Now that I am almost 6 months in my gap year I can tell you how traveling changed my life priorities.
When I was a teenager my dream was to get a good job that would allow me to buy expensive bags and clothes, a nice car and all of that. Career was my main priority and my intention was to work my way up in a big company whilst still young and make good money by the age of 30. I used to be that kind of girl who was always committed to do what it was right for her future and that would always try to get good grades. I used not to like competition that much, however I’d get upset if I didn’t get the grades I was aiming for. I was that kind of person who would just put her head down and be good at school and outside school to reach some sort of achievements and recognition from family and friends.
My life priorities started changing when I left Italy and moved to U.K. where I literally had to re invent myself and my way of seeing things. Leaving home after high school with almost zero English and no experience of the world was Difficult but without any doubts, was the most valuable experience of my life which pretty much formed the person I am now. Not only I had to learn how to look after my self but I also had to make life choices that I wasn’t required to make at home.
Looking back, the decision to get a degree was certainly right and the university life was the most unforgettable time of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But it was during those years that my life priorities started shifting. That committed young girl aspiring to become a manager by the age of 30 was not me anymore. And by the time I graduated, back in July 2016, I had no doubts that the best decision for me would be to go traveling.
That decision was the result of a radical change in my priorities which still nurtures the decisions I make in my everyday life. My whole way of thinking shifted from doing what it was right to what it felt right. And here I am…
After changing my perspective and moving my priorities around, I decided to book a one way ticket to Australia and follow my instincts.
6 months in my gap year I can tell you that traveling has changed completely my life priorities and probably killed my ambition. I was recently in the situation to choose between a really good job opportunity with related stability and a good salary and the traveling life with related uncertainty. Well, I opted for the second. You might think that is incredibly stupid and immature and 17 year old me would probably agree with you.
However, 24 year old me is sure that it was the best decision I could make. The point I’m trying to make here, whether right or wrong, is very simple. Life is short and it’s just stupid to waste my time being something I don’t wanna be just to please others or conform to some social standards. Right now my priority is not to commit long term or to work my ass off to progress in my career. Right now my priority is to take the time to know myself better and understand what it is that I really want to be. And there is frankly no better way of doing that than traveling.
I definitely don’t feel guilty for my recent choices. I mean, Traveling is also a brave choice and for this reason it deserves all the respect. People think that career is the only way to be successful in life and this is what the society forces us to think anyway. Well it’s not. There are hundred of other ways to build skills, success and knowledge and Traveling is definitely one of them.
Because traveling is not all fun, it takes commitment and passion. It forces you out of your comfort zone and challenges your ability to be flexible and adaptable.
However, with all the negative aspects traveling primarily brings a new perspective on who you are, what your real priorities are and what it is instead, just a complete waste of your time. Life’s too short to live in one place and I don’t have any intention to waste my time trying to be something I don’t wanna be just to please others or make someone jealous. Should I feel guilty for this? Should I consider myself a failure?
Traveling might have killed my ambition but it definitely brought me a great deal of happiness.
Off to new Zealand and Fiji next month guys, I will keep you posted! 🌏☀️✈️