A dilemma: Long-term travel or career?

ll start back in May 2015…i came to a fork in the road where i was given an opportunity to meet my friend out in New Zealand and travel for a while or take a job that i had been offered. At the time i was so torn; either go and explore a country i have always wanted to visit and spend some time in South-East Asia or chose the job that i had spent 4 years at university and months of job applications and interviews to eventually get so i could start my career.

What did i do? I freaked out and took the job.

I thought that after so long of working my ass off studying and getting nowhere with job searching that i couldn’t pass up the chance to get my career going in the field i want to work in. I did regret not going to New Zealand, but i thought i would regret more not taking the job.

Fast forward 6 months. I still regretted not going to New Zealand and seeing so many other friends go off travelling and living their dreams upset me. I thought ok in another 6 months i would have gained a years’ experience and i could go off travelling for a few months, maybe even longer. A friend of mine said he would go too. I started saving as much as i could after rent, bills, food and petrol. I started collecting ideas off Instagram and Pinterest and making plans. Only after a few months i found out that friend was keeping from me that he actually couldn’t go and hadn’t told me for months. It broke our friendship and it broke my dream.

Fast forward another few months. I still can’t forgive my friend for the betrayal. I know it may seem petty but it hurt so much that something i had been looking forward to for as long as i could remember was ripped out from under my feet. They lied to me that it was their dream too. More and more i thought how many times i can i keep not going travelling. But, I had to remember that i was and still am gaining experience in a field that i love and that is always advancing and i need those skills for the future. I love my job and adore the people i work with…but…everyday i still think about travelling. My other passion apart from my career.

So….i get stuck in a dilemma. Do i stay or do i go?

One way i am feeding my travel bug is to be better with my annual leave, taking more long weekends for trips to Europe as well as longer breaks further afield. I spend most days searching deals on various sites, reading travel blogs, and am always on Instagram stalking other travelers for ideas. I think i have found a balance for now. A way to suffice both areas of my life.

However, i still save, hoping that one day i will go off exploring. I know i have to give up on the idea of someone coming with me and that i will probably have to go alone. The thought of going this terrifies me and does not help my anxiety. I am not great with meeting new people as i feel too shy and crumble. I’m not sure how i would cope in a foreign country if i had an emergency. But the wanting to go is over-weighing my fears more and more each day and so i grow with confidence that i could do it. If it didn’t work out i could just come home. At least then i know i tried. I don’t want to regret anything in my life anymore.

There are so many options with travelling these days…live the nomad way, join group tours, working-travel visa. I have so much to think about and research. Maybe in another years time i’ll be sitting on a beach in The Philippines as part of en extended tour of Asia, or maybe i’ll be at work after a lovely weekend in Lisbon. Who knows? I still have that decision to make. I just hope i would be content with the decision and that at the end of the day is important to me.




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