I wrote this post four years ago for a different blog and what seems like a different life. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that decision changed everything for me. I decided to do what I wanted to do, on my own terms. Best decision ever!
September 2013 //
It all started one bright morning in September, no scratch that, it all started on unusually cold evening in July. That was the night I decided to quit my job, pack up my things, and leave Idaho. Now don’t get me wrong I love Idaho, but sometimes you just need to get away. My mom passed away last year and it has changed my outlook on a lot of things. She was barely into her forties when she passed away and that got me to thinking, what if I only have twenty years left? That means that I will have lived half my life already. Am I okay with having lived half my life? Have I done the things that I want to accomplish in my life? On the track that I am on, will I have accomplished those things by the time I am forty?
The answer is no. I wasn’t on the track I needed to be on to accomplish the things I want to accomplish by the end of my life, even if the end of my life is when I am eighty. I realized I have to stop waiting for things to happen, for things to get better. I have to make them happen.
That unusually cold night in July changed things for me and now I am sitting in a 150 year old cottage in Clara, Ireland writing this post. It was very nerve wracking to decided that I was going to quit my job and leave my stable place of living. At first I wanted to go to Uruguay and live there because it was very cheap there and there is no visa requirement. I’ve also heard that it isn’t terribly hard to become a resident there. For about a month I was convinced that was what I wanted to do until I realized that I’ve never traveled outside of the country and what if South America wasn’t for me? I also had been slacking on learning Spanish and with only a month to go I really couldn’t learn enough of it to get by in that short amount of time. That’s when I started looking up different countries to go to and I thought mostly about Europe or Canada. I also had found a sight, Workaway.com, that seemed like a really awesome way to see a country and do it in a fairly cheap manner. I looked up a lot of hosts and decided that while Canada seemed to have a lot more opportunities, that I really wanted to see Ireland more than anything, so I bought my ticket.
I ended up quitting my job, unfortunately in a manner that I wouldn’t normally. I only gave three days notice and that was roughly a month before I was leaving. I got so fed up with the day to day nonsense and all my anxiety/anger that had been building up working in a job that I felt so under-appreciated at got the best of me. I had a pretty rough day within the first hour and so at the end of my shift I wrote a very polite letter stating that it would be the last day I would be coming in. I felt very bad doing that as I had previously been very close with my manager, she in fact had helped get me the job two and a half years earlier. I don’t know that she will speak to me ever again, but sometimes you just have to do it! I can’t tell you how relieving it was to walk out of the job I felt like I was dead-ending in and know that I would never be back. Then about three days later when it started to feel real I started to panic.
That was something I didn’t expect. In all of my planning for these life changing events I hadn’t realized how scary it would be! Here I was twenty-two years old with some college experience and I just quite my job without two weeks notice and had given my one months notice at my house. I wasn’t going to have a place to live in a month, no job, and I would be on a plane to another country. There was quite a bit of panic for that month, but I got through it. Mostly by doing a lot of planning and research. It kept me busy and that’s what I needed to keep the panic at bay. The last weekend in my house was pretty hectic. I had done all of this planning but not much actual doing, so I got to work. I went through every box and thing that I owned and made piles. The largest pile for things that were being thrown away, the medium pile of things that were to be stored, and the very very small pile of things that were going with me. Everyday I went through the pile of things that were going with me and tried to cut it in half. Apparently I did a good job because my first two days in Ireland most people I talked to commented on how lightly I packed.
On my last day in Boise I made all of the phone calls I needed to make. I made sure my bank account had the appropriate settings on it, checked that my dad was still taking me to the airport, and various other phone calls and emails. Once I realized that I was all packed and had taken care of everything that needed to be done before I left I realized that it was noon and all I had left to do was wait. I kept busy with some movies, hanging out with my roommates, and eventually sleep. Unfortunately I didn’t sleep for long, but I naively thought that I would sleep on the plane. I waited for a few hours for my dad to come get me and the last of my things. I mainly sat outside and chain-smoked. While I was waiting the zipper on my dufflebag broke and that caused even more stress. I hurriedly got my pocketknife out of a compartment in my duffle and rigged it back together. Then I got the text I had been waiting for, my dad was almost there! I rushed to make sure everything was where it should be and waited like a little kid waiting for the bus on there first day of school.
He showed up right on time and got me to the airport. I was so excited I don’t even remember what we talked about! I assume that it was the usual be safe, make sure you tell me you got there safe, kind of thing. He dropped me off at the Boise Airport and I went in to check my bags. Now the website (iflyboise.com) suggested that I be there ninty minutes to two hours early for international flights. My flight was leaving at 11:30 so I got there at nine am just in case. That was definitely not a great idea on my part. I checked my bag and went right to security. I had read and re-read the rules of flying so often that I was overly prepared and not to mention there was practically no line. I made it through checking my bag, getting my boarding pass, and security in just about five minutes. Five minutes! Then came the waiting, which turns out I would be doing a lot of over the next twenty-four hours.