Adventure Prep 101: It F*^*) Sucks
J'accept la grande aventure d'être moi - Simone de Beauvoir (I accept the grand adventure of being me.)
Welcome to my adventure. 65 days until I peace out of this country, and my sights for France are realised. The prep for the adventure has every single emotion you can think of and then some. The compounding of all of the fears one might have about risking everything is not something to be taken lightly.
SN: My computer is in French, so it keeps auto-correcting to french spellings of words, so there will be a mix of languages here. Heck you might become bilingual. You've been warned.
I digress. With my trip quickly approaching, I've had to come to terms with plenty an obstacle. Here are just a few for your entertainment:
- Getting a job in a foreign country. Getting a job in America is hard as shit already. Now applying that difficulty to another country who requires a different formatted CV, of course the language requirement, and that whole aspect of you not having an address yet for actual applications is a recipe for anxiety. Trust me. I've got that one covered.
- $$$$MONEY$$$$ The beauty of freelance work is that you stand to make a good deal of money pursuing a craft you love. You can save up all of the money after taxes, and direct that towards your future travels or life moves. However, the downside of having freedom to work from your couch/bed/local coffee shop: 4 months out of your foreign departure, and you're number one source of income client says "we don't have any work for you right now". Cue obstacle-inducing anxiety.
- Support Systems aka friends/family Going through all of this transition carries a heavy weight of its own. Now, add in the fact that everyone will have an opinion about your move. Parents will be worried about your safety and finances. Friends will say how they support your dreams, they'll miss you, but they'll also try to sneak in your mind and surface every concern you may not have thought of. Don't worry I've thought of them all. I get it. They care about and love me. However, chill. This anxiety train is a solo rider situation. All other's anxieties need to wait for the next ride.
- Leaving all certainty behind into a vat full of the unknown. This one is obvious, but it doesn't go away. It's thrusted into the forefront by your own doing, however the thought of everything not being figured out has always left me gasping for air.
These obstacles are the big picture thoughts that flood into my mind. I assume they're in most travellers' minds as well. I could dissect these into the minute details of my day-to-day concerns. However, I feel that I'd reflect too much on those details, and hold back from moving forward with my move. As in, the real reason I want to go: To live out a dream I've always possessed.
The solutions to the above obstacles:
- Work your ass off. Simple as that. Work, grind, grunt, jump, write, email, call, run, talk, learn, search, search, search, search some more, and keep searching. It's not easy or guaranteed, but you've got to keep persisting as intelligently as possibly. Don't sink your time into something that isn't working for you. Invest quality time over quantity time, and you'll start to see some fruits bearing from your labor. The job tree won't lower its branches down for your ease, but on that job tree are a plethora of ways for you to climb up and grab on as you climb higher to find some sort of substance.
- SAVE. SAVE. SAVE. You love drinking, going out, buying lunch everyday, or all of your online subscriptions to HBO, Netflix, Spotify, and The New York Times? Well cut that shit out. My friend and I have created a special event: Summer on Sale. It consists of Frugal Fridays, Sabbatical Saturdays, and Solemn Sundays. We found that we were spending stupid oodles of money on drinking and going out just because we had that money. We made a pact to only have a couple of beers that we buy at the store, and drink at my house. We refrain from buying shots, more beer at the bar, and tipping because it all adds up eventually. He's saving up for his dream of playing guitar for a living, and me for my move to France. Also - make your lunch everyday, make coffee at home, meal prep, and eat healthy, but cheap. Sorry Whole Foods - we're going to take a break for a while.
- Support yourself first. This one's tough. You want those closest to you to be happy and supportive of you. However, they have their own lives, and can't always be there in the way that you'd want them to. At the the end of the day, talk with yourself about the real reasons you're going, make peace with with your motives, and own your challenges. At the end of the day, you'll be stronger for going through these hard times by yourself, and your support systems will only have to serve as the roles of listeners of your travels after you've trekked them.
- Start the leaving before you leave. Sure cheesy saying, but whatever. Start the process early by selling your stuff months before your departure, reach out to any and everyone you know to tell them what you're doing with your life (a lot of times they know someone who know's someone over in the place you're going), and get used to spending time by yourself, as there will be a lot of that when you're starting out without any friends in your new destination.
Adventure prep f*#&@! sucks, but it's the most rewarding feeling knowing you can do this on your own. Keep on prepping, planning, and dreaming.
Au revoir - Kyle