I had been living in Melbourne for 3 years and was quite settled down. I was renting a cosy 2 bedroom apartment inner city which I loved coming home to every day. My week consisted of going to work, coming home, cooking dinner, watching tv or binging on social media. The weekends were usually filled with epic brunches, long drives to the beach or checking out a local event. I had everything I needed to have a complete life yet it didn’t feel right. Every week I was going through the motions of work and hanging out for every weekend. Melbourne had been named the world’s most liveable city for the sixth year in a row yet I wasn’t sure if it was for me anymore. There was a lot of thought and planning that went into making the biggest decision of my life. Five main factors of my life brought me to selling everything I owned and quitting my job to travel the world. I thought I would take a step back to figure out how I got here.
My dream has always been to become an entrepreneur or business owner. I revel in coming up with ideas but yet to put any into action. Over the past 16 years, I have worked for some great companies. The part I’ve enjoyed the most from them though was the social aspect, aka drinking at the pub with my colleagues. Of course the need of money to live also played a part in what I liked about my jobs too. I am a huge procrastinator, and leave everything to the very last minute. If I stayed in a comfortable job, I don’t think I would ever have the drive to create my own business until the opportunity has passed. By quitting my job and having no income it is forcing me to pursue my dreams of setting up my own business. I really have no choice, otherwise, my new life is only going to be temporary happiness.
I sit back and often questioned the way of life. It seems that you get told the way to live is by working a job, finding a partner, get married, buy a house, have kids and keep working till you have enough to retire. By that time, you are maybe even too old to enjoy what is left. I am not sure why this has been drilled into our brains that this is the only way to be successful and happy. It just seems backwards to wait to have your ideal lifestyle. For me, if travelling makes me happy then why not do it full time now. A common conversation in my house would be me saying, ‘If I have to live a normal life, I would like to do this job’. It’s still hard sometimes to shake the feeling that leaving the perceived normal life behind is wrong. I know there are lots of people who love working in the corporate environment for many different reasons, I am just not one of them.
It has been many years since I have felt the need for materialistic things. My wardrobe now is 95% made up of K-mart, Target and Big W attire and I love it. Over the past few years especially, I have spent money more on experiences than things. Being called cheap or stingy never worries me, I have never felt like I’ve deprived myself of anything. I’ve been on many holidays and seen my favourite singers in concert, or attended museum exhibits that have interested me. There is always something going on in Melbourne and if it’s food related, I am already there. I may have a few higher end gadgets that I have treated myself to. I will just never be someone who needs a 40k car, or a 1 million dollar house to be happy. Changing to a more minimalistic lifestyle is beyond freeing knowing that everything I own (apart from a few boxes in storage) I carry with me in two suitcases.
When I look back on my life, the best times have mostly been spent on holiday. This has been trying new foods, seeing amazing sites, being immersed in a different culture and learning bout history. The worst times in my life have been when I felt stuck in a city with nothing to look forward to and no real reason to be living there. For sure I have wasted years in these situations but I can’t spend any time regretting it because it’s lead me to where I am today. I made the choice to not only start writing a wish list for my life but to start living them. These goals and dreams I have put off doing for years. It was always in my head that one day I would get around to them but not really believing my own words. I’m glad I am awake again and pursuing a life with no boundaries. To be able to look back and say I did everything I wanted to in my life will be a huge achievement. The only problem is my list is ever growing. The adventures are never ending and I will constantly look for new opportunities to learn. Time to get planning!
The pressure of following the norm of society had bitten me and I started looking into buying a house. I set up meetings with a broker and got a pre-approval for a loan. Every weekend was spent driving down the coast looking at units and houses for sale. I even put a bid on at an auction, which ended up selling for a crazy amount. After seeing houses and units selling at ridiculous prices I sat back and thought maybe this isn’t for us. My Ex’s birthday was approaching and she was about to turn 31. This was the age cut-off point to be able to get working holiday visas. Even if I was already too old, it pushed me into thinking it’s now or never for living overseas. On the day before she turned 31, she applied for the UK work visa and with that, I had a few months to get overseas. Being avid travellers, I already had two holidays booked in for the next year to do before making the big move. I have never been so stressed in my life in the weeks leading up to leaving the country. I had to sell my car, all the furniture, clothes and it was just madness. The relief I felt as the plane touched down in the Philippines was great. The stress started to melt away and my new life had begun.
I would love to hear from anyone who is thinking of doing the same or is already living the traveller life.