How I Can Afford To Travel!

My most REVEALING post to date! If you've been wondering how the hell I've been able to last traveling this long, well here it is! All secrets are out in the open! This post tells you how I do it, and how YOU can do it too!

Read More

Working On A Cruise Ship

I somehow managed to get myself a job working at a Cruise Ship. This post is an inside look on what it's really like to live and work below deck. You never know... You might be enticed to work for one too, and travel the whole world like me! Read on to find out more...

Read More

Scotland: My Favorite Country In The World

I've been to many places in several different continents, and have seen spectacular beauty... But every time I visit Scotland, every other country pales in comparison. Read this post to find out why at this point, Scotland was and still is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place on Earth...

Read More

On Finding My Bliss In Italy

When you go on big trips like this, however cheesy it sounds, you always do end up 'finding yourself'. And there are moments... difinitive moments when you achieve clarity, contentment, and pure happiness. This all happened to me in Italy. Read my most soulful post to date, inspired by the full moon in Italia...

Read More

On Being Featured In A Documentary

I somehow managed to get myself featured in an upcoming documentary about "Voluntourism". This may be the big break I've been waiting for! The trailer is out - and I'm in it! It looks so good, I'm so excited! See for yourself... watch it here!

Read More

An Epiphany At Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is one of my favorite places in Italy. We hiked 5 villages in one day, and it was breathtaking! But something completely unexpected happened on the hike... An encounter with a complete stranger made me realize possibly one of the most important things I need to do with my life...

Read More

My Ayahuasca Experience

Ayahuasca, is by far, the most INTENSE thing I have ever experienced in my life. I died and was reborn. It is both horrific and beautiful at the same time... I can't explain it in a few words. You HAVE to read my story to believe... I promise it will be worth your while...

Read More


Thursday, September 27, 2012

On Why I Decided to Quit My Job to Travel the World

After I've spoken to my friends and family about my pronouncement to quit my job to travel, even if the universal reaction that I got from them was either genuine excitement or extreme jealousy, I was faced with a recurring question from my audience: “What made you decide to do it?”

And my answer was simple. “It’s time.”

I realize that this radical decision may have irrevocably reduced me into a cliché, but I don’t care. I’m doing it anyway, and I am over the moon about it!

It took me a long time to finally admit to myself that this is what I needed to do at this point in my life. I did a “30by30” project for six months (where I did 30 radical things before I turned 30) to try and figure out what my calling is… my niche… my bliss. Now, looking back, I think I might have only done that to distract myself from the fact that was staring me in the face… that to travel the world is my bliss. That it is more than just something that I do for fun – it’s a passion. I knew it all along, but didn’t acknowledge it right away because of everything else that I knew I needed to give up in order to pursue it. I was scared, and I wasn’t ready.

There is a phenomenon called the “Saturn Return”

that my girlfriends and I frequently talk about. It is an astrological term describing the transit of the planet, Saturn, as it orbits around the sun, and ‘returns’ to the position it occupied when you were born. During this “Saturn Return” period, a person usually crosses over a major threshold, and enters the next stage of life. And how long does it take for Saturn to do it’s orbit? Approximately 29.4 years. So it’s no coincidence that most of us go through some form of turning point in our lives right around the time of our 30th birthday.

It definitely felt like a Saturn Return to me. I was so tired of being unhappy, but I felt like I didn’t have a right to be. I loved my life in LA. I had this great apartment, with awesome furniture that I picked out and bought myself. I have a nice big car that I bought brand new just a year and a half ago. And most importantly, I have a great job that pays my bills, with a kind boss and decent coworkers, and a salary that allows me to go on month long vacations every year. My life, honestly, is not all that bad.

But then sometimes, one gets to the point where “not bad” just isn’t good enough anymore. I blame human nature. And Saturn.

I knew I was meant to do something bigger… and being confined to a windowless cube all day everyday was getting old. So one day, I woke up and I made the decision that would change my life forever. I made a choice to go for what I believe my personal legend is, and to let go of all the things that were holding me back. I set a plan in motion, and there was no turning back after that.

I’m usually very spontaneous but when it comes to something this extensive, I can be somewhat of a neurotic planner. And looking ahead, thinking about the humongous feat I’m about to attempt, I know I’m going to need money. Which means I won’t quit my job now --- but I will after 6 months. I’ll need about 6 months to save up whatever I’m earning from my job, get a few odd jobs here and there for extra cash, or maybe even consider egg donation! Whatever it takes.

I had to get rid of my apartment too 

and save the money that usually goes to my monthly rent, so I made arrangements with one of my closest friends, and she agreed to put me up for 6 months at a minimal cost. After that, I had to go through the grueling process of selling, donating, and throwing away everything that I owned, and everything that I built for myself in the 6 years I’ve lived in LA… And I can tell you for certain, that it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

I shed a tear for every book that I donated to my public library. I love my books…I do… but I love to travel more. And with what I plan to do, I have to travel light. It makes no point paying for public storage while I’m away, because truthfully, I don’t even know how long I’ll be gone. I’m keeping some of my clothes, shoes, electronics, and anything I still need to live and breathe in LA for the next 6 months, but everything else like my books, my furniture, my kitchenware, glassware, you name it – they were all either given to my friends, put up on Craigslist, or donated to Goodwill.

Only someone who’s ever had to move before could understand how stressful it is to go through that process. I’m still exhausted from it all, but I know things will work out as long as I keep moving forward. Now that that’s done, I’ll have more time to formulate the master plan, whatever that is.

There are a few people who may frown upon this decision.

I know my dad does because he worries – and I think that’s completely normal. He worries about my career, my safety, my finances, and what I’m supposed to do with myself when I run out of money. He doesn't understand my reasons and it came as quite a bit of a shock to him that I’m even thinking about doing this. He thinks it’s outrageous.

I get it. I honestly do. I think it’s pretty extreme too. And to be honest, I don’t know what I’m going to do when I come back. I’m not necessarily sure what I’m going to do about money while I’m on the road, and I’m not sure I’ll want to go back to my ‘career’ afterwards. But I do know that there’s no better time to do what I want to do than right now. I am unattached, I have no kids, no mortgage… and to top it all off, I just got my American Passport this year. Which means I can travel anywhere as I please (except maybe to Iraq) without the hassle of applying for a visa. As far as I’m concerned, I can do or be anything I want to be. And as of this moment, I choose to be a quirky globetripper, poor – yet happy. 

I want to comfort my dad by saying I know exactly what I’m doing. And to a certain extent, I do. I have a general idea of where I want to go and what I want to do. I have a rough draft of an itinerary, a few possibillities for online work, and a few International friends who are willing to put me up when I visit. Other than that, I don’t know exactly how things are going to turn out. I don’t know what will happen in each destination. I don’t know how long I’m going to stay in one place, or when I’m going to be back, but I prefer it that way. There’s comfort in the unknown.

One thing’s for sure… I will do whatever it takes to have everything I need to make it happen. I’m more tenacious than I’ve ever been, and I won’t stop until I am a force to be reckoned with.

I’m scared shitless though. Seriously.
But that’s how I know this is going to be worth it in the end. :)

Earth2Eartha Illustration by Aldy Aguirre