Sunday, November 17, 2013

25 and Unique

By nature, we are all inherently different from each and every single person on this earth. We all have different wants, needs and desires, and see our own futures playing out in many different ways. And it's become utterly apparent as a 25-year-old with a range of friends who never want to get married or have kids to others who dream of their own beautiful version of the American dream.

And then there's me. 

Somewhere in the middle stuck between picturing the American ideal and wanting forever to be the free-spirited, adventurer. A girl who knows the beauty of love and being in a relationship, yet knows the sheer joy that comes with regaining total freedom and independence.

And as I get older, the more I realize, I want traditional less and less and adventure more and more. And the thought of committing myself to one person, location and job for the rest of my foreseeable future scares the liver out of me.  As a girl who can barely commit to a daily shower, I'm still wondering how one commits to one life partner... forever. And as a girl who kills plants and flowers well before their timely death, I'm still amazed at how people can commit to keeping animals and babies alive and relatively unharmed. You people are WARRIORS, in my opinion.

But, maybe I was just destined to be different. I was born on New Years Day AND named 'Jerrica', after all. And if that wasn't enough, there were many other early indicators that conventionality just might not be my thing. For example:
  • When everyone else was watching "Cinderella" and dreaming of finding their prince, I was faithfully reading the not-so-fan-favorite, "Rumplestiltskin".
  • While most people were dreaming of husbands and white picket fences, I was dreaming of huts in Hawaii. 
  • While people were busy accumulating things, I was busy accumulating experiences.
  • While most people were dreaming of whatever top-of-the-line luxury vehicle, I was dreaming of a half beat up white jeep wrangler and a beach. 
  • While most people were dreaming of a 5 bedroom house with a pool and a housekeeper, I was dreaming of a motor home and never-ending cross country road trips. 
  • While most girls were spending half of their morning getting ready, I was showered and out the door in 15 minutes.
  • While most people were dreaming of a guy with money, I was dreaming of one with a good heart. 
  • While most girls were picking at their raspberry vinaigrette salads, I was eating pounds of chicken wings and guzzling beer. 
  • While most girls were dreaming of walking down the aisle in a fancy church wedding, I was dreaming of eloping in Vegas. 
  • And while most people were dreaming of having their own biological baby, I was dreaming of adopting from a third world country.

And the list far from ends there. Believe me.

While my fellow freshman classmates were deciding on majors and lifelong careers, I had my beloved Psychology major chosen since the 7th grade. And amongst the studying and 4 years of incessant liver damage, I was constantly dreaming of a life different from most other people my age.

I was dreaming of moving to Boston, of joining the Peace Corps, of becoming a flight attendant and of backpacking through Europe. Essentially, I was dreaming of anything that involved travel, adventure, and a life set free from what I believed to be mindlessly accepted societal expectations. Ones that I never necessarily wanted.

And so, after I completed my first rational goal of graduating college, I finally booked that trip to Europe. It was a pretty minor move looking back, but a major step in the constant mysterious adventure that has now somehow become my life.

Because this is when the real wanderlust started. 

Traveling enslaved me. It was my drug. All I ever thought about. All I ever wanted. And I haven't stopped wanting this kind of life ever since. And after spending 2 years of succumbing to a life I knew I didn't want, I finally found the courage to leave. And leaving brought me here. To this beautiful, amazing place. Where my life has become a cross between what feels like a permanent vacation and a dream of every new adventure ahead. 

And now I'm happy to say that my simple plan of spending one year abroad has turned into much, much more than that! I've decided against returning home as planned and will begin my next trek to the beautiful country of New Zealand.

I plan to do some traveling of Southeast Asia this summer first! If any of you have good advice on specific things or places to see, I would love to hear from you. And if anyone would like to join a solo traveler on any or all adventures, please do let me know :). I will be starting in late July and am hoping to travel for 8 weeks ish... or more.

And as far as New Zealand goes, my exact place is yet to be determined. I'm currently working on securing the perfect family and the perfect city. I'm crossing my fingers for Wellington and a family who even somewhat compares to the family I've been blessed with this year! But only time will tell :).

My decision against 'settling down' in any facet of my life could be linked to many things. It could be the lack of having met anyone or any place worth settling down for, or my extreme commitment phobia, or simply because I've always been and always will be someone who wants different things. I have a knack for questioning reality and a passion for seeing the world, and for now, nothing else even compares.

XO.

9 comments:

  1. Jerrica another well written article the freedom of finding yourself and your love for adventure and travel. Well written.

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  2. Do you read Adventurous Kate's blog? She is a solo female traveler who makes a living by travel blogging. You would relate to it I think.
    I'm a female who hasn't chosen a traditional path. I'm a firefighter, no kids and I love to travel. You have a ton of time. Do what makes you happy!

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    1. Thank you. Yes, I do follow Adventurous Kate. I kind of see myself being somewhat like her someday. A simple year abroad turning it to many years and many countries later. Hopefully with my writing taking me somewhere as well :)! And good for you. I have so much respect for people who work to save others lives. Thanks for reading and commenting. And best wishes. Travel on my friend!

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  3. If you end up in New Zealand we will definitely have to meet up! I move to Auckland in January to be an au pair! I will keep in mind your Asia trip, as I know I will have time throughout the year to travel :)

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    1. aw bummer! I will be traveling around Auckland, but leave on December 30th! bad timing I guess. I'm hoping to land a job there after my stay in Australia though. Hopefully we can cross paths someday. Is this your first time au pairing? I think you will love it!! Best of luck.

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  4. Hi Jerrica! I love to read your blog and I won't stop be so sure :) But this post was like I had wrote it myself. It makes me so happy when I read about people who thinks like me and want something more out of life than ''living the normal life''. Since my childhood I have been having this kind of energy burning inside of me that wants to see the world, living free and do something with my life that means something for real. My friends have always saying things like ''so typically you'' ''that's so you..'' when I'w been sharing my dreams. I have no one who is like me. Its kind of hard to not have that because it makes my life feels hopeless sometimes when i cant share my visions with out a comment.. And all of this have make me kind of afraid in some way. I hate to live my life like this i feel so small and locked in a cage. But i dont know where to start.. Maybe i will study to something i love (like animals) so i have an education cause i dont have that right now.. And then do something out of that like living in different countries working with animals and when i'm tierd move on to something new.. I dont know yet but i want to be variable, not at one same place forever.. I have a thought that when i'm traveling, some where on the roads maybe i find my dream place and actually want to live there. But right now i want to explore. So happy for you that you where so strong and traveling to australia as an au-pair and now feeling so good! You should be proud of yourself and i hope you will follow your dreams forever. Take care and love every day! /Maria from sweden

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    1. Thank you Maria for taking the time to write me such a well thought out post :). I hope you don't ever feel like you're trapped. The world is yours, you just have to choose to leave the settled life if it doesn't make you happy. It's a big step, but one worth taking in my opinion. Do you mind if I ask how old you are? Have you considered being an au pair? I feel it's such a wonderful way to be fully immersed in the culture, while living for free and making money as well. Best of luck to you in whatever you decide to do. Dream big :)!

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  5. I love you blog!
    I feel like the exact same way, my desire to travel is so strong to go on many adventures. I'm in a relationship which I don't think is serving me but I just don't know how to get out after all it has been 4 years but I know I can do much better without him in my life.

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    1. Thank you!! While I'll never be one to discredit love, I also am a firm believer in never settling. It took me 5 years, and a major move, to be able to fully cut my ties. And to be completely honest? I've never once regretted it. Best of luck, and always, always do what makes you happy :).

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