As I was wrapping up my loose ends and preparing myself to go on an extended trip to Central America, I stumbled across this article in YogiTimes which made me think about my own experiences of walking away from it all, swapping what you know for the anticipation of the unknown.
When I told people I was going to live in El Salvador for 5 months, spending the time doing yoga, learning to surf and working on my massage therapist skills, many people commented, “you’re so lucky”, “you’re so brave”. Maybe I am those things, but I also believe we all have choices to exercise. We all have the opportunity to understand what makes us happy and move towards it.
I made the choice to leave stability & comfort behind; to quit my job, to sofa surf (thank you lovely friends!) for 4 months in order to swap society’s idea of normal, in order to move towards my idea of a healthier normal and create a new reality for myself.
Each of us has a different dream, a different passion to indulge, different healthy habits to develop. It all comes down to priorities and most people prioritise stability, security & comfort, preferring their creature comforts; their 4 walls, their cars, the security of a monthly salary, the safety of ‘planning’ for the future (disclaimer: you can never plan for the future, it’s not under your control!) or are trapped by the responsibilities they’ve generated. Ask most people who earn a good salary and most will agree they’re stuck in a certain standard of living and aren’t sure how to live without less (but you can if you want it bad enough!). Our expectations are always rising in our search for happiness.
In the summer of 2007, I realised that whilst my life was great and everything I’d ever imagined when I was younger, I wasn’t happy. I quit my job, packed up my flat and travelled to India to volunteer with a women’s empowerment charity in Tamil Nadia. I had no idea what would happen next and could never have foretold what unfolded after taking that initial first step. If this was a choose your own adventure book you could flip or click to page 1234 to find out what happened next, but you’ll have to comment instead and let me know if you want to find out what happened next.
I feel that like cats we live many lives within a life, I could be on my fifth life now or maybe some of them are revisits of a previous. This will be the fourth time I’ve packed my life up and walked away from a life that was pretty darn good. I’m not a drifter, a loser or failing at what went before. I might be a gypsy, a freespirit, a nomad, or maybe I’ve just done it once already and with that realised there is nothing to fear, no boundaries to trying something new.
Never give up on your hopes and dreams, for they’re what differentiate ourselves from the maelstrom of other people, they’re what define your journey & the paths you take. They give you stories to share, advice to give, courage and a spring in your step.
My tip for you, try it once, pack up your life, walk away from everything you know and try something new. Hopefully you will thrive and if you don’t, you will still have no fear and realise there is no damage to your ego, because you gave it a shot. Nothing ever changes with the norm, it’s always there for you if you need it and when you’re ready to go back.
With everything going on in the world right now there are many people trying to rule you by fear, don’t let your mind be one of them.