I walk around in a state of constant discontent. I hate it about myself.
I feel like an ungrateful person gifted with opportunity, stability, and family. I feel like I take everything I have for granted because I am constantly focusing on where I am not. And where I am not is behind the camera lens posing with the 7 Wonders of the World. Where I am not is in a hot spring in Iceland. Where I am not is desperately trying to figure out how you say, “where is the ATM,” in a language I do not speak.
Do you feel the same? Cool…keep reading.
I have a wanderers soul and I don’t know where it came from. It doesn’t make sense because I am not necessarily the most extroverted person in the world. In fact, meeting new people can be exhausting for me. Yet, it is all I want to do. I relish in trying new foods, in observing new cultures, in learning new languages…
In my society, they tell you that success is experience. You need experience to do anything in your career and yet no one wants to give you experience. It’s kind of like money. (**Internally groans in despair.**) In my society, if you aren’t working a full-time job right out of college, you’re not doing it right. In my society, you come out of college in debt with more money than your feeble mind can comprehend. You push yourself to your limits to get an amazing GPA just to celebrate at an anticlimactic three hour event entitled “graduation”, then you are thrown into a financially unstable world where you need 3+ years agency experience to even get a second glance.
Or, for some of my friends that understand the feeling but are in different situations; you have a job that you don’t like, but money makes you stay. You know your true purpose is something more fulfilling, not going into a corporate office where it literally feels like all things good and alive stop at the door. Fulfilling might mean making a difference every day. It might mean owning your own company. But fulfilling is scary and out of reach because you have bills to pay and a sense of obligation.
I sound depressive, I know. That’s not my point, of course. My point is, I’m 22 and I’ve been working 40 hour weeks at a crisis management and brand management company. I’m just an intern, so again my work doesn’t transfer to “work experience” on a piece of paper. I am living pay check to pay check and I need to start paying off my debt in 6 months. I’m already just trying to get through the weekdays…and I’m 22. The worst part is, I know I’m not the only one.
I’m sorry…BUT WHAT KIND OF LIFE IS THAT?! I’m freaking 22 and I keep forgetting it! How old are you? Why are we trying to rush into a lifetime of stress and mediocrity? I get that society makes us conform to its standards of success, but do we have to reach that success in the traditional way?
So, I decided to go back to school. I am officially on the hunt for an international masters program. Even better, I am looking to return to my beloved Netherlands, because why the heck not?
(100% took that from Google and stumbled across the best Harry Potter memes ever.)
I loved the Netherlands when I lived there in the summer, I’ve already got a blog for it (cosholland.wordpress.com,) and I have some friends there. And honestly, I deserve the chance to take on that country independently, and as unconfidently and introverted as I am until I become confident. (Can I get an amen?)
Worst comes to worst, I come back after a year to more debt with another degree under my belt. YAY. I have my heart set on the Netherlands, but I know life has a funny way of working and that the man upstairs probably has his own plan. So, should I end up in Portugal or Germany or Italy or wherever, that’s fine. But, say a prayer that I qualify for the program I’m interested in! 🙂
I just want to say, that’s my way of fixing this. That’s my way of giving myself a purpose every day. I’m a passionate traveler that wants my brain to act like a sponge and just soak up all the knowledge of the world. But, what’s your passion? What goal can you set that will make you happy to get up every day and work toward? There is some way to go about making your life more fulfilling and doing something you like. It may not be instantaneous, but I can promise you just the idea of working toward it makes the weekdays seem brighter.
Anyway, blogging is hard when you are a 20 something working full-time. Imagine if you are a 20 something essentially running away from real life to go chase herself down across the pond, though? That’s some good blogging content guaranteed. Maybe my whole travel blogging career thing might even take off. (Side note, I actually tuned into a webinar today on how to build a social media following from some really famous travel bloggers. I’m not even ashamed.)
The reason I decided to write about this is because I know I am not the only one. If I was, there wouldn’t be so many gosh dang Pinterest quotes about it. Also, I talk to my friends and family. Apparently this is a normal thing. The thing is, I’m afraid as it is. I’m afraid that I will let life go by just as much as I’m terrified by the idea of going to a foreign country where I barely speak the language to study (more.) But, if I’m 22 and I’m letting fear dictate me already, then I can guarantee I will never be the person I want to be.
So, I think that people can relate. I know people can relate, actually. So I’m going to keep you as updated as possible on my process if you perhaps want to become an expat yourself. Thanks for reading everyone! I’m going to try to write more and actually build a following now that I have discovered SEO. (<– that’s a sure sign of experience, right there.)