“Travel far enough you meet yourself” -David Mitchell
I lie in bed at night, eyes closed, visualizing all the places we have traveled to in the past couple of years. This is the time I am most happy, when my heart is full. I imagine lying on a beach in Jeffrey’s Bay South Africa, the sun hitting my skin, the sounds of the waves crashing up onto the shoreline. I think about the beauty and powerful force of Iguazu Falls in Brazil. I imagine the time we went sailing in San Blas, Panama, meeting the indigenous Kuna people, diving through a shipwreck in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, and doing nighttime island yoga on a remote island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. I imagine walking in the intense heat on the beaches of Goa, India amongst the cows. I imagine riding on the back of a motorcycle through the busy streets of Bangkok with the breeze in my face and sounds of the buzzing city in the background. I think of the salty water splashing my toes in the bottom of the boat while taking a long tail boat water taxi to and from the various Phi-Phi islands in Thailand. I think of walking the narrow, cobblestone streets of Hvar and sailing for a week to and from the different Croatian ports to visit the different cities and to experience the food and culture and meet new people. I imagine the time we took four wheelers and explored Mykonos, just driving through the island aimlessly, with no plan in place, taking in all of the island’s beauty and stopping only when it became too dark to drive. I think about the time I had Turkish coffee in Istanbul.
I believe that there is a path in life that we are taught or encouraged to follow, a path that we either learn early on from our family or people that we surround ourselves with. I also believe that there is a path that is true to our soul, a path that is right for us individually.
I have always been an independent person and a dreamer. Some of my earliest childhood memories involve me dreaming up how I could live on my own, become a successful doctor and have a fancy home and car. I successfully completed 4 years of undergrad, 5 years of graduate school, a doctorate degree (PharmD to be exact), and had several rewarding, amazing jobs along the way. I have an amazing family, great friends, a great job, and a place to call home. I just honestly felt like something was missing. What I also knew is that every time my husband and I traveled, the months leading up to our departure, the time during our travel, and for several weeks after our travel, I felt alive, excited, inspired, and peaceful.
Several years ago, my husband and I started to talk about the possibility of leaving everything behind, everything that felt familiar to us (our family, our friends, our dog (RIP Levi), our home, our jobs, etc.) and traveling the world. At the time, our discussions consisted of a wish list of where we would go to making lists of things we would have to do to get things in order before we could leave the US. After talking about the subject repeatedly for several years, we decided to take a leap of faith and we purchased a one way ticket to South America (Santiago, Chile) and our planning began there. We knew in our souls we had the urge to travel, to explore, to meet new people, and to discover a new part of ourselves.
I am both excited and terrified (in a good way). I truly believe that everyone has the innate ability to choose the life they want to live. In the past month, I have learned that the people who truly care about you will be there to support you in life wherever your path may take you. Our friends and family have been nothing but supportive and elated for our upcoming journey. This is my path, a path that is true to my soul, one that is right for me now and I cannot wait to see the world with my best friend.