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Travel: Why I left everything I know for a year of self-discovery.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry david thoreau

In February of 2017 I made one of the biggest decisions of my life, which was to apply for time off work. I am a teacher by trade and after having taught 2 years by 2017 I began to question my vocation and my life’s purpose. I wasn’t sure if this profession was for me. 

Everything that I worked so hard for in University for 5 years seemed to have no value to me and no purpose in my life. It’s truly astonishing that when you have a goal and are laser focused to complete it (getting my university degrees) without checking-in with yourself how quickly you can reach that goal… but also lose sight of your happiness and overall health and well-being.

I realized this as I began to question the profession I got into. My daily routine made me feel drained and that I was constantly letting people down; my students, parents, and colleagues when I just couldn’t inspire a student or help them learn or when I couldn’t fulfill requests. Feeling this on a day to day basis made me realize that I needed to get out of this routine, I needed to stop living for when the school bell rang, I needed to stop living for the weekends… I needed to just start LIVING. Period.

When I handed in my letter to apply to take a 2/3 (2 over 3: two years pay spread over 3 years, so the third year I have off with my position saved for me when I get back), I wrote that I wanted to take the year to go back to school and do my Masters of Education. After reflecting and checking-in with myself I shortly realized that taking a year to study would be a waste of my time and energy.

When I began to question myself and my purpose I went back to the times I felt most content, most alive, but also most uncomfortable. I realized that the time I felt most like myself was when I completed a six month exchange in Belgium for my undergrad. I was so happy living abroad but also sad at times and homesick living alone. I was scared when I had to figure out how to use transportation on my own, how to navigate through a new campus, how to find my dorm, finding a grocery store… the list goes on. But this is when I felt most alive because I was living – I was experiencing new things and learning from myself. I was learning how to be more self-aware, resilient, and assertive.

I wanted to feel and experience this all over again so I decided I would take the year to travel. I then asked myself, “Where’s the farthest place I can go?” and with that Australia came to mind. Later I realized that South East Asia was in the same direction so my foodie dreams of Thai markets and the landscapes of Vietnam made their way to the forefront of my thoughts.

So here we are today, writing this page under some shelter at an outdoor laundromat waiting for the torrential downpour to subside just down the street from my hostel in Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand.

Slightly concerned about the electrical work mixed with this torrential downpour… but the locals don’t seem concerned sooooo yeah.

My view right now.

I am so looking forward to sharing my travel adventures with you, which will include the cities and attractions that I enjoyed most and also the ones that I didn’t… oh and of course ALL THE FOOD!

As always, I look forward to feedback so please feel free to connect with me. What did you want more or less of? What do you want to know specifically about my travels? Check out my Instagram Stories to follow me on my adventures.

Your Vagabond,

Rachele

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1 thought on “Travel: Why I left everything I know for a year of self-discovery.”

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