“Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about
Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone Many precede and many will follow
A young girl’s dreams no longer hollow
It takes the shape of a place out west
But what it holds for her, she hasn’t yet guessed…”
I think these lyrics really encompass a lot of what this means for me. I’ve traveled, left home and found my own life. But as great as that life has been, it came to a point where it just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t my dream.
But that’s my own fault. I didn’t, and still don’t, know what my dream is, so I followed dreams that seemed impressive, fun, maybe even inspiring. When the opportunity arose to move to NYC, I jumped on it, knowing this was what so many people fought for. Through that time, I frequently said I wasn’t there to stay yet it somehow turned into 8 full years.
Lucky for me, life is a series of chapters, one preceding the next. You learn along the way, change your perspective, and create new dreams. If you’re lucky, you meet amazing people and make memories that will last forever. While that chapter truly did include people, memories and experiences I will always hold onto, I’m happy to be moving onto the next.
Now, onto leaving the country! With all the prep work and send-offs complete, I had one week to get ready for my flight. I took care of my banking needs, and while it may be a bit morbid, I got my basic will and medical preferences all figured out. In case of any mishaps, I wanted someone I trusted stateside to be able to work with the bank on my behalf (anyone ever had their debit card locked?!) and know what I would want in case of a medical emergency. Did I mention I’m a planner??
Regardless of my tendencies to plan ahead, I almost always procrastinate when it comes to packing…otherwise I keep adding to my bag! So, in typical fashion, I put it off and decided to attend my first Remote Year Dinner Around the World. I was excited to find it was just that, dinner all around the world. Over 350 fellow remotes from 33 different cities connected with each other to eat, drink and be merry! It was an amazing opportunity to hear about their experiences and see the network of people this opportunity has opened up to me.
Dinner around the World: Chi-town Edition!
After that, it was a crazy two days trying to pack for 5 months of travel in a suitcase. I hit Target, tested out some new running shoes and crossed my fingers my bag would be under 50 pounds. Stay tuned to find out what’s in there!
PSA: stick to 44 lbs to prevent overages on most airlines.
Zanna was interested in tagging along, but unfortunately did not fit the strict weight requirements.
I got my first taste of what was in store for me the day before I took off, when one of my fellow “pre-motes” reached out to check in. Little did he know how much that gesture meant to me as I was stressing about getting everything done. He provided the reassurance I needed that this was the right decision and there would be amazing people waiting for me to arrive.
Jonathan, if you’re reading this, thank you for being your loving, brontosaurus self!
In typical fashion, I finished my packing as it was time to walk out the door, my last thought that I could buy anything I might be missing! I was off to the airport, fresh new passport in hand, ready to jump head first into the unknown. Before I knew it, I was at my gate, then boarding the plane to settle into a movie until dinner was served. The next thing I remember was rushing through the Munich airport, hoping I was headed to the right gate as I attempted to make my tight connection! I climbed onto the rickety looking plane and continued to make good use of my new travel pillow!
I had officially launched, with the US in my rear-view mirror and Croatia on the horizon. I have no idea what this holds for me, or who I will be in the end, but I am looking forward to some introspection and figuring out my true dream.