Dear Mom, It’s All Your Fault

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Dear Ma,

It’s all your fault…

Your fault for always believing in me even when I have a hard time believing in myself.

Your fault for teaching me to always be open to what the world has to offer.

Your fault for encouraging me to find my own voice even if you don’t always agree with me.

Your fault for raising me with this irrational self-confidence that makes me believe I can do whatever I set my mind to.

Ma, it’s all because of you that I’m off to follow my dream, and for that (amongst many other reasons), I will forever be indebted to you. I owe you my life in every sense of the word.

In the months to follow I will be planning my greatest adventure to date—an around-the-world trip—one that I’ll journey on for a year or so but will remember for a lifetime.

I have no starting point, no plan, and no sense of direction all I’m grasping onto is this feeling—an undeniable desire to see and experience the world first hand– and so, that’s where it all begins. As of today, I have very few answers to the many questions that are probably running through your head but just know that I’ll be OK; you’ve taught me well. I’m off, not to escape life but rather to embrace it.

Thank you for always being loving, supportive, and for always allowing me to find my own way.

 

Love Always,

Erika (Tu Bibi)

If not now then when?

purple skies
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”–Unknown

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here is no denying that I’m in that awkward in-between stage of adulthood where I’m constantly walking the fine line that differentiates between refusing to grow up and refusing to conform.

When I was younger I envisioned my life to proceed as society had dictated. I was going to achieve the good ol’ American Dream. First would come college then a lucrative career, the hunky husband, the white picket fence, the kids etc.  As time went on, for one reason or another, things didn’t play out as I had planned and when they didn’t I spiraled into a hole of self-pity, doubt, fear, and ultimately I found myself stuck. And I stayed stuck…for years.

But the older I get the more I realize that no one has a fucking clue what they’re doing, everyone’s just winging life. And now I find freedom in knowing that I have nothing holding me back. The blank pages of my life mean I have the power to write my own story.

Long-term travel has always been something I’ve dreamed of but with the limited time-off I receive at work it’s always appeared to be nothing more than just that– a dream, and a seemingly unattainable one at that.

Like many, I’ve always leaned on the notion of ‘one-day’. One day when I have more time, more money, more stability.

But is there really ever a perfect time? If not now then when?

Since my in-flight epiphany my entire perspective has changed.  What once seemed to be merely a dream now feels almost tangible and it is now more clear than ever that the only thing standing between me and this dream of mine is myself.

As I embark on this new stage of my life I can’t think of a better way to share my story than to document my journey as it is happening– here on this blog– an ode of sorts to all those years my life stood stagnant.

A Dream and A Revelation

Airplane Girl
“There’s nothing better than when something comes and hits you and you think YES’!”
― J.K. Rowling

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his year I rang in my 28th birthday in the sky above Tokyo, Japan. My 10 days stint in the magic city had come to a close and I was headed back to America with a heart full of fond memories and a burning desire to return as soon as humanly possible. Like with many of my relationships–I’d fallen in love quickly and unintentionally. This time with a country I knew nothing about. And one I may never have visited had it not been for a booze-filled spur of the moment decision made in the mist of one of my many self-induced ‘WTF am I doing with my life!’ crisis’.

A wonderful concoction of: one part midlife crisis, one part cheap airline tickets, and two parts hard liquor. Oh to be 20-something.

It was midnight on May 23rd and I was officially one year older.

As the plane rose higher and higher in elevation I stared out the plane window at pure darkness, just the glimmering lights from the buildings far below us; I closed my eyes to take it all in and a certain feeling swept over me, one I haven’t felt in a long time—I felt alive.

Right then and there it hit me– this is exactly where I need to be.

It has now been over a month and that feeling has yet to escape me. Nor do I want it to. At the expense of sounding disgustingly cliché—my world just doesn’t look the same anymore. The 9-to-5 desk job I wake up to every day doesn’t seem as crucial to my personal growth and success as it once did, and all the material things I thought I couldn’t live without no longer hold the same value.

With travel on the brain I guess the question now is—where do I go from here?

My mind is running in a million different directions. I’m lost, but for the first time I’m lost in what I feel to be the right direction.