I’ve always known that I couldn’t just live in one country my whole life. So when I was 21, I moved to Australia from Singapore, then on to New Zealand with a one way ticket when I was 22. I had no contacts or friends over there, so I built a life from nothing, and threw it all away 5 years later to embark on a journey of… what exactly? The purpose of this journey has changed several times since I took the first step out of my old life, and this ride has now turned into a much longer drive than I expected, with plenty of unexpected detours along the way! All roads lead to Rome, I guess.
So far, I’ve wandered the Earth for a year without a job and discovered how tightly entwined our identity is with our job titles. I am lost without a regular income. I gained more freedom in time, but I lost financial independence. Suddenly I had to keep track of every single expense, and where every penny was going to. Yup, I am not good with money =p
The first 6 months of being unemployed was awesome; I had all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted, especially stuff I’ve put off for ages. I felt more productive in that 6 months then I did at the last 2 years of work. Actually, I sleepwalked through the last year at my old job. It was a great job – I love my colleagues and the company I was working for, but after 4 years there I desperately needed a change that they couldn’t provide. The next 6 months of being jobless was full of crazy highs and even more crazy lows. Time flies when you’re not working. My moods oscillated; I was super motivated, super scared, super kickass, super worried, super fun, super stressed out, super excited.
I don’t know how much more I’ve got to go. Sometimes I’m tired, just so tired, of hustling and being on the move all the time. I’m tired of the uncertainty and never being able to make plans with anyone. Sometimes I’m so grateful for being able to do this – not everyone could just take a year off like that. It’s a privilege. I’m privileged. Mainly, I am beyond thankful to my family and friends, without their support my journey wouldn’t have been possible.
When I quit my job, I also sold all my things and moved out of my place. My friends took my homeless ass in. I basically spent the last year crashing with different people. I did A LOT of packing and unpacking, and A LOT of organizing and planning for a place to rest my head at night. But you know what, I chose this. I chose to live like this. It’s been a long year. But I sense that the chaos is coming to an end.
Sometimes just being, is the best present we can give to ourselves and others. I realise that “being present” in the moment literally means that you’re “being a gift” to yourself and the people around you.
Thanks for listening to my story xx