My daily Instagram piece turned into a lengthy one, so I thought I’d post it here instead. In the wake of yesterday’s horrific shooting in Oregon, I felt obliged to...
Originally written & published on May 19th, 2012, just a month before the adventures began.
An old friend recently told me, “Emily, you used to be a lot of things.” As it so effortlessly rolled off her tongue, I burst into laughter. Throughout the next few days, I found it really resonated with me, eventually deciding that it was the single-most flattering compliment anyone has ever given me. Strange, right? Let me explain. I used to be the kind of girl that cared about owning a nice car one day. The kind of girl who wanted to work her way up some sort of “corporate” ladder and make six-figures a year by the time she was 30. The kind of girl who never considered not having kids, because — hey, “that’s just what ya do,” right? The comment my friend made to me about being so different these days was actually triggered by a conversation about brand-name razors. You know the kind I’m talking about. The $14.99 for 5 cartridges kind? That’s right, dudes (if you’re reading this) — we women pay that much for a piece of metal that takes hair off of our bodies. Rationale is not our strong suite, we know. All of this said, I am no longer the kind of girl that buys million dollar razors, nor am I the kind of girl that gives a crap about what brand my 2-ton pile of steel is that gets me from A to B. In addition, I’m not too sold on the marriage and 2.5 kids deal either. What?! They’re expensive! Although, I suppose millions of people say that just before getting hitched and having a wee one. Maybe I’ll eat those words later. Maybe not. And careers? Humm. I understand the necessity here, but watching so many people slave their lives away to jobs that provide them with nothing else besides a paycheck is disheartening and depressing. Is that really what we’re here for? Yuck. Sadly, I think enough people believe that these days and that is exactly what I’d like to combat. Okay, so perhaps I’ve watched “Into the Wild” one-too-many times, but chew on it. This life is all we get. Can we all agree on that? And if this is, in fact, the case then what are we doing here? Our time is precious and it’s ours. It is for this reason that I insist on doing what you love, starting immediately. These are the thoughts that started crossing my mind over the past a few years ago. I started traveling more, reading more, self-reflecting more — and whatta ya know? I grew. Magic, huh? I soaked up all the positivity I could and really started living. I became more spiritual and less religious. Ironically, I also started living more Christian-like than I had when I was a “Christian,” but, that’s another post for another site. I went to Honduras for a week in June of 2011, and upon returning home, told my friends and family the news: “Next March, I’m leaving for a while.” I’m not sure they believed me or not initially, but over the next few months, my desires only grew stronger. I knew I had to go back to Honduras to do some diving — my latest hobby — so I figured I would just start there and move south. Bottom line? I knew I had to go.
Photo taken from Volcan Acatenango, Guatemala. One of my most favorite spots on the planet.
Long story short, this is where I am now. It’s May 19th, 2012 and I’ve met my savings goal of $8000. I’m about 2 months behind my original departure date, but it turns out, I needed that time. I just put my notice in at the ad agency I’ve been at for 19 months, put all of my “things” in storage, and I leave June 11th for Honduras. I am essentially, quitting my American life for a while in an effort to see the rest of this incredible world. I’m not “lucky,” my parents aren’t rich and I’m not “worried about what I will do when I get back.” Can you tell I’ve already received quite a bit of feedback? Here’s the thing — if you want something, go get it. So simple, yet so rarely done. Don’t ask too many questions. Just say yes. We talk and talk and talk in this life, but what are we actually doing? I hope this blog will inspire you to think and to do. If it does this for just one of you, then it was worth my time. Thanks for stopping by!
“The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences.” Christopher McCandless