It was inevitable. I’m broke. Completely broke. 7 months road trip around the massive continent of Australia with no money coming in has left its mark on my miserable bank account.
Since I finished studying and started working 5 years ago, I’ve had financial security and fair savings to fund my travels in between jobs. 1 year in Asia. And 1 year in Australia. So hitting rock bottom is like meeting an old archenemy and having to deal with him all over again. I have to get familiar with the feeling of being broke. It took a while. At first I panicked! I desperately searched for common ways of keeping my head above water, looking for jobs online and in real-life, considering heading back home if it all went wrong. But after a while I started to see my situation in a new light. A burning light of possibilities instead of a dark gloom of obstacles.
Suddenly I felt liberated in the realization that money didn’t mean that much to me. To be honest it never really did. I’ve always seen it as a means to an end, an instrument to “buy” experiences, not things, and make lasting memories, which, I believe, is a source of long term happiness. But with less than 100 dollars left on my account, being stuck in a foreign country, it became a realization based on experience, rather than an imaginative, hypothetical ideal of the mind. Now I was forced to thinking outside the box of a way that I could keep my dream alive. My dream to keep on traveling.
Over the last couple of years, I came up with many ideas of how to avoid going back to a 9-5 job, so in reality the concepts were already there. However, there had never been any action behind them. Why? Simply because I didn’t need to act. I had enough money to keep on going. But now that I’m broke I can no longer procrastinate. The situation has pushed me out of my comfort zone and I’ve realized, that’s the moment when we start growing and becoming true to ourselves.
“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new”.
You see, we all have a creative, ideal vision of the future and ourselves in our mind. Of what, where and how we want to be further up the road. Sadly, in most cases that vision stays a dream because life gets comfortable. It’s so easy getting caught up in everyday life and procrastinate. We convince ourselves that we are not quite ready yet and that we don’t have enough time or money to tend to our passions. No time to work towards becoming the rock star you always envisioned, writing that book, you always imagined writing or fulfilling your dream of sailing the 7 seas with Captain Jack Sparrow. All it takes to stay trapped in the vicious circle is one excuse and that trickster mind of ours is a master at excuses, making up self-limiting beliefs, resistance and mental obstacles. Nonetheless, all it takes to break out of the circle is one single step. One step forward into the abyss of the unknown, where you can discover hidden parts of yourself and make dreams come true. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, fear will reach out for you on the way down, but I can assure you it’s going to be worth it. Just don’t wait till you’re ready – then you’re going to wait forever!
“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story”.
So I started to tell myself a different story. A story with no room for excuses. A story where anything was possible. First of all I finally bought that strap for my guitar so I can start busking, earning a few pennies. Second of all I’m doing what you see now. Writing. Blogging. I’ve always loved writing as much as I love reading. Last but not least I’ve stopped seeing an empty bank account as an immovable obstacle to travelling. I’ve got a teaching background, so I might just teach abroad, combining work and travel. I might volunteer my way around the world, which is one of the most rewarding ways of traveling in my opinion. I might do some Wwoofing, couchsurfing and hitchhiking. All ways to keep my dream alive, just a little bit longer. As long as we are willing to step out of our comfort zones the possibilities are endless and our imagination is the only limit.