I can't remember when the idea first developed in my brain, or what really prompted it. What I do recall, is many years ago, living in Atlanta and dating a guy I was sure I would marry, I suggested that we take an extended honeymoon - spend an entire year just traveling the world, soaking in as much as we could before all of the inevitable realities of life - home purchases and children and career opportunities - were too much to walk away from. At the time it was merely an idea, without any real roots, and when I parted ways with both him and the city I had called home, the idea was all but forgotten, tucked into some far back corner of my brain behind all of the sudden priorities of establishing myself in a new job in a new city, meeting new people, buying a home, and taking all of those steps towards achieving the typical American dream.
Except that the idea wasn't dead, merely buried... and it began to germinate. A friend shared an article on Facebook from BootsnAll entitled, 11 Reasons to Stop Dreaming and Start Planning Your Round the World Trip. Suddenly that crazy idea seemed like a reality... people were actually doing this? Quitting their jobs? Traveling on their own? While I had convinced myself that I could never really do something like that and certainly not by myself, I let myself wander the internet, reading stories about others' experience on 'round the world' ventures, becoming more and more fascinated and enchanted by the idea.
Eventually, through the support of a few very close and very adventurous friends and the reading of many, many articles and blogs, the idea for a solo venture began to seem realistic. Around the same time, I had become frustrated enough with my position and lack of traction at work to feel like, "I can do this. I can walk away from this and be okay." And then I began to plan. I researched and read and put together an itinerary and had a date in mind to leave. Except then I got a new boss. Work was suddenly challenging again, and it seemed like there were real opportunities coming my way. I had met some great people in town, and I was finally starting to feel comfortable in my new city. I even reconnected with a guy I thought I could bring along on the trip,"if things turned out well". So I pushed the idea down again, postponing the trip another year, and poured myself into other things.
But here's the thing - this "trip" is no longer some passing idea. I suddenly realized that by pushing the trip to another year, I had simply succumbed to my own fears... fear of abandoning a career and a paycheck, fear of leaving behind the friends that I've met, fear of being out in the world alone.... fear of pursuing my dream.
So this time, I won't postpone the trip. I won't walk away from my dream. In six months, I'll begin an incredible adventure... and while I might be scared to death, I can't wait to take the leap.