Last year, at 29, I got a serious case of “Saturn’s return”. I’d been in my long term career since college ended. I’d worked hard. I’d recently used most of my life savings to buy a house in the suburbs with my then fiance. My life seemed perfect.

I’d always listened to the advice of everyone around me, did what was expected, been my usual, super conscientious, “have to stick to a track” self… We’d decided to be surprisingly conventional, mature – settle down in a three bed semi D in a town with good schools, be near to our parents, have a garden for the future children.

Soon, I was getting antsy, wishing my life away to a time when my non existent family were grown up and I was retired and spent my days at leisure, pursuing hobbies and traveling. My newly acquired property and mortgage didn’t make me feel secure and grounded, I felt tethered and trapped. Formal bills addressed to me made me want to take off and not return. I didn’t care about weddings or wallpapers or sun holidays or communions.

Deflated and dejected, I started to accept that I’d made a huge mistake. The guilt at my “first world problems” and ingratitude made me push my thoughts to the back of my head, stop being so self absorbed and entitled, stop being selfish. Change is too scary, you’ll let everyone down, you’ll be humiliated, you’re comfortable here. My gut however, was relentless, screaming at me. I needed to make a U turn. I needed out.

I’d been told “never dilute yourself” by a friend, and that was some of the best advice I ever got. I had to start living. I didn’t need to travel to find myself, but I wanted to travel to be myself.

So, everything went. Six months ago, I ended up back in my parents house, in a bunk bed, starting from scratch. But my head was full of dreams and possibilities – I was determined to see the world, to make a change, to experience *everything*. I applied for and was granted a year’s career break. Sink or swim, be a whole and not a half for the first time in 10 years. Live.

This blog is a place for me to channel my feelings and progress, share my “voluntour” experiences and update you on my travels as I go from feeling as though I’d taken the world on my shoulders, to feeling empowered and taking on the world and what it has to offer!

Thanks for reading!

Cat

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