, heading straight into university. And then when I’d finished there, I had the time, but lacked the funds, so settled on a shorter trip.

Now I’m 26, and I’m still dreaming of that big trip abroad.

All around me friends are getting married. People are advancing in their careers. Some friends are even beginning the journey into parenthood.

These are all amazing adventures, and certainly things I might think more about at some point in my life. But before that all happens for me, and my priorities shift, I need to fulfil this dream to travel.

And so I’ve taken a year off.

About twelve months ago, I made this decision. I had no savings (having recently come back from a trip in South America) and had no real idea of what I wanted to do. I just knew I wanted to go.

In the past year, I’ve worked hard and managed to build up some funds to support my journey. I made some big changes like moving home, cutting out excess expenses and selling all the things I didn’t need, to enable me to fund the trip.

Telling work was tough. It took a while, but eventually I made the big move and asked for a year-off. Telling my family was tougher. I worried they’d warn me against it and implore me to think about my future.

Putting the word out there though, that was the “it’s really going to happen” moment for me. There was no backing down then.

Every so often now I have moments where I question if I’m doing the right thing. Most of the time it’s just to do with my work – am I destroying my career by going? Or sometimes I wonder if I’ll miss some of the big family moments – is my sister going to have her first child and I won’t be there?

Ultimately, it comes down to what I want from life.

I want to travel. There’s no better time than now. I want to fulfil my dream, enjoy my life, and have no regrets.

Take the plunge and live the life you want.

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