It has taken me 15 years to pack for my first solo overseas adventure.
When I was in my early 20’s I finished a uni degree that had totally uninspired me, broke up with my boyfriend of three years, rented a house on my own and started working three jobs to save money to go overseas backpacking on my own. I had no idea who I was anymore and had never know what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew was that this tiny part of the world I had been in so far wasn’t enough for me, I was lost and I needed something.
At the beginning of 2017 I finished a job that had left me disheartened, got dumped by my boyfriend of three years, rented a house on my own and started working three jobs to save money to go overseas backpacking on my own. I also spent the next 6 months defining exactly who I was and what I want to do with my life with the wisdom I had gained over the last 15 years.
For me, packing for this trip wasn’t about just getting together a plane ticket, passport, some money and clothes and chucking them into a bag. No, I packed a lot more into my backpack before I booked this trip.
- I packed becoming a Mum and the love of and for three children.
- I packed a marriage and a divorce, with the lesson on the importance of personal values and knowing my own mind.
- I packed my experience with mental illness and all I found out about life in the bottom of that dark hole.
- I packed finding love and letting it go.
- I packed the importance of having a community and the ability to be alone, but not lonely.
- I packed a career path full of highs and lows and a desire to live a life on purpose.
- I packed the discovery of my core values, the importance of creativity, the arts and unwavering faith in being authentic.
- I packed my spiritual beliefs, rediscovery of my wild self and an intimate relationship with Mother Earth.
When I boarded that plane for the first of many trips I will take – trips to get outside my comfort zone, to expand my awareness by interacting with different people, different cultures and different environments – I boarded it with the excitement of my younger self. A girl who was desperate to see the world but instead gave birth to a son that gives the best hugs and has her smile.
It took me 15 years to pack for this trip overseas and I didn’t forget anything.