Moving to Greece was a big deal.
It meant I had to untie the many knots that kept me anchored to my city. It meant leaving people who meant a great deal to me. It meant leaving my comfort zone – my home for the past 19 years. It meant replacing what I knew with what I didn’t. It meant letting go of any expectation, big and small. It meant replacing the speedy highway for the gravel road.
Back home, I held a 9 to 5, helped on a local publication, and, on occasion, picked up some freelance work. I had a bountiful social life and have made some very dear memories with some of the best people.
But the truth is, I was burnt out. Burnt from work, burnt from starting from scratch over again from relationships gone south, burnt from moving from place to place within the constraints of my own city and not really feeling “at home” anywhere I went, burnt from being caught in the burning hands of capitalism.
I was tube-feeding myself with a glorified dose of “busy” – like most millennials. I had become rigid and disengaged with my environment.
A month before packing up my life, I had no idea where I was headed, if I’d be going straight to another job or back to school. Greece sort of happened – just like that. It came together so effortlessly, like magic.
While I was road tripping in New Mexico last May, an expat storeowner in Taos told me about Greece. He had lived in Greece for 10 years as a retail buyer, and that stuck with me, subconsciously almost, as I never jumped on the idea right away. He drew me an impeccable little map to Arroyo Secco on the back of a receipt. He was incredibly helpful and eager to share his knowledge of the area.
“Travel is the best education,” he had said. I’ll never forget his words because I couldn’t have agreed more.
The past three years, I can honestly say I do not remember well. Everything is a little vague, yet, crystal clear at the same time. Things are only slowly coming back to me now.
There are periods in time that stick out and periods where I feel I had my head down the entire time and watched as life floated by.
Summer of 2016, my cat died, I quit my airline job to go on a campervan adventure around the U.S. and Canada that never happened (see break-up), I worked the Calgary Stampede and cut my finger in half on the very first day, my car window got smashed to pieces, and, I broke up with someone and still believe, to this day, that it was one of the best decisions I have made in life. I know some of these events may seem trivial but sharp objects and glass have often symbolized upcoming change in my life. I’ve taken note of it ever since.
For someone who is extremely indecisive, it was the very first time I stood firm in my needs. What I wanted in life mattered. I had a choice. It was OK to say no to loving someone back just because they loved me. That mindset was no longer an option for me.
I wanted to no longer be in toxic relationship after toxic relationship. I was exhausted of taking care of everybody but myself. I wanted to go live my best life without unhealthy compromises and the feeling that I wasn’t really supported in my dreams and goals by the one person who was supposedly “closest” to me . I needed adventure and I wanted to experience all of it.
If you’re reading this, I don’t care how young or old you are, it is never too late to start again. We still have time but time is always ticking. I wanted to live now. Not in 20 years, not in one. Now.
And I’m happy that, two years later, I’m finally on the road.