The decision is taken. And it must be the right one, because it makes me feel so happy and free: free to do whatever I want every hour of the day, every day of the week, for one year. And I have no doubt of what I want to do with this time: I want to explore distant places, to meet new people, to learn about other cultures. I want to travel around the world!
Taking this decision has been, however, a long and difficult process. I got the idea during a two weeks holiday in Brazil in 2012. After those inspiring days, I started thinking about a long journey but I was scared of a lot of things: travelling alone as a girl, leaving my comfort zone, coming back to my routine after a year off. So I carefully packed my dream in a box and hide it in the deepest corner of my memory.
But it did not work: the dream did not want to stay closed in its box. It came out from time to time when I was most unaware: while riding the bus, attending meetings, queuing in the supermarket, in sad rainy days. Sometimes, in the morning, when I was in the elevator, ready for work, I looked at my reflection in the mirror and wondered: what am I doing here? Then I started day dreaming, and after that, I started paying attention to the signs.
- Motivation: I had enjoyed my job in the past. Believe me, I did. But at some point I felt in a stagnation point, blocked, unmotivated. It was difficult to wake up in the morning, and easy to feel overwhelmed by the external issues, the impossible deadlines, and the never-ending to do lists.
- Health: I often got headaches, back aches, and digestive and sleeping problems. I went to the doctor but I was not sick. It was only stress.
- Behavior: while working, I felt always tired. On the other hand, when I was on holidays, travelling, I felt completely different: dynamic and full of energy, I could not stay still, I wanted to visit, to learn, to make the most of the day. When I was travelling, I was another person… I was myself.
Time went on, and so were work and tiredness and dreams. And one day, all of a sudden, I found it: the travel blog of a girl who lives travelling since she was 22. A girl who is travelling alone. From this blog I discovered a lot more and a new world opened in front of me: there are a lot of people travelling around the world. Some travel alone, others in couple or in family. There are travelers who move by car, by bike, by public transport, by hitchhiking or on foot. Some travel forever, some for a year and some during their holidays. I discovered that everything is possible.
The more travel blogs I read, the more I wished to take a year off to do a long trip. I yearned to travel slowly, to better learn about other cultures, to enjoy every moment without thinking ‘in a few days I should go back’. So far, my trips had been parenthesis in my routine: now, I needed to change my routine.
But even with all the signs and other travelers’ experiences, I did not manage to take the decision. I hesitated. I was full of doubts. How to chose between my dream of adventure, and the security of my comfort zone? Those were very difficult days, feeling completely lost between my dreams and my reality, my illusion and my common sense. It was like being in a huge labyrinth of emotions, hope, fear, and uncertainty.
Lost in this maze, and scared that my head would explode (I was having very strong headaches), I decided to visit a professional of personal development and coaching. It worked, she gave me the elements I needed to decide. Briefly, the key is to feel in line with yourself, in resonance, feeling that what you do is exactly what you want to do and is in agreement with your values, your motivations and your current objectives.
Finally, after more than a year thinking and dreaming about it, I have taken the decision:
I will take a sabbatical year to travel around the world