Solo travelers have so much in common. They all want to be free, leave all their fears behind and start an exciting chapter of their life. I met so many of them and they all have the same goals, but different stories, like from where they came from, what they had to leave behind and what they had to overcome. You can read my story about how I started freelancing and solo traveling in my blogpost “Why a freelance job is so important?”, but today my friend Rachel Wasser is sharing her story of how she packed her things and flew to Bali with a one-way ticket.
When your soul calls… pick up the phone
By Rachel Wasser
The gnawing feeling started slowly.
It was almost undetectable. Just a tiny little whisper that was easy to brush off. A fleeting thought that didn’t deserve any attention. Looking back now, I can see why my conscious mind didn’t want to pay any attention to it. I was truly happy, I was settled, I was having success at work, I was living in a perfect location, and I was surrounded by amazing people. I was doing something I really loved, and I was fulfilled.
And yet…. this nagging feeling inside was growing, and after a year I couldn’t ignore it anymore.
I had been happily working as a dance teacher for 10 years and it was the greatest joy of my life. But no matter how much I tried to ignore it, this voice inside was only getting louder.
Though I loved my life and the people in it, I needed a new challenge. I needed to expand, I needed an adventure.
I have always loved to travel, I’m fortunate enough to have had quite a few trips with friends over the years, and those are, without a doubt, my most cherished memories. Leaving behind everything I knew to travel and see the world was the scariest thought I had ever had, and yet it was exactly what I felt I was being pushed to do. Something inside—some force bigger than me— was telling me loud and clear, “This is your time. This is what you want, and you know it.”
So— what’s a girl to do?
Let me rephrase:
What’s a 36-year-old, single girl to do?? Was I totally insane to do this??
Once I finally accepted this huge desire, these were the thoughts that came:
- I’m too old to just take off and go see the world– this is crazy! Quitting your job to travel is something pretty, “hip,” twenty-somethings do.
- How will I survive?! My most prominent skill right now is teaching dance and it’s not exactly a portable position.
- What will my friends and family think??
- Shouldn’t I be buying a house, or trying to find a husband before it’s too late?
I’ll admit— it was really hard coming to terms with the fact that I wanted to travel and leave behind the relationships and jobs I had put so much of myself into. It was incredibly hard to explain to the people I loved, that while they were important to me and I would miss them, I wanted something more for myself. I felt like my desire to experience something new somehow implied that I wasn’t happy where I was, and I had a lot of guilt about it. But nonetheless… I was excited. The spark inside grew and grew and I could feel the next chapter naturally unfolding. I felt like I was actually being pulled and led by the Universe.
I decided that I would finish out the year, but when the summer came to an end and school resumed, I would not return. I had no idea what I was going to do or how it would all work out. I was definitely scared, but I also knew that it was exactly what I was meant to be doing.
I worked on my mindset and I put a lot of energy into strengthening my faith in the unknown. I practiced surrendering like it was my job, and like magic, a work exchange opportunity presented itself halfway across the world.
Packing up my apartment and leaving home was the most uncomfortable experience I’ve ever lived through. No matter how excited I was, the transition was so emotionally demanding, and there was nothing I could do to bypass it. I experienced waves of debilitating fear, and I cried more than I ever thought possible. But I just knew if I could get over the initial leap, it would pay off and the path would be revealed to me. I knew that if I could feel the fear and do it anyway, that it would be the best decision I ever made.
Now, here I am, a little over 2 months into this journey, and I have already experienced fortuitous synchronicities and seemingly perfect connections. I know this is only the beginning of what will be the adventure of a lifetime.
And the best part?
I don’t feel too old, I don’t feel lacking in skills, I don’t feel like I’m missing the support from my friends and family.
I feel just right.