I made the first step into my soul search last spring when I left the security of a full time salaried position to back pack through Thailand. Against the advice of my mother, I decided to feed my curiosity, and see the moon from the other side of the world. My only regret would have to be that I hadn’t realized my desire sooner, and saved more. My best friend Nick was living my dream, backpacking for a year in over 20 countries. I only got the chance to do 6 weeks, and see 2 of them. He was, and will always be my inspiration. The kid can dream, apart from his love of less than mediocre jokes, he is always coming up with new ideas. The best advice he ever gave me was to take a second to realize what you have beyond equity, and live simply. He laughed at me when I told him how much my rag and bone jeans cost me, and again even harder when I splashed a bit of bleach on them the first time I went to wash them. He then went on to explain the depth in which that 250 dollars would serve me on the road, and the life long memories it could give me in place of a nice outfit. You see, when you live on the road, you don’t need nice jeans, you need pants to keep you warm, and once you learn to bargain, you can purchase some for as little as 10 dollars in South East Asia. You have with you what you can carry, so your forced to live only with what you need. You learn to live simply. Nick was definitely the jumpstart to the life I currently live, and I’m not even sure he knows it.
So I dropped everything in Ajax, it had never been enough for me, even when I was younger I knew it. I found no room for growth, no inspiration, and nothing challenged me. It never pushed my boundaries, never taught me anything new about myself. It just was, and people were happy just being, but I wasn’t. I longed for new adventures, and new ideas, and Ajax was the last place I would find them. Some people call it home, but I’ve learned home is not physical, nor is it necessarily geographical. It is a feeling, and you feel it where your soul is at ease. Its the most comfortable feeling I’ve ever felt; I found home living out of a backpack.
I was lucky to have my close friend Alexis catch my disease and drop her job as well for the adventure. Her and I started our life long friendship over tequila in Cancun a couple years back, and as far as my travelling had gone since then, she had always shared it with me. She is a great travel friend because she plans and researches, and helps add a bit of structure to the my otherwise haphazard life. We packed 6 weeks worth of living into 50L, and being someone who has access to a privileged life, and a ton of clothing that was difficult for me. How liberating though, not knowing if I was ready. I must have gone over my list a million times and still thought I was forgetting everything leading up to it. But there it was as soon as I stepped into the airport, that feeling I longed for, my curiosity consuming my thoughts. I lost all my fears, and though the complimentary alcohol on the 22 hour flight helped a bit, couldn’t dig to the back of my mind to find anything worth stressing over.