Ever since I was 20, I’ve written some sort of life goal list. A simple list that describes my hopes and dreams for that year. Past examples include: Apply to a university, get a good internship, get a better job, learn a new language, create a book wish list to complete, live in SF, travel abroad, etc. It’s been a personal list that’s helped me stay focused and accomplish tasks that are important to me. A recent trend in the last 5 years has been the opportunity to live abroad. I remember telling my now boyfriend at the time we first met that I dreamed of a life partner that would share my dreams, one including living abroad for some time, fully enveloping myself in a foreign space. There was a time I spent two months in Brazil thinking how what seemed like forever, flew by so fast. The time wasn’t enough.
Fast forward two years and I’m working at a great company, gaining valuable experience, and feeling respected as a professional. That urge to travel for an extended period of time was making its way back in my head. Meanwhile, my partner had been traveling all year, living the high life, as I worked, looking forward to any time I had off to explore. A two week vacation just didn’t feel sufficient.
After my 28th birthday this last September it hit me; Everything in my life leading up to this moment had somehow directed me to this choice. My car was totaled back in June. No more insurance/registration/gas to pay for. I was planning on moving out with the boyfriend in January which meant I needed to sell all of my furniture. Things at my job were feeling stale. I wasn’t learning anything new, and I had felt that way for some time. So here I was at a crossroad. Do I leave or do I stay? My heart was telling me one thing but my mind was telling me another. The option to leave was definitely more appealing. With Spain as our destination choice how could I pass it up? We had been talking about moving to Spain during the year but I definitely didn’t feel ready. What will happen when I return? Where will I work? This is what crossed my mind and ultimately helped in my decision. We weighed out the rewards and the costs, and I felt reassured in leaving my job.
And so it began. Research. Can we do this? Can we afford it? Where will we stay? What will we do? All of these questions came to mind during our search. What started out as a dream quickly turned into reality as we finalized our plans and made the decision to move to Spain. It all sounded so exciting! Part of me felt a sense of guilt, one for leaving my family and newborn niece, and two for being fortunate enough to not work for an extended period of time. You can imagine the look on everyone’s faces when asked if I’ll be working, my answer was no. I mean, I don’t plan on being a total bum. Yes, I would like to work part-time, but it’s not imperative to our survival. I’ve worked hard and saved for this and will be taking full advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.
The first step was to move out of my SF apartment, part ways with my roommate and one of my dearest friends, and make the move back home to Walnut Creek. I quickly sold all of my furniture, donated a bunch of kitchen and home items, and started to pack up all of my belongings to make the move the first week of January. The goal was to save money this last month and spend as much time as possible with my immediate family. So far, I’ve enjoyed these last few weeks at home and have cherished the time with my niece. Task #1= success.
The second task was to give notice at my job. I wanted to wait until airfare was booked so after finally booking our round-trip ticket in December, I gave notice the second week of January. That put me at a good 3 weeks of work with another week off before I leave. This is when it really started to settle in. Though I was nervous at first, my boss was super supportive and happy for me, albeit sad to see me go. From the moment I gave notice, I’ve had numerous coworkers come up to me with this shocked look on their face like “Are you really moving? “How is this possible?” followed by questions on financial savings and budgeting. It’s been fun watching their reactions. Although the guilt ensues immediately when I admit I won’t be working.The best part was, they all had the same look on their face yet wish they could do the same. “But it’s soooo easy!” I say. I imagine myself shouting “Who’s coming with me?”
Now, with two and a half weeks left until my departure, I sit and reflect. Within a matter of months, my path has changed drastically. I am about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime and I couldn’t feel more fortunate and lucky to have a partner who shares the same dream. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know if I ever would have made it this far. Checking this off my life to-do list has put everything in perspective for me. It further solidifies the age-old quote of “If you can conceive it, you can achieve it.” Years I would hear this from former bosses, friends, eternal optimists, and I always had a hard time fully believing it. Until now, I truly do believe that what the mind wants and the heart desires, anything is possible. As long as the two are aligned. As Paulo Coelho famously wrote ” When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
A BIG thanks to all my loved ones that have been supportive from the start.