Posted by: Jena Davison | October 5, 2009

“It’s All Happening”–Almost Famous

Tomorrow I am bidding farewell to everything familiar and comfortable at home to saunter my way through South America. I can’t believe the day has actually come. It seems surreal that this is all happening; I truly feel like I’ve been living in a dream and will be shaken out of it at any given moment.

When I contacted the editor of V!VA Travel Guides back in May, I was hardly expecting a response, let alone an opportunity to intern there. When I heard the news at the end of July, shortly following a telephone interview, I literally jumped around my house in excitement. I frantically called up my parents and close friends, all who had been intently listening to every detail of my correspondence with the editor and helping me in my decision-making process. I had been toying with the idea of teaching English in Thailand for some time as well and when I was offered a teaching position there, I had a mini life-decision freakout. I needed to give the Teach in Thailand program a definite answer before I would even have the opportunity to interview with V!VA and this uncertainty left me wondering if it would be worth the risk to turn down the teaching position in hopes of being offered a position at the travel guide.

If one thing was for sure, I knew I wanted to live abroad this upcoming year. I remember at one point my mom inquired, “have you even considered applying to any jobs in like America?”  The answer at the time was no. I believe this is the perfect time in our lives to do something completely crazy, spontaneous, and maybe even selfish. With no mortgages to pay and no jobs or children to attend to, we can experience life with a youthful innocence and unrestrained freedom that can only lead us to realize our deepest passions and greatest potential. Thus, we see and experience the world through a completely different lens. Yes, I may get the opportunity to visit Argentina someday, but right now I have a unique perspective, one that will most likely change by the time I’m forty.  Plus, my itch for travel would only make me resent any job I would have in the U.S., and I did not want to put myself in such a situation.

So with some guidance, I ultimately decided to follow my heart and career aspirations and turn down the job in Thailand to pursue the internship at V!VA. It is truly the perfect opportunity, allowing me to live abroad for an extended period of time, get experience in travel writing, improve my Spanish, and travel Latin America. As someone who is passionate about traveling, I always battle the tension between wanting to return to my favorite destinations and wanting to funnel my funds and energy into exploring a completely new region of the world. I am so excited to be able to partake in the latter.

Whenever I mention my upcoming plans to acquaintances, I am usually met with “are you scared?,” “you are so brave,” or “you’re going all alone?” The answers are: no, fear is only paralyzing; not really, anyone can do it; and yes, why not?! Of course I would love to have a travel companion, but I am not one to turn down doing something for the sole reason of being alone. I think it will ultimately force me to meet more and connect with more people along the way. I also get to completely dictate where I want to go and what I want to do in each place, which is pretty awesome if you ask me. When I backpacked through Europe last summer, I encountered many people traveling solo and they had only positive things to say about their experiences.

I would say the biggest moral of this story is IT IS OK TO TAKE RISKS. Don’t be afraid of failure or of going ahead with plans that do not have all the kinks ironed out to perfection. Plans get ruined, but if there are no plans, there is nothing to ruin. Everything will fall into place eventually if patience and flexibility persist. (Some call me an idealist hmmm…)

Advertisements

Responses

  1. I’M FULL OF MIXED EMOTIONS TODAY AS I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU AND ALL OF THE PLANS YOU HAVE, BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, AS A MOTHER I AM FILLED WITH WORRY AND APPREHENSION. I AM SO PROUD OF THE PERSON THAT YOU HAVE BECOME. YOU HAVE A GOOD HEAD ON YOUR SHOULDERS AND I KNOW THAT YOU’LL NEED TO USE IT ALONG THE WAY. I WILL BE ANXIOUSLY WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU AND YES I WILL ANSWER MY CELL PHONE. I’LL ALWAYS HAVE IT BY MY SIDE. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND WILL MISS YOU SO MUCH


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: