Taking a Dive Off the Deep End
I don’t think I’ve ever felt so anxious before I went travelling before. This is the first time that travel hasn’t been about taking a break or a holiday or even going on a little escape. This is the first time that I have had such intention in getting on the plane and the closest I’ve been to permanency.
I am terrified. I don’t know what to expect from this trip. I don’t have the structure of a deadline to come or some experience like the Nomad MBA or study abroad. I am leaving this up to chance and the hope that inspiration will strike in the streets of London. What's more is that I'm constantly I’m scared to put too much expectation that I will figure out the rest of my life through this trip.
But more than that, this is the biggest step in committing to this “digital nomad lifestyle.” Rejecting the norm or the safety blanket of full-time work, I am giving myself little excuse but to fly by my own wings – and hopefully the wings of companies that will employ a location-unknown social media marketer.
I’m coming to know what the reality of this life is.
Anytime someone has asked me about it, I’ve talked a pretty big game. I’m more than just a fan; I’m an advocate. I believe that remote work is the manifestation of the digital progress we have thus achieved. I’m passionately ejecting the idea of the “life I knew” in corporate and what feels like running off to the circus.
And no, it’s not easy. It’s a proper hustle; it's no walk in the park – or rather a walk along the beach. I have faced more rejection than in any job search before.
It is exhausting to both value yourself in believing you have the skills and qualifications for the job – but to also undervalue yourself to the price ranges of freelance work. It would be so much easier to return to the comfort and security of full-time work.
Yet, the scariest thing is that I might actually return. I’ve come to rely on the safety net that I still have the option to go back and leave this all ‘silliness’ behind me. But I hate the idea of going back with my tail between my legs, feeling like I'd failed at leaving.
I doubt myself constantly and I talk all this shit about being a boss ass bitch more to convince myself than others. I’m terrified that I really am faking it and will never actually make it – that after all this talk and growing I’ve done, I will fail to live up to all the circumstance I’ve surrounded myself with.
To be honest, what has scared me most is that this is an acute manifestation of my greatest fear – disappointment.
I’m scared of living a mediocre life; of wasted potential or wasted time. I’m scared to have achieved nothing or amassed to nothing. Right now, I’m scared I’ll never be able to pull of this “digital nomad” thing and as much as I want it, maybe I’m just not one of those people.
Of course, in my classic contradictory state, I also don’t want to be one of those people. I have lived my whole life in defiance – proving to everyone that I’m not what they might first think. I’m not just a nerd, I’m not just an Asian, I’m not “one of those feminists” or even the “life of the party.”
So, I definitely do not want to be just another girl who quit their 9-5 to travel the world. The digital nomad lifestyle can be seen In so many ways as a rejection of the corporate conventions. And yet, increasingly, it seems like a classic cliché of the millennial travel blogger.
I don’t want the simplicity of the “quit your job to travel” cliché to fool me into a lifestyle. I want to be doing this because it’s what I want and fulfilling me. I believe it is and perhaps that’s the real reason I’m taking this trip – to test out that theory.
Because what do you do in the face of crippling fear? Throw yourself off the deep end.
(Read more on Turning Talk Into Action)
I am taking away the option of my security blanket – of living at home, of the familiarity of Sydney, of the possibility of work – so that I will give this all my effort. I’m getting my body out of my comfort zone in the hope that the rest will follow. I’m flying blind so I might find my wings to a future I’ve yet to see.
It is probably the most foolish thing I’ve ever done and I want to say genuinely that surely it will work itself out. Frankly, I really don’t know. I’ve never been so unsure.
So why am I taking this trip? It’s a good question. I guess I’ll let you know when it’s done.