I knew deep down inside that something was missing.
It was 2006 and my career was very promising. I was married and owned a home. Overall, life was feeling pretty good.
Though my one regret in life was that I had never taken time to travel the world. And I don’t mean for two weeks on vacation to a tropical island somewhere; that I had done.
My dream was to take an entire year off and travel around the world and experience what life was like in other countries.
There was so much I wanted to do and see before having kids. I knew that if I was going to take a trip like this, now was the time. The next opportunity might be once I retired, but there is no guarantee that I would be healthy enough or even want to.
So, I created a plan and together we saved $75,000 in cash. We sold almost everything we owned and left on a plane bound for Fiji in February 2008 with only a backpack on our backs.
I was 29 years old… and ecstatic.
3 YEARS, 22 COUNTRIES, 6 CONTINENTS
The first stop was Fiji. I remember sleeping a lot the first few days, as if I was letting go and sinking into this transition to a work-free life.
I couldn’t stop smiling!
For the first time ever, I could live moment-to-moment without anything to do or anywhere to be. Stress was a distant memory. Freedom was here.
Time passed quickly. I did things like…
bungee jumping in New Zealand.
learning how to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef.
riding a motorbike in Bali and Lombok to cool surf spots.
indulging in $3 massages in Thailand.
playing games with kids in Laos.
helping regenerate the native rainforest in the Amazon.
trekking to the bottom of Colca Canyon in Peru.
dressing in a dirndl for Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.
volunteering on an organic farm in southern France.
sipping my favorite wine in Montepulciano, Italy.
resting on the beach on the Greek islands.
I spent a lot of time in personal reflection while walking, reading, journaling and being in quiet meditation. I connected with hundreds of people around the world, talking about life, their struggles and their dreams.
Every day was filled with a sense of wonder and awe. I was living in the present moment. I felt deep compassion for others in a way I’d never experienced before. I had a new and improved perspective on life. My vantage point shifted and my views widened. I felt humbled and grateful.
I wasn’t ready to stop traveling, so I began marketing consulting work and was able to extend my trip from one years to three with just my laptop and a wifi connection.
Finally, my dream was fulfilled. I believed in myself and that anything was possible.