I was on the straight and narrow path.

Born and raised in sunny California, I always pictured myself working an office job, going on a nice vacation once in a while, and leading a happy life that way. I was never really into travel. I went to Germany every-other summer to visit family, but I never had a desire to study abroad or anything like that. Somehow, I did end up studying abroad, after which it was difficult for me to ever stop thinking about my next vacation or trip. Study abroad changed my life, and it’s crazy to think back on how it almost didn’t happen.

Girl in London Thames River

I was well on my way. Until…

After studying abroad, I started “the real world,” and I was actually enjoying it quite much. I got to travel a lot through work, too, and even worked abroad. My love affair with travel grew stronger, but I was still pretty content with my corporate job.

Girl in front of Chicago sky line

But one day, almost out of the blue, I woke up with the clearest thought. In that moment I realized why I love travel so much; that it made me feel so free to make my own decisions without answering to someone, unlike my life in corporate where even my personal life decisions came after making sure I was available to the firm. It was really the most bizarre thing. I went to bed content with my life and woke up the next day knowing something had to change.

I never imagined I’d be where I am today.

It took a while, and in retrospect, I was making excuses to procrastinate doing what I knew needed to be done. Eventually, I left my job. I did it without any plan, but I knew I had to follow what I had been putting off in my heart for two years. I still don’t actually have too much of a plan, but I know I want to travel as much as I can while I figure it out.

Woman walking on Eritrean beach along the Red Sea