“There is no secret to traveling. You just have to do it, you have to drop what you are doing, buy a ticket, pack a bag and go. Things will work out, they always do.”
When I was in high school I played for a traveling basketball team, where I traveled all over the US for tournaments. I moved from Pittsburgh to Florida to go to University, where I lived for four years. I loved packing, going to the airport, and heading to a new place. I wanted to travel the world but never had the courage to take that leap. To pack a bag, leave everything behind; family, job, friends, the familiarity of home, and just start new. The fear of not finding a job, not making it was always in the back of my mind.
That all changed in January 2013. I had graduated University in 2010 and was in my third year of starting a new degree. I was burned out and not doing so well in my classes. I wanted a change, I wanted to get out of where I was, and not just for a holiday. My best friend was finishing up her year in Australia, and wanted to go to New Zealand. She called and ask me to go with her. “Come for a holiday. I’m only going for three months to ski. After that we’ll go back to the States.” Well, okay, I thought – I always wanted to travel so why not? I booked a flight and two months later I arrived in Queenstown, New Zealand.
It was beautiful, the most stunning place I had ever seen. We found a flat within the first day and a job within a week. I did it, I moved to a new country on the other side of the world, found a job, and started a life. It was liberating to know I could do it.
That was supposed to be for three months. It’s been three years and I’m still on the move. I fell in love with traveling, caught the bug as so many people say. I spent the next two years in New Zealand traveling around (meeting my now fiance). We then traveled around SE Asia for seven months, visiting Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and Indonesia. Planning our adventures day to day. It was tough but rewarding.
I’ve seen things I could only dream of in my previous life. I have friends that constantly say I wish I could do that, it sounds like so much fun. I wish I could experience those sorts of things. Well there is no secret to traveling. You just have to do it, you have to drop what you are doing, buy a ticket, pack a bag and go. Things will work out, they always do.
It’s almost funny how many people say “you mean you don’t know where you’re going to live and you don’t have a job? You’re just going to show up in a strange country and hope it works out”. Yep, that’s pretty much how it works. It will all work out in the end, and you will most likely have fun doing it. It’s true what they say: it’s the journey not the destination.
It has been three years since I left the place I called home for 25 years. We are now settled in Australia for a bit, where we will continue our travels and hopefully add to our many stories.
My name is Caitlin, I’m a 28-year-old from the US currently living in Australia. I love baking, hiking, and of course, traveling the world.