We are going to be very honest in this post. Life is not always sunshine and rainbows, as social media wants us to believe. Yes, we have content that tells that story as well, but that’s not gonna be the case here. This is my story and the story about how we came to the decision to sell all our stuff and travel full time. Sam had some similar problems with not being happy at work, knowing what to do with his life etc. but decided to not share that here.
The last few years have been rough for me, and the last year I haven’t really felt happy. I lost my purpose in life and wasn’t sure what to to do with my life. This was really hard for me, as I’ve had a goal in life since I was about 10 years old. All my life I’ve been working towards this, and now I was lost.
Last year we travelled back and forth to Stockholm to help take care of my sick dad. I was working long hours at a job I didn’t like, doing something I wasn’t passionate about. I was trying to fit into a life that I thought I should have, but knew I didn’t want. I tried to be that good girl, doing everything I was supposed to do.
During the fall last year I just got worse and worse. But I didn’t see it myself. I thought it was normal to cry everyday in the bathroom at work. I thought it was normal to never have energy to do anything else than work. I told myself it was just the weather, or I was just a bit overworked. The anxiety came, stronger and more often. I went to the doctors about headaches, and broke down completely when she asked me how I was feeling. There and then I realized I wan’t doing very well. I got an appointment with a psychologist and went on sick leave from work on my doctors order, diagnosed with depression.
My sick leave lasted until the end of my contract, in April. I was starting to feel a little bit better, the worst of my anxiety disappeared and I started to have energy do a few things. Sam and I went to Indonesia for 2 weeks, got engaged, and I started to heal.
During our trip to Indonesia my dad died. I had to go to Sweden, first thing after we came back to deal with funeral stuff and everything else you need to deal with when someone dies, which is A LOT! I took a turn to the worse again. It felt like I broke on the inside. My dad is dead, the man who I always turned to when I wanted to discuss something or whenever I had a problem. He was just gone. I felt empty. Tired. Lost.
We started looking for a house in the Netherlands, and I was about to start looking for a job. But we both felt like we were working towards something we didn’t want, a life we didn’t want to live.
In all of this, I got scared. Is this the point of life? Am I just on this earth to work and earn money for unnecessary things? I was on my way down a black hole at this point, and it scared me. I knew I had to make a big change.
What about if we just sell all our stuff, end the contract on our apartment and just leave?
As none of us were happy in the life we were living, we started talking. What can we do to change this? Neither of us are from the Netherlands and there’s not really anything keeping us here. None of us want to go back to our home countries. None of us were sure what we want to do with our lives, where we want it to take us, where we want to live, do…
What about bringing the absolute minimum and go out in the world for an indefinite time? Travel full time?
There was something in us both that lit up talking about it. All of a sudden I felt an urge to do something, I felt excitement for the first time in a long time. But also fear. Can I really do that? What about all the shoulds? job, apartment, all those grown up things you should do? What about security? Having a place to call home? Can I just leave? Can I travel full time?
Of course I can. But I am scared as hell and not sure if I could actually do it. Am I a person who can do it? Am I just trying to escape? or would it actually help me to finally heal?
All these questions. All these fears. I am so scared of letting myself go into something unknown, where I don’t feel like I have control.
But maybe that’s just what I need? What we both need. Not being in control, not having things planned, just be for a while. A chance to breath, trying to figure out what is important in life, what I want to put my time and energy on, who I am.
All these questions. No answers.
If you don’t know where you’re going you can’t be lost, right?
I talked to my dad about this last summer. He told me to go travel the world after he died, he knew I wouldn’t do it before. He also knew it was something I’ve always wanted to do and he too loved to travel. Even with cancer storming in his body he went on a bike cycle trip on Cuba, visiting Vietnam and came to visit me in Indonesia. I know I would regret not taking this chance. And you know what? If I hate it I could just stop at any point.
After talking about it more, thinking about it – we decided that we are the only ones who can take control over our own happiness. There’s no short cuts. And if we are not happy with the life we live, why stay in it if we don’t have to? What is there to loose? So we made a decision to just sell our stuff and travel full time. See where the world takes us.
I really do believe anyone can do this if they just put their mind to it. We were lucky, economically, but we would have made it happen anyway. You just need to set your mind to it and be economical.
I hope this will be a way for me to find myself again. To figure out what’s important in life. To get away from the western way of living with all stress that it includes, get offline more, being in my feelings. A way to heal from loosing my dad, my guide in life. Healing my mind.
I want to believe that you do not need to go through something awful to get to this point. The point where you decide to change your life drastically. And I know there are cases, where people just do it cause they want to. But I believe there are even more cases, where people change their lives because of something big happening in their life. It might be the wake up call you need. For me it was just that, the wake up call I needed to understand that this is not the life I want to live. And I had the guts to make the needed change. This change can look different for everyone, but for us, it was to travel full time and see as much as possible of our beautiful world!
Why travel full time?
We have both always loved to travel. See new places, experience different cultures, new food. So for us there wasn’t any other plan for change than this. We have both travelled quite a bit before. And it was just the natural choice for us. We have both always wanted to travel the world, experience every bit of our planet so it came as a natural thing for us to do when I needed to make a drastic change in our lives.
“Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end” — Pico Iyer.
Follow our journey and see where we are now.