Today marks exactly 10 months since I’ve moved home from two years of work experience in U.K., traveling Europe, and visiting/living with my dad in Iran for 3 months!
I was anxious to come home after being away for so long. As excited as I was to see my family and friends, I dreaded moving back into our small 2 bedroom apartment, where there was literally no room for me. I gave myself a 3 month deadline to find my dream job as an Event Planner and move out. I applied online, in person, networked, attended workshops, joined employment service programs, and did anything I could possibly think of in order to land my ideal position. But despite all my efforts, I kept getting offers for positions and companies I wasn’t interested in.
Trying to make sense of this state of unemployment, yet lacking the motivation and desire to start at just any job, I decided to dig a little deeper (a big thank you to the “self-help” section of the library).
The underlying answer to all my readings, interviews, and overall research was this: to be happy in life, you have to follow your passion and do what makes you happy. Simple, right? Wrong! I had been telling myself for 7 years that my passion is Event Planning. Part of the reason why I moved to the U.K. was to work as an Event Planner and I was finally at a place where I could get hired as one, yet all the job descriptions bored me to death! If I wasn’t getting even slightly excited at the thought of the jobs – what were the chances of me being happy with devoting 40+ hours a week to commute to work and be present in an office?
So, if not Event Planning, then what is my passion? I thought about Psychology again, I have my BA is Psych, maybe I could go back and get my Masters, perhaps in Australia. That way I could travel down under AND get my masters degree. Kill two birds with one stone. But which domain of psych would I specialize in? I did more research and ran more informational interviews to figure this out. Although I still don’t know what I would choose if I were to get my Master’s degree, the informational interviews were definitely a huge help as they lead me to where I am today.
For those of you who know me, you can probably guess where I’m going with this. Traveling, the underlying theme to everything that I have done in the past 7 years, was the answer. My passion is traveling. What makes me happy in life is seeing different parts of the world, experiencing new cultures, and meeting people from all over. I may be sleeping in hostels with bedbugs (oh it’s happened), budgeting myself to 10 euros per day (yep, also happened) BUT I feel the happiest, even under some rough circumstances, knowing that every day is going to be a new experience. Not always great, but always a new experience.
It’s amazing how decisions are so much harder to make when they’re our own. It took me 5 months of intensive research and thorough self-reflection to come to a conclusion that seemed like it was staring me in the eyes the whole time.
I guess I’d been reluctant to commit to a full-time traveller status as I know it can get expensive, but I figured, money comes and goes, it is these years that I will miss out on if I don’t take advantage of these no-responsibilities, no-commitment, no-problems, youthful times!
I think it’s important that we all take a step back and reevaluate our goals and dreams at least once every few months. Check-in with ourself that what we thought was the right path 5 years ago, still makes sense today. It can be difficult to make changes, specially when we’ve been working hard towards a goal for a while and making good progress but the longer we wait the harder it becomes to change things.
I’ll leave this post with a HUGE thank you to my family who have kindly supported me through every good and bad decision I’ve ever made in my life. I’ve changed my career path three times in the past 5 years and moved in and out of my home thrice, and each time my cute little mama and sissy have welcomed me back with open arms. Thank you guys SO much – you are the reason why I can do this.