Hi friends, before you keep reading, click that “subscribe” button and follow my adventures on Insta (@sideofkail) so we can chat about life, travels, and everything in between! Okay, happy reading 🙂
The Fun: Sometimes you’ve got to make decisions based solely on adventure and worry about logic later.
There I was. Facing my first empty Monday morning. No clocking in, no mandatory lunch break, no two-hour meetings, nada. And as far as I knew, my weeks would be pretty bare for quite some time, considering no job prospects lingered on the horizon.
It just so happened that tickets to Europe were peculiarly cheap on this particular Monday morning. So cheap in fact, that I suddenly had a need, a deep-seated craving, to be standing in front of Big Ben, rain coat on, twirling about and singing wildly.
I’d never felt such a need to be somewhere I’d never been. And to be honest, I’d never felt such a craving for Europe. I’ve always loved to travel, but Europe came after places like Australia, Africa, Canada, or some remote island surrounded by dizzying turquoise waters.
In that moment though, Europe was so close I could taste it.
Soft buttery bread, fresh from a Parisian bakery. Crisp clean air sailing breezily through castle doors in Scotland. Deep dark beer sloshing from a glass in Dublin.
I needed it. Like catnip to a kitty; Europe was my drug, and I was craving.
Before I could talk myself out of it, or let my bank account do the talking, I booked them: tickets to and from London.
Let the fun begin.
Planning: God laughs when we make plans–sometimes it’s better to just laugh with him.
I’d planned many trips before: Colorado, Utah, Arizona, even Australia! But planning an impromptu trip to Europe seemed daunting to say the least.
I convinced my roommate Sara to join me on my cross-country escape from the real world. Not that it took much convincing, considering she’d been searching for a way out of her mundane job for weeks. Everyone was uprooting and seeking new adventures it seemed.
First, was the question of where exactly we wanted to go. It would be January, so this wasn’t going to be a warm and sunny beachside vacation. But being from the Midwest, we were readily prepared for whatever chilly weather came our way.
We decided on the following route:
Don’t ask me why. I don’t think either of us actually had much reasoning other than it kind of formed a big awkward triangle and “made sense.” (It made almost no sense.)
Now that we had a route, we needed to fill up our days, find places to stay, and scrape together enough money to make plans on paper become moments in real life.
Cue Air bnb, travel blogs, budget airlines, and collecting coins from couch cushions.
Back to the real world: While building your dream, don’t forget about life’s little things—like making money.
Planning a trip to Europe was beginning to take up a lot of my time, but there’s one thing it wasn’t doing: paying me.
After a couple of weeks lounging around and soaking up the stress-free lifestyle of having no job, I decided I’d better give my future some thought. There were a few things I knew for sure:
- I couldn’t take another job, or go into another field, that left me feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, or like I wanted to crawl under my desk and die.
- I wanted (*read needed) to write.
- I didn’t belong in an office from 9 to 5.
With this small roadmap in hand I began to explore my options. For me this looked like scanning job boards daily, reaching out to small brands and businesses to offer freelance content services, asking friends and family if they knew of opportunities that would suit my skills, and constantly reading books and blogs about writing.
Slowly but surely I began to form partnerships with brands and small businesses scattered across the world. I landed a new client out of Australia (my favorite place!), partnered with a ridiculously cool start-up out of Boston, and had meetings galore with passionate CEOs in the health and fitness landscapes.
It. Was. Invigorating.
I was writing all of the time. Constantly sending e-mails to potential clients, editing articles, and brainstorming topics for future pieces. But compared to my old job, I wasn’t exactly raking in the dough. It was time to do some major thinking.
To be continued…