I posted this story two weeks late on my blog because it was one of the hardest for me to write. Even with a stash of pre-written stories waiting for edits, I preferred silence because I had something else to say.
There is a side of travel people do not talk about. The not-so-pretty truth that misses all the “top ten” lists and advice blogs. Instead we push the message that travel is easy. That travel is possible. That travel is cheap.
Let me reveal to you the truth.
Even the best independent travelers have seen the bottom of their wallet and I am no different. I too have faced moments when credit becomes my option to “buy” more time.
There comes a time when the travel life gets “real”. When the realities of life we tried to leave at home catch us on the road. They came to me as I found myself on the cross roads between working in my passion versus a more balanced “travel” job, making just enough to get by.
Which did I choose?
The latter. It was tempting to take the full-time ‘Event Organizer’ role—a position so perfect for my skillset—but this time passion did not win. After much contemplation and silence, even to writing, I found an answer deep within me…
I did not come to New Zealand to live the same life I could at home. I came to experience more. I came to get out of the 9-5 rat race. I came to discover and develop a new me.
Since I left the US in 2011 I have yet to “get serious”. I have lived on-site at every place I worked in roles, from:
Peace Corps Volunteer – in Togo (West Africa) to
Gracious Organizer – in Florida (USA), the Bahamas, the French Alps, and the Dominican Republic to
Marketing Assistant/Coordinator/Festival Co-Organizer – on the North Island of New Zealand…
…and the spaces between are filled with travel.
This time I add Assistant Hostel Manager to the list. Another live-in position that often requires cleaning toilets. It is not glamorous but there are a few things I know for sure: my credit card can stay housed; my work-life balance is great; and this is something I would probably never do in the States.
Do you hear that? It sounds like the perfect combination for success.