Step one to becoming a global backpacker: Accomplished. Today is Christopher Columbus Day, and in the honor of that great explorer, today is also the day I snapped up a one-way ticket from Tampa, Florida to San Salvadora, El Salvador for $207. Window seat 1A. Non-Refundable; departing April 10th, 2013 at 9:45pm– exactly six months from tomorrow. The countdown has begun, and I’m about to find out just how fast six months can go by as I try to tie up all my loose ends in the states.
I have never felt more excited and certain about a decision. As stated in my About Jason page, I recently suffered a quarter-life crisis. I graduated college in 2009, did a wonderful internship with NASA, worked for a year in AmeriCorps fighting poverty and teaching adults to read, then started working in my field doing website design and IT support… Now I’m two years in with the same company. I’m at this great point in my life, right? I should be happy and content, right? Well I’m not.
I’m bored out of my mind in Sarasota. I’ve visited every park, every museum, kayaked every river, toured every attractions, etc more than times than I care to even know. My thirst for new adventure used to be filled by reading travel blogs from other backpackers, and then as my income grew, I started taking domestic adventures of my own.
I started by just going to other large cities in FL by myself. I’d get a good hotel deal off Groupon or something, then just head over and see what happened. From there I started travelling up to NYC every few months to visit my best friend, Christina. I noticed that I was happiest on the subways, in the airports, on unfamiliar city streets, and examining plants I’ve never seen before. I don’t need to be in four-star hotels, and I don’t need to eat in expensive restaurants. The real pleasure of traveling for me is the art of traveling, exploring, and of course the LOCALS—gotta love the locals!
So, as I sit here, I have a smile on my face knowing that I’m one step closer to my ultimate goal. Despite the fact that I will spend hours tonight restoring a website that was recently hacked by Russians, I will be smiling tonight. Tomorrow, I will print out my flight confirmation and tape it to my wall as a reminder for the next six-months that I am already on a non-refundable path to living my dreams.
If you you have goals and don’t quite know what the first step is, read my article about Living Your Dreams.