Life: big, BIG goals

When I was 25, I thought I had all the time in the world so I created a ’30 before I’m 30′ list. Over the past 5 years, I’ve whittled that 30 item list down to 6 items. Not because I completed them all, but more because my interests changed and I slooooowly realized that some of my big, BIG goals just wouldn’t fit into a 5 year time span. I’m not made of money, ya know.

As they say, life happens when you’re busy making plans and here I am 8 months before I turn 30 and I still have 4 of those 6 goals just staring me in the face. Normally, I’d probably feel a little sad about that but I’ve done so much more than I intended in the past 5 years. I veered from my path, found my way back, and picked up a lot of great memories along the way. But that’s not to say I still don’t dream of crossing things off that list. And as it turns out, as of November 10, I’ll get to mark off Asia as I visit Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia!

But let’s back that train up for a minute as it’s kind of funny the way this year kicked off. In January, I declared 2013, the year of 12 adventures. Only a few weeks into my first month and adventure, I knew this was the year to finally bite the bullet on Asia, so I started planning and plotting. I planted seeds in the brains of colleagues, friends, and of course BF to see if I could convince anyone to come with me; but as it turns out, this is one adventure I’ll be doing on my own. Which of course, is crazy scary (but exciting too)!

I checked, double checked, and triple checked with BF and with work to make sure that while I would be absent, things wouldn’t fall apart all together. From both sides, I got a resounding go for it! I saved every last vacation day this year, penny pinched to the extreme, and even made plans with BF to make sure we would at least spend New Years together.

I’ll be gone for 50 days and while my original plan was 3 months, this plan works better for me personally and professionally. I also took into account that I’ll be a female traveler, in Asia, by myself  who hasn’t done the whole backpacker deal for awhile now. So while I have a few must-see things that I’ll probably end up doing somewhat solo, I’ve also tried to be smart about it and have booked a 20-day tour with other young adults throughout Thailand. I figured it’s something to get my feet wet and set me up nicely for adventures in Cambodia and Vietnam. Honestly speaking, I’ll probably end up on a few other tours as well, but going at my own pace. I’ve accepted that while this is something I REALLY, REALLY want to do, I’m also a little chicken shit. I’ve accepted my limitations and the fact that it’s a little more expensive to not just totally wing it, but I’ve saved & researched enough that I’m still well within my budget.

Professionally, I’ll have crossed every ‘T’ and dotted every ‘I’ to make sure I’ll have a job to come back to, including opting for unpaid days and offering to work 10-15 hours per week when my vacation days run out.

Personally, I’ve spoken with BF a hundred times to make sure we’ll be okay. He knows how important this is to me and I understand why he can’t come too. If we can make it through 2 surgeries in 2012, I think we can survive 50 days apart. We’ve worked out a plan for staying in touch and ways we’ll make up for lost time before and after I set sail.

So there you have it, the big finale to my 12 adventures of 2013.

I’m scared. I’m excited. I’m jittery. I’m cheesin’ from ear to ear.

But mostly, I’m relieved. Relieved that I’ve found a way to work towards my goals and to not throw in the towel or give up what’s also really important to me.

I loved how I changed when I first started to travel, so I can’t wait to see what else I’ll learn about myself.

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4 Comments»

  crankypants wrote @

That’s so awesome! I’m excited for you. Surprised a bit that you are going it alone, but wow! 50 days. that is great. I’m sorta freakin out about 3 weeks away in Europe! I was going to be really jealous if you said you were going on the Transsiberian express! anyway, congrats on everything you have accomplished and the exciting adventure you will have in Asia! I wish I had some tips for you but I’m sure you will get plenty of advice from different places.

  zigzagmags wrote @

well, i’m kind of surprised too, but if i sat around and waited for someone to agree to go with me, i might be writing about regret instead soooo….i’m taking the risk, but still keeping it safe with fun tours. and i actually looked into the transsiberian and it was waaaaay complicated trying to get visas into russia and china. it basically has to be accomplished via a travel agent and since it’s not really near the part i’m going, it didn’t make sense to force it in there. hey, maybe we can plan it some day…haha! 😉

  crankypants wrote @

yeah exactly, I have hardly ever gone anywhere with people, at least not in recent years. Of course I don’t have too many friends anyway but at any rate, you gotta do what you gotta do if you want to go and it’s wise to do the tour(s). You will meet so many traveling Americans and Australians etc. I’m sure you will feel pretty comfortable quickly. I actually took a peek at going to Russia a couple years ago and it was like, visa and crisp hundred dollar bills or something, I was like whuuuuut, is there a secret handshake too?

  Colleen wrote @

This is awesome! So proud of you for setting and accomplishing goals– I wish we all could take a lesson from your book and work more proactively towards our dreams. Rock on!


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