At the end of September, I went to Ireland for two weeks. I would have taken more time, if not for obligations back home. Like most people I know, traveling for long periods of time is a luxury I do not have.
Also, it seems that, quite like my father, I am unable to cope with free time. I prefer an overbooked schedule to an empty one. It means leaving in the morning and coming back late at night almost every single day. It is also synonymous with exhausting weeks of running with a list of things to do that never gets shorter as I seem to get more and more creative at filling it up.
So on the plane back from Dublin, after a two week vacation, this crazy thought crossed my mind. I should leave, take a year off, pack my bag and be on my way. It would not have been the first time I dreamed of such a thing, but this time it was an unshakable thought. Two days after returning to work, I was submitting a request for leave without pay. This is truly one of the big advantage of my position, to be able to take a year off during my career and come back to work after the hiatus. It doesn’t take away the insecurities linked to not having a paycheck for a whole year, but it’s a safety net for when I come back.
The week after, I received the verdict. The request had been granted. It was now time to deliver the news to my family and friends. You can no doubt imagine I got mixed reactions on this. The most adventurous were excited and the ones who who were happy with their routine questioned the impacts this would have on my career path and on life plans in general. It got quite a bit of attention and, while I like speaking openly of my project, some opinions weighted heavy on my mind and made me rethink sharing the details of my endeavor.
Thankfully, now, weeks after the big news, the attention died down a little. I’m not saying this is no longer a predominant topic of conversation for my family and entourage, just that emotions don’t run as high now. I can now fully concentrate on the adventure to come, which will start sometime in January. Of course, this doesn’t leave much time for preparations, about three months give or take.
In the weeks to come I will journal the progress of my preparations and I plan on detailing the trip itself afterward. While traveling solo in Ireland, I posted daily on Facebook because I wanted to feel connected. I hadn’t realized how many people were actually reading my posts until people started quoting them. So I told people around me that I was thinking of blogging along the way and this idea met with a lot of support. So here we are, me a part-time wanderer going on a full-time adventure and this blog which I hope will help me to feel connected even if I am alone on the other side of the world.