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I’m sitting here two years down the road after your decision to sell everything and leave Canada, with no real plan of what was next.
I remember you saying you wanted a life more fulfilling, you wanted to live on your own terms and create a life you never had to retire from. You wanted excitement, challenge, and growth.
More than anything, you wanted to know what you were capable of.
I remember how much you questioned your decision at first. The moments where you almost didn’t do it. The moments when the doubts of family and friends sat in the back of your mind, and you thought maybe they were right, maybe this was too risky and too big of a leap of faith.
I also remember the moment you sold your car, and you looked at your mom and said, “Well, I guess this is really happening. I’m doing it.”
After that, I don’t think you looked back—for fear of changing your mind. You went full steam ahead and sold every last thing, except the clothes you’d throw in your backpack and the few mementos you would store at your parents’ place.
I remember how scared you were, but I always admired the way you believed in yourself more than anything and powered ahead with passion and knowing in your eyes. You knew you were leaving a whole life behind you and stepping into the complete and wild unknown.
You left the first destination up to complete chance, allowing strangers to help draw locations out of a hat until you had one name left: Hawaii. I remember how excited you were that you’d be kicking off this incredible journey in the one place that’s always had a special place in your heart—your “spirit place,” you called it.
I remember the night before your flight. Fear, doubt, excitement, grief, confusion, elation, and every other emotion you could possibly fathom played out that evening. There was no turning back.
Not that you wanted to.
Do you remember how it felt to sit on that plane to Honolulu completely unsure of the adventure that was about to unfold?
I remember everything you went through while you were in Hawaii, like it was yesterday.
I remember the way the nerves faded after the first night, because you knew in your bones that you had made the right decision. I remember the ways in which you fell in love with yourself all over again while you came back to life, taking time to heal, rest, and recover from the previous months of stress and burnout. I remember how unbelievably excited you were that the next destination was Bali, as sad as you were to be leaving Hawaii.
But Bali was the moment everything changed, wasn’t it? Bali was where you truly understood that nothing would ever be the same—least of all you.
I remember the tears, the frustration, the fear, and the heartbreak you experienced in Bali. The grief of everything you’d left behind. There was a moment when you truly started to doubt your decision. You questioned whether you could actually do this, whether leaving home for good was really the right decision.
That’s the thing with traveling—it’s never how you imagine it. It isn’t all beaches, bonfires, and mojitos. It’s excruciatingly hard, can be terrifying, and it absolutely strips you to your core. It has this way of shedding you of all that no longer serves you, whether you like it or not. It leaves you the most vulnerable while you’re trying to meet new people, find a place to stay, put food in your belly, and live in the most inexpensive way, while still experiencing everything this world has to offer. It also offers you the most beauty, growth, transformation, and truth.
But you already know this.
What you may not know is that this decision is hands down the greatest commitment you ever could have made. Hindsight is a beautiful thing; I would know.
While you sit in the airport in Denpasar, Bali in December of 2016 questioning why the hell you’re about to head to Christchurch, New Zealand and what the f*ck you’re going to do next, please know that you will absolutely be okay. Things are about to unfold in the most incredible and amazing way. You just have to get through the hardships and curveballs that are coming your way first.
But I promise you, you do get through them. I won’t spoil the journey by telling you the juicy details of all that’s about to happen, but I want you to promise me you will never give up, you will keep going no matter what. You will always remember the reasons you started this journey in the first place.
Fulfillment. Adventure. Excitement. Challenge. Growth. Abundance. Self-discovery. Truth.
Remember that nothing comes easy, and you must explore the darkest depths of who you are in order to celebrate and embrace the most beautiful, powerful parts of yourself.
Remember that the beauty of the place never changes: your perception does. Take the time to look around you and marvel in the absolutely awe-inspiring magnitude of where you end up. Nothing is more important than the memories you are about to create. Soak in the beauty, marinate in the jaw-dropping scenery, and say yes to every adventure! You’ll be surprised at how often you forget to take pictures, post to social media, or even just leave your phone behind completely because you’re truly living in the moment. It’s refreshing, so please enjoy it.
Remember that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Enjoy your company, enjoy being on your own, and get to know yourself on the most intimate level, while you continue to explore your wild and raw nature. Don’t seek out companionship or love to fill a void; the moments on your own are the most sacred and precious.
Remember that you are unstoppable when you put your mind to something.
In this moment, you may not realize that you end up taking a certain town on the other side of the world by storm and create something so beautiful and grand that is beyond your wildest dreams, leading you to a life more fulfilling than you could ever ask for. Celebrate every single win, no matter how big or small—you deserve it.
Remember that you have had your heart broken by boys before, and it will happen again. But you always come out the other side stronger and more whole each time. Hold out for the man coming your way. Hold out for the incredible, unconditional, and empowering love that is waiting for you, because I promise you it is by far the most beautiful experience you can ever imagine. It is everything you deserve—and so much more.
Never question your worth or value, no matter how much hurt you experience.
Remember to let the tears fall relentlessly. Allow them to soothe and heal the parts of you you didn’t even realize needed healing. Allow yourself to truly feel all of the darkest, hardest, ugliest emotions, while always relishing in the joyous and wonderful ones. Let yourself weep for the people you love and miss, but continue to allow others the opportunity to come in.
You’re about to meet some incredibly powerful and healing people; invite them in and soak them up, learn from them and honor them. These people will become part of your family.
Above all, remember that this is your life, and you are writing the story each and every day.
No one can make this experience more amazing and worthwhile than you.
Allow yourself to be seen, and allow yourself to receive all the magic that is coming your way.
I love you from the bottom of my heart, and I am so unbelievably proud of the path you are blazing.
Love, The woman you are becoming
Originally posted on Elephant Journal