A Little Reflection
2009 is almost done, but my journey is about to start. The recession cut short a promotion at work and afforded me time to reflect during this past year.
- Job that pays reasonably well→ check.
- Friends→ check.
- Money to spend on material items→ absolutely.
- Cute apartment→ check.
What more could I ask? Yet, I couldn’t shake a constant empty feeling. I noticed this feeling appeared more ‘on’ than off during the past 5 years. I simply ignored it. Getting over an 11 year relationship can be distracting. The more I analyzed, the more it was clear something was askew in my life. Uh, basically, everything.
The Tipping Point
It was obvious a drastic change needed to happen before I brandished a nail file and threatened my boss with it. Of course! A change of city! In Canada, there are few great cities to live in, I had already exhausted Vancouver, so the next options are Montreal or Toronto. Since Montreal is touted as the Paris of Canada, it seemed like a natural choice.
Going back to school was the next choice since my current career proved unsatisfying. I plotted out universities and tuition fees, scanned places to live, it all sounded exciting, but it dawned on me – am I doing this because I truly want to? I had no idea.
In my younger days I embraced goth/punk culture, which taught me to question what happiness equates to in North America. While my friends worked to pay back student loans, buy houses, get married and have children, I fought a duality. If wanting these things was correct, why did the quest cause me misery? Back pain, undue stress, bouts of depression, debt.
So, What’s Next?
If I need to rethink my life why not expand Montreal into a cross-Canada trip to visit friends? Brilliant. Or how about heading further south into Mexico, Central and South America? Oh yes! I always dreamed of completing a long haul trip, now here’s my chance. While I’m at it, let’s start puttering with that dormant writing career.
I’m giving myself 6 months to hit the road for places yonder. Call it mid-life crisis, flashpacking, whatever pat term fits here. A drastic choice to take, but as I comb over all the decisions in my life this one feels ridiculously right.
Whether travel is the catalyst or not, tell me, what was your tipping point?
“A psychologist visited several hospices and interviewed dying patients. Not one patient said they wished they made more money or spent more time at the office. All of them mentioned regret at not traveling more, connecting with people and cultures, or spending more time with loved ones…”