I arrived in Costa Rica about two hours ago and I still have a couple hours to kill before my friend arrives and we get our rental car, so I thought I would take some time to reflect and share on why I am doing what I am doing. Why I travel.
I know that the current “trend” seems to be quitting your job to travel. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve pinned several quotes regarding this topic long before I made my decision. I dreamed of a life on permanent vacation.
That’s not exactly why I left my job to pursue travel, though. I’ve seen the quote circulating about “make a life you don’t need a vacation from” that’s the one that got me. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy my job as a librarian and you can read more about how hard that decision was HERE. Overall, I just needed more freedom for flexibility to travel and take opportunities that came my way.
I spent 27 years setting myself up for a life that I one day woke up from and realized I didn’t actually want. I did everything I was supposed to do in the order I was supposed to do it. I graduated from a Christian high school with a high GPA; I went to college with a scholarship (and kept it); I didn’t party like most students do; I didn’t really drink until I was 21; I got my master’s degree; got a dog; got engaged to my high school sweetheart; had a beautiful wedding; bought a home with my husband; bought my own car……then I got divorced, sold the house, my dog died, and I left the career I spent all those years in college preparing for.
Did you know that other cultures (particularly in Australia) push for students to spend a year traveling between grade school and university? Why, you may ask? Looking back at the life I created, I would say it’s probably to gain a better understanding of the person they are becoming rather than getting caught up in becoming a person they are “supposed” to be thanks to society’s standards. I think that’s why it seems to be more trendy now with the late 20-somethings, especially in the USA. As a young person you feel social pressure to grow up too fast, be the best, and have the most to show off..without mistakes or taking time to figure it out. You’re supposed to just KNOW AND GO. I’ve learned more through my “mistakes” than my accomplishments…heck, most of the things I consider accomplishments these days CAME from my “mistakes”.
The first thing I decided to do after the divorce was plan a road trip, by myself. At the time, it was terrifying and exciting all at once. I had never done anything like that before. I hardly even went to the store alone, let alone drive 4+ hours alone. It freaked my parents out and surprised the people closest to me. That’s not very “Lizzy-like”…but I knew I had to do it. I needed to experience making a decision for myself and doing something just for me. I needed to be selfish. Looking back, that’s probably where #glitterglassesjourney really got it’s fuel. It was only full steam ahead from there.
In a sense, I found myself constantly feeling stuck in situations that I put myself into because it made sense. I could’ve stayed “stuck” in those situations and could’ve been ok living a mediocre life, but that’s no way to live! Specifically in my marriage, living that way was no good for either of us. Out of respect for him, I won’t go into too much detail about the inner mechanics of our relationship, but I will say that the last time I saw him (post-divorce) he was living much more than just surviving!
Back on track…When I’m traveling I feel more like my true self. Why was/is it so hard for me to be ME in my hometown? Well, of that I’m still not quite sure. I do know, however, that I’m not afraid to be me when I’m on the road. Maybe it’s because I don’t care as much about what people think? I don’t feel pressure to uphold an expectation. Or maybe it’s because I can be me and I only attract people who like the person I actually am, therefore I’m never putting up a front? There’s so many places to go and so many people to meet. When you’re traveling and don’t particularly mesh with a person (or place), you move on. That’s the bittersweet thing about travel. Most people you come across only make a short appearance in your life. Some may leave quickly, while some you wish could stay longer. You also learn how to cherish the time you have with the people you care about in general…through travel.
Solo travel, in particular, is what I’m currently so addicted to…ever since that first road trip. I find that I’m much more in tune with my true self when traveling alone. I’m forced to rely on my instincts and am completely open to new experiences and opportunities. Through this type of travel SO many doors have opened up that probably would’ve never happened had I been traveling with another person. Sometimes it’s hard, but even in those difficult times I feel myself growing, learning, soaking it all in. I’m preparing myself for the “next step”.
Now, I haven’t gone completely rogue. I know upon first glance I’m just another travel blogger. Though it would be great to fund my travels solely through my blog, I’m a bit more realistic.
Blogging, writing, and journaling has always been a passion of mine. I’ve kept a journal since I was 9 years old! I have also always been a huge fan of photography and capturing memories in the making. I had my first camera in elementary school and have always cherished my photographs. My blog is an accumulation of all these passions and hobbies.
I quit my job to pursue the things I love not become a millionaire through gimmicks on my blog. I find joy in work that takes me places and where I can constantly change my scenery and expand upon those experiences and add adventure. So far, that’s exactly what I’ve done! I worked a one time gig with Wanderlust that is getting me 3 more jobs this summer, 3 awesome new travel buddies, and countless amazing experiences in the short week I worked in Oahu (read more about that here).
So why do I travel?
To not lose touch with who I truly am.
To fuel my firey passion for life.
To make connections.
To appreciate life.