Here I was, sweat beading down the side of my face, heart thumping so loud I could hear it in my ears, and biting my arm to keep from crying – or screaming.
I was having yet, another anxiety attack. After completing a very successful presentation to the VP of our department, the overwhelm of what I perceived of my life and the toxic work environment, sent me into another spiral.
After the Attack was over, I went back into the meeting with a smile on my face and taking notes like I really gave a damn.
Enter my life at 26.
After graduating from college, obtaining a high paying position at a Forbes top corporation, moving to The Big Apple, full social life, and maximizing my vacation days, from the looks on social media my life was LIT *twerks*!
Yet inside, I was fighting a huge internal battle between where I was and where I knew my heart wanted to be. Certainly, I had more to give this world then some metrics on project performances? Surely my worth extended past a “great job this mid- year review, we will talk promotion in another 6 months”, after working super late nights and early mornings.
Not to mention being the only Black person on the 2nd floor. To add insult, I was under the age of 30, had the credentials and know-how, and spitting out recommendations and solutions to rooms full of good ‘ole curmudgeons who would pat me on the head with a “that’s nice but we will continue doing it our way.”
I was over it.
Enter my life at 27.
A year later, after the episode in the women’s bathroom, I knew I needed to talk to someone outside of my family and friends. Leave it up to the traditional Black family from the South, I knew my Parents and family would tell me to “pray it off”, and my friends just did not know what to say.
I took some time off of work and saw a therapist. One of our sessions tapped into what made me the happiest and “traveling the world” was the first thing that popped into my head.
Refusing to take medication as treatment, I made the scariest, most daring, and the best decision of my entire life.
I left my “good” job.
I left a 6 figure salary, a beautiful downtown apartment in Philadelphia, my favorite brunch spots, and health insurance behind. All I knew, was that traveling made me happiest. Experiencing different cultures, sensory overload, meeting interesting people, and being out of my comfort zone – I loved it all and I knew, at that very moment, I needed to travel in order to change my life.
So I sold everything in my apartment and packed up the rest in my car.
Over the next 3 months, I backpacked, alone through South East Asia. A young, woman of color, with only a backpack and a heart and mind ready to heal.
I was terrified.
Leaving it all behind and caring everything I had left in the world on my back, felt like walking on a cloud. I had nothing. Yet I felt so free. I was shedding. Fears, doubts, low confidence, exceptions set out for my life – all fell off of me.
Traveling the world freed me from Anxiety and Depression.
Through my journey, I saw people happy and fulfilled just to have the time and ability to spend with family and friends.
I learned that my opinion and perspectives meant something and were valuable.
I learned that my passions, skills, and know-how, could give me the ability to create the life I desired outside of the American Dream.
My perspective and outlook on life broadened.
I learned how to walk in my worth and in my Power.
I became fearless.
I was a new person.
Yosemite National Park. Two Weeks After Leaving Corporate America.
Enter My Life at 29.
Two years later, I am still traveling the world, sharing my experiences with others through my travel blog and adding as much value to the world as I can.
Travel still saves me from me.
Every time I travel – I learn a little more, shed a little more, grow a little more.
Travel is my therapy, when I am feeling entitled, selfish when my ego starts speaking, or when depression attempts to creep back in.
Travel saved me.
Love this so much! I had the same anxiety at your age and I had no one to talk to. Although I’m older I’m truly inspired and going to take a leap and travel alone somewhere!
Thank you for reading Shivon!You should definitely go on a solo trip atleast once! 🙂
This is truly inspiring to me!!! I am 27 now and going threw the exact same thing. Finding that o e this game that makes you happy can be hard but when you do its like a breathe of fresh air. I look forward to reading more from you.
Hi Nichelle!Glad you enjoyed the post!
I’m at the same point in my life right now. I just got back from spending a few weeks in Italy and it truly put things into perspective. I need to break away from the deadlines, unfulfilling projects, no room for creativity, the list goes on. I am preparing for the big exit.
Hi Debe!GOOD LUCK on the journey!
It’ll be exciting for sure!
Like you just don’t know what reading this did to me I was smiling throughout especially being in my early 20s. Im 23 about to graduate my family expects me to go to law school but honestly I just want to experience something new. I truly enjoyed this
Hi Sharen!Glad you enjoyed this! If I could do it all over again… I’d say really nurture what you’re passionate about.
Thank you so much for your openness and honesty! You were so brave to make that big decision! I made the same decision last year, but my job definitely wasn’t 6 figures and even then it was a little freaky – but it was freeing!
Keep sharing your journey and spreading the love of travel
This just totally blessed me! Thank you so much for sharing this because I am going through a similar experience. When you were describing your experience in “Enter my life at 26”, I felt like I was reading my own story. I just turned 26 and yesterday I wrote my resignation letter to my job. I have not submitted it yet but I think it’s time that I should. Please keep sharing your experiences.
Thank you for the kind words Samara!Keep pressing!
Hey! I LOVE your story. I been really thinking about taking that leap of faith. My question is how do you live, like how do you earn money to survive?
I am an Entrepreneur!But there’s various ways including: online teaching, freelance, working remotely, etc.
Thank you for this! I am already an entrepreneur but even that tends to get stressful, sometimes too stressful for a cancer survivor like myself. My first international trip was to Costa Rica in high school. My most life changing international trip was to Ghana the summer after high school. As of today, I am truly looking forward to getting back to my first loves- music and travel! My goal is to accomplish the 30 countries under 30 years old challenge! -zaakirahnayyar.com
You’re a warrior! Go after that globe sis!
I am in college to be a nurse to get stability and ease into the medical field then ill go back to be an OB/GYN bbut i also wanna travel and do a diary or blog like you. Care to share advice or wisdom?
Have you thought about travel nursing? You can merge both travel and your profession!Blogging and creating content is all about connecting your audience.
This is inspiring! I’ve been feeling like my job is pushing me down and holding me back, but fear is what’s kept me from throwing my hands up and walking away. And also that my employer is allowing me to take a continuing education class which help me get another credential. I’m an xray tech and have wanted to be a travel tech for so long. I feel like this could make me more marketable but that also means another 6 months at this job. Aaargh, I’m so torn.
Anyway, I’m usually a solo travel but anxiety keeps me from going and doing more. I’m also reeeeally shy. Advice? Tips? Suggestions?
Thanks for this post! Keep up the great work!!
I would say, stick with your employer until you finish your education.And I battle with Anxiety too, but you can’t let that hold you back from living your BEST life.
You know just yesterday I was telling a friend of mine how unhappy I am with my current Job. 2 years into my “High paying” job I realized the money was not the issue as I have previously thought I’m just not happy with the kind of contribution I am making to my own space and the world. When I was talking to my friend (she knew where I worked but didn’t know what I do or my title), so she asked what my title at work is. Her response to my title made me realized what needed to be done hey. So with shock she says to me “You are important moes…”. What resonated with was I didn’t feel important with all that money I still don’t feel like this is it insted I want more however on my terms. Sorry for such a long response *hides*. Thank you so much for sharing
You’re welcome. Thank you so much for the response!
Thank you so much for the transparency . I really enjoyed reading this article and I too have been teetering with the idea of traveling the world and even in my own country ….My situation is a little more complicated but I’m hoping I can get the courage to take that leap of faith as you did.