A year ago, I left almost everything to pursue new dreams, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
I am grateful for having the opportunity of a lifetime, for being able to follow my dreams and for being stronger than my fears.
Today is my last day in Berlin. After a year of travels, there are a lot of things I didn’t get to do, but a lot more things I didn’t know I was going to do. I would have never imagined I would be writing this today. And this is how it all began…
Two years ago, I was thinking I needed a change, I was stuck in the same old routine, doing the same every day, not really going anywhere. I was very comfortable, I had all I needed and more. Really, I didn’t have anything to complain about.
Little by little, I saw my friends getting the payoff of working hard while following their passions. Something I realized I didn’t have. There was always this subtle anxiety going down my skin because I needed to feel secure, and responsible, yet I wanted to quit everything and start fresh. “What a first world problem” I kept thinking, why would I leave comfort for uncertainty?
I decided to search for love instead.
It took me some time to find it, I wasn’t actively looking, but I wasn’t looking away either. I was just ready.
At the same time, I decided to be active in other parts of my life and decided to search for uncertainty.
Eventually, both things arrived almost at the same time. My ‘I am grateful #1’ — decided to be active.
Then a year ago, I decided to take a step further, and tell my boss I wanted to explore the world and I was ready to go with or without a job, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask what were my options anyway.
And this is my ‘I am grateful #2’ — This is when I got the payoff of being patient doing the same routine for 4 years in the same job. Turns out during those years I built enough trust that it allowed me to keep my work remotely while traveling. Doing this has also opened new doors at work allowing me to get more opportunities and challenges.
Eventually, the plan turned into a commitment, there was no turning back. My ‘I am grateful #3’ — I followed through.
I bought a ticket with no return and took a leap into the unknown. I left my friends, I left my family once again, I sold everything I had, I gave away all the things I cared about and had to put aside my fear of flying. However, I was not alone, I had my new love with me.
This was it, the moment I never knew I was waiting for, the calling I didn’t know I had, the decision that was going to change it all. My ‘I am grateful #4’ — listen and embrace the change.
This year was filled with quick decisions, small planning and having a vague idea of what’s next. I constantly had a mix of surprise, nostalgia, happiness, curiosity, yet somehow the anxiety eventually faded away.
It took me some time to realize that the life of my friends kept going without me, also that my family wasn’t a call away anymore, now they were 9 hours away. My ‘I am grateful #5’ — my family and friends.
During my journey, I received help and acts of kindness from many people that I didn’t know. The first one was a flight attendant on my first flight who I told I was on my way to a half-planned journey and gave me a business card, multiple hand wipes, sweets, cookies and water bottles in a bag. My ‘I am grateful #6’ — all the strangers who opened their hearts.
I also learned that no matter how well prepared you are, there’s always something you didn’t think of.
And as I said, I didn’t do this trip on my own. My ‘I am grateful #7' — thank you to my lovely partner who has spent stormy days, rainy days and sunny days with me. We had so many crazy adventures, missing trains, getting lost in the metro, running to airports, almost getting scammed by a fake Airbnb, following maps the wrong way, getting lost, and yet we made it. If anything we are stronger together than ever.
And now, here I am, going back, ready to recharge the batteries, and I might not know what’s next, but what I do know is that this lifestyle, is now part of who I am, and this is not the end, is the beginning.
I am grateful for this and many other things, grateful for my family, for my friends, for life, for the experiences, and for the love I have.
I hope you also have a life filled with things to be grateful.