We are forever complaining about our 9 to 5, the daily grind, wishing we were in an exotic location all carefree.
However for me my 9 to 5 gives me (asides from money) perspective on life. Working with cancer patients and hearing their stories of how they planned to take ‘that trip’ then got their diagnosis shook me to the core.
Our health truly is our wealth, as cliched as it may sound and I still want to hike that mountain in good health or wander aimlessly without a care and thus stumbling on hidden gems. Life truly is precious and I don’t want to live in regret because I think I have to save money for that ‘house, car, marriage, etc.’ I can still have all that in life, not instead of just because I choose to travel.
Society always wants you to conform but most times your happiness lies in your non-conformity. Also you can feel so overwhelmed with ideas you have for your life that you choose one that is odd to what people expect of you.
So I decided to up and end my contract and take myself to Ecuador to learn Spanish. I just felt it was a strong now or never decision. It has been one of my dreams for such a long time to be in this part of the world for a prolonged period of time so I decided to just ‘go for it!’
It doesn’t seem like a big deal to many but let me tell you why others will say ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING?’:
- I’m British Nigerian with Nigerian parents. If you know you know. If you don’t, engage with me in the comments lol.
- I’m female and single – first I get the ‘its dangerous story’, and I am in no means naive to this but heck am I gonna let fear stop me? I gotta roll with what life throws at me. I’d love to do this with a significant other but I’m not gonna be waiting on it.
- I’m not of that ‘gap year/finding yourself’ age – or so society wants to tell me. I’m not in my delicious 20’s which seems to be the decade to do this but I could not give a monkeys if this ‘isn’t whats done at my age.’ Age is just an excuse people use for me to stop having fun! I also, get the whole ‘are you having a 30s crisis?’ Nope this isn’t even a ‘finding myself’ trip, I just wanted to do it and I only had excuses telling me not to. However I do want to learn from this trip so that brings me to…
What I hope to learn on this trip?
SPANISH – I think this is a given really, given I’ve enrolled into an intensive school for a month. Let’s hope I come home more confident in the language. One thing I will say is Spanish is hard and having English as my first language is doing me absolutely no favours. I may not come back as fluent as people expect but I will certainly get in the ring and give it a go!
Stripping it all back – from the noise of my everyday life and just being away. I don’t need that £16 toner to ensure my skin is ‘popping.’ Stripping it back not just materially but also in terms of knowing solidly ‘whats next?’ I will enjoy this season of changeable plans and even though I have never been a control freak in any way its still weird to not have every detail planned in a world that asks it of you.
Dependence on God – when you strip all the things that you falsely put your trust in – your job, salary, where you live, relationships you are left with you depending on Him and as I travel solo even more so, so I hope I dig deeper in trusting Him and not just saying it but doing it.
Get out of my comfort zone – I’m not the greatest at meeting people. Small talk bores me immensely and I have reliably been informed by my cousin however tedious I find it, its needed to develop relationships. Solo travel, I hope will force me to be open to speaking with others. When you live in your bubble of life and type of friend you get lazy and don’t hear other viewpoints that could change your thinking.
So there you have it – please don’t discount your 9 to 5 (or whatever hours your job yields for you), it can be a grind as I said before but that ‘grind’ is part of the journey called life and rather than focusing on an end point of ‘success’ enjoy the ride you’ve been blessed with. The job you are in now can teach you the very next dream you want to take like mine did.
Muchas gracias mi amigos!
The Five to Nine Traveller xxx