As I discuss my birthday travel plans with Amy, I'm left wondering first and foremost, can I afford all of this? And the harsh reality is... probably not. This is then followed by a quick smack by my own hand to my face as I say to myself, "Who cares, you will find a way to make it work. You always do!" My original plan was to have a whole lot of money to come home to next year and to build a life somewhere new, with all new things, people, and experiences. And let's be honest, a truly fresh start doesn't come cheap. I guess the new plan of having no plan at all is my only saving grace here in that I promised myself I wouldn't live too far into future anymore. So onto travel planning, which is the one and only exception to the 'no plan' rule. So far it is sounding pretty pricey, but also like quite possibly the best few weeks of my life. Can't wait!!!
Note: by a whole lot of money, I mean whatever was left over after paying down $40,000 in car and student loan debt not too long ago. Not super close to millions ;). Thank goodness I'll be working during this whole process or I'd be really really screwed.
And again, I'm reminded of that horrible article I read after college on how to pay down your debt quickly, as I obviously wanted to avoid committing myself to drowning in debt for the next 10 plus years. The level of truth to this article was undeniable, but also unacceptable in my opinion. The first two things to avoid after graduation? Buying a car and a trip to Europe. What had I just done? Bought a new car (not by choice) and booked my 5 week adventure with friends to Europe. I was devastated. I'd made a horrible mistake. Why couldn't I just be a normal person with normal person dreams? I'll be in debt forever at this rate. BUT look at me now. Only two years later with my debt free goal complete and an undeniably incredible experience under my belt. I see this situation as having a similar outcome... Broke as hell in a year, with experiences that hardly compare to any other I've ever experienced. WORTH IT.
I've talked minimally about this in other blog entries and never really expressed how truly life changing this whole experience has been without even having left the house yet. I have officially given away nearly everything I own and realized how truly liberating it can be to not be consumed by all of your meaningless things. It's a sad reality for most of us Americans and one I really don't wish to be a part of for awhile. Sifting through the pile of clothes and shoes I have is enough to make me want to shake myself to death. I have more than enough to clothe an entire (girly) army, and I feel extremely sad, unappreciative and spoiled (even if I bought everything I own myself). Do I (or does anybody) really need 30 plus pairs of shoes and countless outfits that I could never even dream of wearing in a one month time span? Absolutely not. I'm thinking about all of the kids and families in this world who have close to nothing, while I'm complaining because I can't find my stupid black sweater. And I'm truly disgusted with myself and what a horribly materialistic girl I've apparently become. Of course it's not a bad thing to buy what you want with money you've worked hard for, but I've always prided myself on not putting any sort of value on meaningless materialistic things, and I hope to get back to being that kind of girl someday. That was someone I could say I was proud to be. The kind of girl who dreams of living disconnected from the consumer-driven crazies I so often despise. The kind of girl who is considered so easy going that people often wonder if she really even is a girl. The kind of girl who dreams of living in a small hut in nature to an extravagant, overpriced mansion in the suburbs. It looks like a suitcase of necessities, an undeniable desire to travel, and the chance to escape from American reality is just what the doctor ordered.
In the end, it's all about what you value. I urge you to take a serious look at all of your crap and consider how much of what you own, you really need. Life is all about what you make of it. Be sure to at least entertain the idea that experiences, fun, and travel might be way more beneficial to your life than having all sorts of unnecessary junk. In my experience, no possession makes me feel the way I do when I walk off the plane into the unknown. I've discovered that all I really need is about a suitcase worth of stuff and truthfully, that's about all I have left. In fact, I'm so in the spirit of getting rid of belongings, that I'm even considering selling my car simply due to it's useless to me from thousands of miles away. Furthermore, I can use the extra money to travel more and more and more, and that is far more valuable to me than my safety net of having a car to come home to. And let's face it, I'm still holding out for my dream car (white, beat up, and doorless Jeep wrangler) anyway.
I promise I'll slow down on the blogging soon. Probably when I'm employed and not living in Beaver Dam. Life's a little slower on this side of the track :). However, I'm enjoying every second at home with the two people I love more than anyone else on this earth (3 if you include the dog, when he's not a pain in the ass). Can't wait for two more weeks of home cooked meals, concerts and laying in the sun!
As always, peace and love friends!