Crossroads

Crossroads

If you’ve been following me on Twitter for the last few weeks, you’ll have noticed that along with my usual tweets about travel, there have also been a mixture of quotes about facing fears and changes in life. That’s because, as of late, that’s exactly where my head has been.

I’d prefer not to delve into the details of what’s been bringing me down, but I seem to be at a bit of a crossroads in my life, and I’m not exactly sure which way to go. This isn’t new for me, as I am always one to grow and evolve, but this time it seems to be a bit more difficult.

Crossroads

This time, I’m being pulled in two completely different directions, and my heart seems to be caught right in the middle. Both roads will bring me challenges and hardships, but both will also bring rewards; the problem here is that I’m not entirely sure which direction is best for me. In some ways, I have already made choice, I’m just not sure it was the right one.

A few years ago, I went through a similar situation, though the choice was not as difficult to make. Since then, I’ve realized that happiness is not a destination, but instead a journey, one that we have to keep on top of. It’s a bit exhausting, but it’s a journey I’m willing to take.

Lately though, I feel like I’m in this hole. This deep dark pit, that if I let it, would swallow me whole. This pit, has a lot to do with what I’m going through at the moment, but it’s also the fact that I have this huge fear of mediocrity.

Society, as a whole, pushes people into thinking that they have to live life a certain way, and that is the way most people choose, because it’s safe, and what people think they want. I do think it could be what a lot of people want, but not me. No, I want something more.

Crossroads

My dreams for my life are a lot different than most of the people I know, but I don’t think that makes them wrong. Life is for living, and I don’t think that’s what most of us do. We wake up and go through the motions of life, but that is it. It’s as William Ross Wallace once said, “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.”

I imagine my life to be one of immense freedom. One where I can be free and spend time traveling the world as often as possible, soaking up as much of it as I can.

I want to learn from the people I meet and cultures I encounter.
I want my days to be full of the activities I love most.
I want to read and write.
I want to soak up the sun.
I want to hike and bike.
I want to sing and dance and listen to music.
I want to learn something new.
I want to draw and paint.
I want to have long conversations with the people I love most.
I want to take photographs and make memories.
I want my days to be filled with laughter and love.
I want to get out of my comfort zone and face my fears.
I want to cook exotic meals and learn about different cultures through their food.
I want to experience as much of life as I can, each and everyday, and take nothing for granted, ever.

Crossroads

Crossroads

What I’ve learned from traveling it that life is special. The world out there is an incredible place filled with fascinating people who have stories that are meaningful and real.

I know that the life I am currently living is on the road to what I want it to be, and a lot better than what else is out there, but it isn’t one hundred percent what I dream it should be. Not yet anyway. I guess what I’m trying to say, is again, I long for a life that is far from ordinary. I don’t want to be old and grey and regret not doing everything I wanted in my lifetime. Which is why I see no better time than now to make my dreams my realities. Still, with two ways to go, both leading to two realities that would satisfy my needs and desires, I am very unclear of which way to head.

While I figure the direction I’m supposed to go, I’ll leave you with a quote, from Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, that has really resonated with me lately. After you read it, you’ll understand why.

“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.” Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

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Comments (16)

  1. erin

    Erin, I read your post and oh, how it resonated with me. I find myself in a similar situation (could it be all Erins are experiencing this life shift right now?). The only thing I can say is stick with it, explore where you are and how you feel about the situation you’re in and what direction you want/feel compelled to travel. And know that the decision you make will be the right one, because you’re making it with all the knowledge, faith and courage you currently possess.

    Good luck, and I look forward to seeing (or rather, reading) where you end up! 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thank you so much for the encouraging words! Reading this really lifted my spirits. It’s so interesting that you are in a similar situation – maybe you are right about the Erin-thing.

      I’m excited to reveal which way I end up heading, and I have to tell you, I already made some major decisions tonight. I went from feeling anxious today, had a mini-breakdown, and the result is actually so much better. I’m feeling good, and I can’t wait to tell you why. 😉

      Good luck with your journey too! xx

  2. Anita Mac

    Oh Erin, I am so excited for you! I went through a major transition zone last year, and while it was so incredibly hard for everyone in my life to understand, it was the best thing for me! I am a firm believer in having the courage to follow your dreams…I love what you have written here – so deeply personal, yet you are going through the same as so many others at the same time! I know you will keep us posted…can’t wait to hear your plans!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Anita! It’s been an interesting transitional period – not an easy one – but I think the result will really be incredible. While at first I wasn’t happy about what was happening in my life, I’m now so excited to see what is coming next. 🙂

  3. Fiona

    I love that quote Erin – really inspiring and I had never heard it before. Food for thought for sure. Hope you find the courage to take the path that’s right for you!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Fiona! I found it recently and it seemed to embody everything I was feeling. I think I’ve picked one – so excited to finally announce it!

  4. Sarah

    Love that quote! I read, “Into the Wild” during my trip to Ireland and I think it’s one of my favorite books now. I feel quite similar to you in that I’m leaving for something better, something more. Be brave and you will find the path you are meant to take. Best of luck to you! 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      I still haven’t read the entire book, so I’m making it my goal for the summer. 🙂 I’m so excited for you and your trip. Can’t wait to follow along. Thanks for the support! xx

  5. Jess

    That is a pretty awesome list of life goals! I understand about being pulled in different directions – so far I’ve managed to juggle the things I want to do, but leaving a big chunk of my year free to go places for archaeology limits what I can commit to. There’s just so much that I want to do, that I can’t admit I might not be able to do it all.

    1. The World Wanderer

      It’s definitely difficult to be pulled in so many ways. Archaeology must be incredible though! I’m sure you get to travel a bit for that, right? It’s hard to imagine how to fit everything into life when we only have such a short time here. It doesn’t quite seem long enough…

  6. Paul Farrugia (globalhelpswap)

    Good luck on whatever you choose! In the end it will be the right move.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Paul! I think I’ve picked a road, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. 🙂

  7. Craig Zabransky

    I read this and to me it seems your decision has already been made… the question is more do you have the courage to follow it… I am betting yes you do. good luck.
    stay adventurous, Craig

  8. Christine Osborne

    Hit the road, and the world will come to you.

    My new book discusses some of these things. It is available on-line from

    http://www.travelswithmyhat.com

  9. Jessi

    Wow, this post really rang some bells for me too! I’ve had a big year of making decisions and moving my life, but it feels like the big changes are not over yet. I’m a bit behind you in that I can see a few different paths, but I haven’t yet worked out exactly what I want or how I’ll get there. Very inspiring to hear that you’re finding your direction, and I love that quote. Can’t wait to hear about your chosen path!

  10. Kevin Heslin

    I’ve loved reading the post and all the dialogue here. I’m also pushing ahead into change. If it weren’t a little scary, it probably wouldn’t be worth it. But you’re right — our time here is very brief. We might as well go for it.

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