Meet Austina. She didn’t embark on some solo or lengthy journey abroad. Instead, her voyage was more introspective. She began meditating, practicing yoga, tuning into diverse podcasts, traveling to mountains, islands, and other countries. Through these experiences, she discerned her needs and desires in life. Arguably, this introspective journey might be the most challenging expedition one can undertake.
Tell us your story.
From a first glance, I may seem like an ordinary person, but you wouldn’t believe how much my life has transformed since last year. I’ve always had an itch for experiences and adventures. Yet, I was raised with the expectation of following a conventional path: study, secure a steady job, start a family, and settle down. However, during a coffee chat with a friend discussing travels, she remarked, “You have such a knack for this. You could plan trips for others!” This suggestion lit a spark in me. I realized my obsession with the world and wanted to enable others to experience its wonders.
What was your life looked like before? Why did you decide to change it?
Juggling studies and a full-time job was my reality, a challenging balance, but I managed. After graduation, I remained with the same company for another 2.5 years. Over time, I felt stifled by the lack of opportunity for change and initiative. So, one day, I took a leap of faith, departing from my secure job to author my own narrative, build my enterprise, and naturally, to travel.
What were the biggest lessons you learned on the trip? What did you understand about yourself?
Following my departure from the corporate world, my journey became introspective. Through meditation, yoga, podcasts, and travel, I delved deep into my psyche. Unearthing my genuine needs and desires wasn’t an overseas expedition; it was an inward one, arguably the most daunting kind. Discovering and understanding oneself is no small feat. For me, a trip to the island of Crete in Greece proved pivotal.
Do you feel your life has turned out different than you previously thought? Maybe you found yourself different from when you always thought?
A resounding YES! Previously, I pictured a life rooted in stability – a job, a family, a mortgage-bound home. But now, I thirst for more. I aspire to live fully, not merely exist. A significant shift I’ve noticed is my newfound self-awareness. Earlier, my thoughts revolved around others. Now, while I remain empathetic, I prioritize my own needs and feelings.
If you could go back to the beginning, what would you do differently?
I’d counsel my younger self: Don’t be afraid to explore – the world, opportunities, jobs, skills, everything. Don’t let societal expectations box you in; there’s a world beyond those constraints.
If someone is secreatly dreaming about the lifestyle you are living now, what would you tell them?
Understand that this lifestyle isn’t just roses and rainbows. It demands hard work, often surpassing the grind of a 9-to-5. But the rewards – personal freedom and autonomy – are unparalleled. Initially, you might sacrifice comforts or financial security, but with perseverance, your dreams are attainable.
What are your next steps? Is there any adventure you are planning?
My future brims with plans and aspirations, with travel invariably at the core. Perhaps I’ll settle in a new locale temporarily? Or maybe explore off-the-beaten-path destinations? Time will unveil where my journey leads.