I’ve been told that I try to do everything now, that I need to slow down, and to hold off things until I’m older. But what I’ve always thought was…
‘What if I don’t get any older?
People try to save money all their life, intending to use it when they’re retired, then they find they’re not as nimble as they once were and can’t visit places they’ve been waiting to go to all their life.
Then there are the ‘off-putters’. The ones who say that now isn’t quite the right time for them. They may be waiting on a raise at work, or trying to raise a family. Either way they feel that whilst they’re doing one of those things, they can’t do much else. These people will never find the right time.
I was one of those people, and it was while I was walking around The Forum in Rome that I realised my mother was already at a point in her life where some traverses may be too difficult for her. As I scaled hills and hopped over relics in the sweltering heat, I could imagine my mother asking for a coffee break whilst trying to find a nice shady tree. She’s been retired for nine years, and in that time has taken every opportunity to travel. Most destinations aren’t too laborious, but she now has her sights set on Machu Picchu, a tricky place to:
a) Get to
b) Breathe at
I’m a firm believer that you can do anything if you set your mind to it. I’m also a firm believer of thinking outside of the box, and when people tell me you can’t just go off travelling the world after spending so many years forging a career path, I say yes you can! It’s difficult, and it certainly takes guts, but if it builds you more as a person, then it’s worthwhile.
As I sat in my box room at work, stressing over the creativity of my latest project, I had the same thought that had been recurring for years – Why have I settled for the daily grind? Everyone has their reasons for living the way they do, and I’d suddenly realised that I didn’t need to be existing in the manner that I had been for the last 3 years.
Like many, I’d chosen a career which was best spent in the big city; London. I’d gone through many different roles to get the job title I’d always wanted, and now I was in it I had no aspirations of where to go next. So I realised. I don’t need to tie myself down like this. I don’t need to pay extortionate rental to get on an unhealthy, packed underground to be stuck indoors in an air conditioned office until the hours of 7 or 8pm to take that same underground train back to a sofa where I was too tired to work on any of my other passions or hobbies. My creativity was gone. I was spending all my energy and caffeine drinks on constantly coming up with new ways of thinking or creating the next, best promo, and yet I still wasn’t satisfied at the end of it.
By the end of 2014, my boyfriend and I had been renting a flat for the past two years and were fairly sick of our well earned money going into someone else’s pockets. We discussed our savings and decided that 2015 would be the year to get onto the property ladder. I started looking into mortgage options, and we soon discovered that no matter what savings we could pull together, we still wouldn’t be offered enough money to afford a place in the area we’d need to be based in.
By the end of January this year I was utterly through with the way things were and the way I was allowing things to carry on. My travel plans had always been discussed with my partner and I, and it was decided that I could work abroad as he was usually away himself with work. This June I turn 30, and so begins the countdown until I’m ineligible at gaining a working visa in many countries. The clock was ticking, and I made my decision over a few weeks of research. Yes I had a few friends across Canada, but I have more in Australia and New Zealand. Not only that, but Canada is notoriously difficult to get accepted into and hold only a few application processes a year. Australia was able to process and accept my visa within weeks.
By entering Australia just after my 30th birthday, I am able to apply and enter New Zealand (if I so wish) before my 32nd birthday. This gives me 1-2 years in Oz followed by 1-2 years in NZ, depending on how it all goes. With my basic plan set, the decision was made.
As much as I love England, there’s also a lot not to love about it in its current situation. I’ve always wanted a life of adventure, and hopefully this will be the beginning of many.