I have no idea. That’s why I’m packing up and heading out to explore the world!
I am a free spirit and an artist; I grew up across the city, suburbs, and countryside; I speak English and French, and am learning Chinese and Korean; I am often lazy, but become incredibly motivated when I am passionate about something; I am sarcastic, excitable, and willing to step outside of my comfort zone.
But most of all, I am a twenty-something having a quarter-life crisis. And I kept making excuses for my unhappiness.
I graduated in December of 2011 with a degree in apparel design and production. While I love the apparel industry, I struggled with finding the motivation to sketch, paint, and design that I had during my undergraduate years. I hit the post-graduation two year mark without even applying to a single job in my field. Talk about uninspired and being in a rut.
I felt pressured by my parents, co-workers, significant other, friends and, most of all, by myself to get my act together and go after my ‘dream job’. It was only after I stopped listening to all the outside voices and took a look as to why I was so unhappy and unmotivated that I finally began to find some sense of direction in life.
In the end, I concluded that I was both afraid of failure and afraid of settling into my career too early. I had already had so many fantastic opportunities to travel, and deep down I think I knew that once I committed to a fashion career, ‘that was it’. I knew that once I started working towards my ‘dream job’ in my field, I wouldn’t have the time or the freedom to up and travel wherever and whenever I felt like it. No matter what kind of job I have, I always give it 110% of my energy and efforts. Up until recently this had led to me being taken advantage of, and being incredibly overworked and underpaid like so many others my age. I was afraid I was going to end up stuck in Wisconsin for the rest of my life, but didn’t know how to stop it.
So I ditched the crappy minimum wage job, ended things with my manipulative significant other, and started doing research as to how I could legitimately travel for a living. I have a passion and knack for foreign languages, and eventually found myself looking into teaching English abroad. One 130 hour online TEFL course and an updated resume later, I was shocked to find myself with more foreign interview offers than I could keep track of.
I finally narrowed down my job offers and accepted a public school teaching position in Jeollanam-do, South Korea in May of 2014. My starting ‘plan’ was to alternate between teaching for 6 months to a year in one country while visiting neighboring countries, and then backpacking for several months and seeing as many other countries as possible on my way to my next teaching location. That ‘plan’ went out the window within my first three months, as I fell in love with my school, life, and friends in Boseong, South Korea! I quickly realized that…
…The overall ‘plan’ is to have no plan.
Be open. Change directions. Live in the moment.
No excuses, just travel.
No excuses, just travel.