A 2019 Revelation: yet another post where I announce I’ve “realized” something and vow to make a change

When I started this blog it was meant to document my findings as I did research for upcoming trips. And then, once I went on those trips, it became a way to chronicle and memorialize the adventures I went on every day that I was abroad.

So, when I left last year to start traveling full-time, I expected my blogging to continue. Naturally.

Well, a year of travel went by, I only posted one post.

And I’ve been beating myself up about it all year. I kept telling myself that the reason I wasn’t writing was that I was too busy living and having fun, and that’s justifiable since it was my mission and fuel all along.

But today, January 9, 2019, I’ve had a revelation (and a sh*t-ton of coffee).

I wasn’t avoiding blogging because I was “too busy.”

It was because I didn’t feel like I was on a little “adventure” anymore. My trips didn’t have a start and end where I could sum up my itinerary and post about what a great time I had.

My journey was ongoing. And, as a marketing professional, I’m married to the construct of brand consistency. So anything I would have written would have risked diverting from the brand.

Plus, I started the year with a comfortable income, so I didn’t feel “broke” anymore. Another brand diversion.

So I let myself become unmotivated. I didn’t feel like I had anything exciting or relevant to share, so I, myself, became unexcitable and irrelevant. And motivation is EVERYTHING when you’re working on a side project with no one holding you accountable but yourself. This blog is supposed to be a fun l’il journaling exercise anyway, not a chore. I ain’t getting paid for this ish.

But part of my revelation was that this has all been total BS and I have a ton to share!

I mean, look at what I’m doing. I’m 25 and I have no home. I sold everything and moved to a foreign country for a year. I work 100% online in a professional career. I live out of a CARRY-ON suitcase. I lived in hostels for a year. I managed to get in the best shape of my life while on what many would say was a “vacation.” I studied and practiced opera virtually. I’ve been treated for a mental health disorder in a foreign country. I’ve had both a serious relationship and a few casual flings while on the road. And I’ve broken through my self-critical, introspective, antisocial bubble to make numerous lifelong friends in a matter of weeks.

So while I’m may not have come out of this year with a “10 Free Things To Do in Brisbane” or “49 Hours in Melbourne: How to See it All” post, this l’il mama still has plenty of advice to give.

So, help me, dear readers. All 15 of you who have actually made it down this far in my musings. Is there anything, in particular, you’d like to know?

I have some free time and a really nice MacBook so let’s get this flowing….Comment box below. Right. There.

XOXOXO

Lexi

The real reason I travel

The Real Reason I Travel (2)I have been feeling uncharacteristically emotional and anxious lately. These feelings, I’m sure, are symptoms of stress from exams, lack of sleep, nervousness about my impending graduation and uncertainty about the future. This emotional tempest of late has caused me to be immensely introspective; I’ve thought deeply about who I am, who I want to be, where I came from, where I want to be and what I want to do with the rest of my life. When I try addressing each question, travel always seems to come up.

But why travel? Most people reading this blog are also travelers who I’m sure could talk for hours about why they love to travel and what travel means to them, but I’m still trying to figure out what it means to me. Of course, I love travel because I love learning about cultures different from my own, meeting people who have amazing life stories, falling in love with art and architecture and music from around the world, and meeting other travelers who are as passionate about these things as I am. Yet these factors describe only why I love traveling, not why I’m obsessed with it.

Truth is, I’m scared. What, Alexis? How does scared = obsessed?  Bear with me.

As I’ve recounted tales from my international trips to family and some older friends, I’ve usually been met with the same response, “Wow! I wish I had traveled when I was still young and healthy” or “I’m jealous! I always wanted to travel, but I got too caught up in my career and never found time…” Some are moderately regretful that they didn’t travel, others seem to be truly torn by their decisions. No matter what the level of regret they feel, I’m terrified that will be me someday.

I’m afraid of growing old and never crossing things off my bucket list. I’m afraid that any moment, a terrible accident will happen, and I’ll pass away without having fulfilled my dreams. I’m afraid of running out of time.

——–

Life is too damn short.

——–

Exactly one year ago, I lost one of the most important people in my life to brain cancer. He was more than a friend, someone I loved and who inspired me every moment we spent together. Even before he found out he was dying, Zach made the most of every minute, always chasing an adventure or story (we met in journalism class) and always seeing the best in every situation. One of the mantras he lived and swore by was,”Make each day your masterpiece,” and he did just that up to his last breath. He would have been 22 this May.

Since his death, I have vowed to honor him by in turn making each day my masterpiece. Any day can be a masterpiece if one is open, optimistic and sees beauty in everyday things, especially those things that disguise themselves as ugly. But the true way to make each day you masterpiece is to spend it doing what you love.

What I love most is traveling.

——–

Part of me is writing this post for my parents, to justify why I want to go abroad for a while after graduation. Like any wise, realistic parents should, they hope I get a job out the gate so I can begin earning a decent living and pay off student loans. Honestly, that is the smart and noble thing to do, and I know my parents want only what is best for me.

The other part is writing for myself, to know that if I decide to do a working holiday or teach English abroad for a year (I’ll definitely still have to work while I travel), I shouldn’t feel guilty for following my dreams. The ideal situation would be to find a job in the career field I want — public relations/marketing/research/data — that allows me to travel. Trust me, I’m searching for that job, but I can’t guarantee I will find it. Thus, in the meantime, I want to work toward fulfilling what dreams I can so my bucket list doesn’t become The List of Things I Wish I Did. I refuse pass away carrying inside me a depository of regrets.

I want to see the world before I run out of time. I want to take advantage of the fact that I am young, healthy, able, mobile, educated and, most importantly, alive.

That is the real reason I travel.