On October 27th, 2016 I hit a milestone birthday and turned 30 years old - cue the meltdown. There I was at 30, single, living in my parent's house, and working in an office job I couldn't stand. I thought to myself, "How did I get here?"
At 29 I’d made a promise to myself: “When I turn 30 I’m going to go on an adventure.” I’d always wanted to travel, but a severe anxiety disorder that I had developed as a teenager prevented me from traveling at all. Some days it was even a struggle for me to leave the house, let alone get on an airplane. It took years to fully overcome my struggles with anxiety.
Travel is something I wish I could've done when I was younger but was unable to do. The thought of boarding a plane back then scared me to death - I figured I would never really know what it was like.
Fast forward to 30 years old, and finally anxiety free. I remembered the promise I had made to myself and reached out to my good friend. He had always encouraged me to go overseas to visit him, and I thought now was the perfect time. I went ahead and booked a 10 day trip with my twin sister.
I thought I was all set – but the next morning I received an email announcing that Adele was doing 4 finale concerts at Wembley stadium. I’m a HUGE fan (who isn’t?) and I knew I had to go! Unfortunately, the concert was early July and I had booked my trip for early May. I thought “If I’m lucky enough to get tickets to the concert then I’ll just switch my plane tickets.” It turned out that not only did I get a pair of tickets, but I got the BEST tickets. However, I had failed to realise just how much money we would have to pay in order to switch our plane tickets and apparently, it was more than my sister could afford.
Upset and unsure of what to do, I sought advice from a friend who said “I think you were meant to get those tickets. Why not quit or take a leave of absence, extend your trip, go to the concert, and do what you’ve always wanted to do: Travel.” My initial reaction was “I can’t do that!” But after a few short moments I thought, why not?
It was in those few moments when I realised that Marta was absolutely right: this was an opportunity for some big changes ahead. I knew in my gut that this was my time. I was ready.
With no real plan and no timeline in place, I set off on my solo journey and embarked on an adventure of a lifetime. I could never have guessed that my journey would take me on a 4 month adventure visiting 20 countries all throughout Europe.
I had experienced things I never thought I would and I had seen things I had only dreamt about, or seen on TV. I experienced many amazing highs as well as a few lows, but everything was a learning experience. Most importantly, I gained a lot more confidence. I felt if I could travel alone, I could truly do anything. It’s a very empowering feeling.
To think of where I was at 13 to where I am now at 30 certainly makes me proud of how far I’ve come. I can honestly say that I am no longer scared to live life, but I will seek out any opportunities to live it to the fullest. It is really true what they say: it’s never too late to chase your dreams. I’ve recently returned home, but I’ve returned as a different person. Currently, I’m setting my sights on the next adventure and I look forward to the road ahead.
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