Welcome friends, fam, past co-workers or anyone who has somehow stumbled on my corner of the internet. If you’re here, you probably know that I’ve begun my long-time dream of a one-way ticket and full-time travel. Today I am headed non-stop to Hong Kong, where I'll catch up on jet lag for a few days before backpacking through the Philippines.
The roots for all this were laid when I studied in Chiang Mai, Thailand during my junior year at The University of Georgia. Everything, from the spiciness of my breakfast to the lack of toilet paper changed anything I previously knew as “comfortable.” Even as I returned home to finish my degree and intern in New York, I always hoped that the post-grad plan I had drawn for myself would somehow fall through, so that Plan B, traveling full-time, could become my reality. I realized at the end of my senior year that this was the first time in my life, possibly the only time in my life, I truly had nothing holding me back. No position to quit, apartment lease to break, or loans to pay off. With a little push from friends and family, I put Plan B in motion after graduating from the greatest place on earth (UGA). I moved home to save up as much as I could, to travel as long as my Hamptons bougie server savings could last me.
A return date for all this is to be decided. Studying in Chiang Mai, our weekends away were rushed in order to get back to class every Tuesday morning (we really pushed it sometimes.) Our travel style consisted of expensive round trip flights, as opposed to the travelers we’d meet on weekends who would journey slower, cheaper, and typically overland. The lack of an end date allows me to travel more in this method; to stretch my budget further, to explore areas off the beaten path, and for more opportunities to tag with along those I meet on the road.
I can’t guarantee how much I’ll be posting, or if there will even be a theme to the nature of my posts. My hope is that this will become a place to share stories of both good and bad, whether I get on the wrong bus, or find balance in the imbalance this next chapter represents. I hope to include stories of the people I meet, since they are usually what make the places I go memorable more than any temple or tropical sunset. It was the people, during my first travels as a student, who revived my faith in humanity and helped me find comfort in feeling insignificant.
This is not a place to tell you what you are doing is wrong. To lay down Pinterest quotes saying to leave your cubicle and buy a ticket. Through watching my peers navigate the first six months of adulting as I saved up, my number one conclusion is that there is not one way to do post-grad. That this way, is my way - and that this opportunity to travel is an absolute privilege not everyone is given. But I hope that this is a place for anyone who stares at their desktop background to realize that this sort of thing is much easier than it seems (most times). All it takes is a little faith, a little belief in the goodness in people, and a little push from the people you love most to take the leap.
Most importantly, I want to thank my friends and family who gave me that push. I’m not naive about the loneliness that comes when traveling alone, as the courage to take the leap does not make anyone invincible to homesickness. To my closest friends and family, I am so insanely grateful for you and your unwavering faith in me, especially at times that my travel anxiety began to take away the faith in myself. Regardless of where I am and the availability of wifi, you people will be what keeps me going when I’m ready to quit. Cheers to you people, to mom and dad, and to making Plan B, Plan A.
*Special extra shout-out to mom and dad - grateful for all that you do.
Same terminal, same flight to HK, same JFK selfie two years later