Do you have a Why? for being a professional traveler? If you read: The Judgement of Full-Time Travel, you must be wondering “Why in the world did this girl pick up everything and start over living in an RV and traveling full time when she had never even been in an RV before? What is this girl’s story and how does someone come to such a drastic conclusion?” Well, ask and you shall receive!
For years I had wondered what made me tick. What made me happy. What made me, well, me. For years I had felt like something was missing and that I just didn’t belong in my environment no matter how hard I tried. I blamed this on a traumatic brain injury I had suffered in 2002 that forever changed my life. And although I no longer blame that feeling on my brain injury, I do know it played a part in me being who I am today and am forever grateful for the experiences and strength it has provided me.
It wasn’t until I had finally confided in a friend about these feelings. Although the context of our conversation wasn’t geared towards me being a professional traveler (she was trying to convince me to move back to Wisconsin, where I belonged) it got me to do some real soul searching.
Don’t get me wrong, I had done soul searching for years, but not to the extent of this instance. There was something that she said that really resonated with me. She said “Home is wherever you are. It doesn’t have to be your big fancy house, your business, or your luxuries. You can have those wherever you go and wherever you want. Think about it. Are those things providing you true happiness?”
Holy cow batman! It hit me. I was trying to live someone else’s dream. The American dream is what I had been working towards for as long as I could remember. Well, I achieved it. I owned my home, I owned my business, I made my own hours, my own money and yet, these things still did not fill that void that left me feeling empty inside.
Why was this? Why didn’t the dream make me feel whole inside? Why didn’t the dream feel like a dream at all? Why after accomplishing it did I still feel like there was something missing? A bigger picture that I just couldn’t see or grasp was still haunting me.
Here is where the real soul searching started. I can’t tell you how many hours I would sit and stare at a wall. Everyone does soul searching differently and this is what worked for me. Hours of staring out into nothingness and letting my brain just wander. Wandering about where I went wrong. Wandering about what my purpose in life was. Wandering what the bigger picture was. Wandering why I wasn’t truly happy and what it was going to take to make me truly happy. Wandering when I had truly been my happiest. (Yes, I know I keep saying wandering when grammatically it should be wondering. Wanna Wander is my business, my life, my brand, my purpose and my Why.)
There we have it. I wanna wander. Wandering is when I have truly been my happiest. Wandering is when that gap seems to be filled. Seriously? Wandering is my happy place? Every time I have traveled, spent time in nature, been in a natural environment and met new people or taken off with no plans I have been free. Now I know that freedom looks different to everyone but this is my freedom, my happiness, my answer.
Yes, wandering seems like an absurd answer to the woes in my life, especially at my age. How in the world could I wait until retirement to feel whole? Even more so, now that I know what makes me whole, how could I deny myself that for another 30 years? Would wandering on the weekends or a vacation twice a year suffice? The answer is no. I had traveled, went on vacations, took off hiking, spent time in nature, explored, and every time I returned the whole got bigger. What would it be like if I did this for another 30 years?!?!?
Now that I have figured out my purpose I need to figure out how to do it, what obstacles I will run in to, what my options are and basically how insane I am. On top of that, I have to figure out my Why. Why is wandering my gap filler and how do I use it to help others? What could I possibly do to help others? What is my Why? And although I haven’t completely figured it out yet, I am getting closer and closer every day. I know that there are many people my age out there traveling and satisfying their wandering souls, but I also know that there are many people out there who are just like I was. Scared, unsure, hollow and need a hand. That is where my Why starts. I want to be able to help people fulfill their wandering souls. I want to share my story and hopefully be an inspiration to people my age that don’t want to wait until retirement to live on the road and live a fulfilled life doing what they want.
With that being said, I am blogging about all of this; so, you too can see what can and will happen in your time as a traveler. I do not claim to know everything, I do not claim to have been through more than you, and I do not claim to be a pro or someone you should base your traveling decision on solely. What I do hope is that with this you will have a clearer understanding of the life (behind the scenes) and be a little closer to making your decision, no matter what it may be.