I was wrong. And I couldn’t be more thrilled.
For the past two years I’ve had this insatiable need to travel, and sitting still? Not an option. I thought, because I’ve heard so often from well-meaning people “travel now, while your young, once you have a family, blah blah blah.” So, I panicked. I envisioned the American Dream-the house, kids, 9-5 as the ultimate prison. A slow wait to death-dramatic, I know. And hardly accurate, a projection of fear more than a reality. It’s just not for me. And certainly at only 24 settling down is far from my mind. So? So I could choose to travel the world, be a professional nomad. But in reality, I would be giving up too much. I do, actually, want kids eventually. And I thought, I had to choose. So back to panic.
But then I realized-I was dead wrong. And this is one case where I actually love bloggers (normally, they irritate me). Reading travel blogs from other 20-somethings illuminated the obvious, if travel is what I want, then it will happen. If young women can raise the money on their own and set off for solo travel for a year. Well, then, of course I could too. And reading blogs from women in their 30’s-young children by their sides flying all over the world, and even daring to suggest, travel with their young companions is better than without.
I don’t need to choose. This now glaringly obvious fact makes me deliriously happy-sort of like realizing your dreams are possible. Because what I really want to do in life, is to travel. I’ll have a career too, and of course, I’d prefer to enjoy what I’m doing and make an impact, and if I can travel AND work-well, then all the better. One reason I’m applying to grad school: more options and a chance to study something that fascinates me.
I knew all this of course, but knowing I’m not alone makes a difference. All those “well-intentioned-naysayers” with their snide remarks “must be nice” or “we’ll see,” instead of their miss-informed remarks being a dampening of my spirit I can simply ignore them. They can stick to conventional, since they’re so good at it, they don’t need me anyway.
So I accept. I accept that I will always want to travel, and the more I see, the more I’ll want to see. It is a life choice, all sacrifices and compromises worth every second. For a while, I’ve felt like I’ve been wandering around blindfolded. Uncertain of where I am, stumbling, searching. occasionally, catching glimpses of light as its slides a bit-for a brief moment, then darkness again. Sound like the plight of your average 20-something? Well, maybe it does, and I’m OK with that-because it’s this unknowing and questioning that has granted me over two adventure filled years that I wouldn’t trade for anything. It is an amazing relief; to put what I perceived (because really, there’s no one holding me down and yelling at me) to be normal, expected, on track, or whatever else completely out of my mind. How could I have over-thought this so much?
It’s almost embarrassingly obvious.