I relaunched this blog, and then promptly went and turned my life upside down, so now I’m back with this post!
The seeds of this massive life upheaval were planted long ago. My obsession with travel runs deep, and for several years I daydreamed about running away to Cambodia to spend my days on a verandah writing a book. But it seemed out of the realm of the possible. London life is not neceassrily conducive to putting aside a year’s worth of expenses to finance a sabbatical.
As I progressed in my career and salary, I pursued my passion in two-week chunks of holiday — flying off to Israel and Vietnam and Cuba and Toronto — and my increasingly frequent work trips — speaking at conferences in Beijing and Santiago and Chicago and on and on. The more I travelled the more I wanted to travel. I started to have regret about not making the leap. I don’t want to live with regret.
At the same time, I was running out of steam at work. Gradually, the idea of becoming a freelancer, which had always scared me before, became a viable option. It still didn’t happen overnight. I laid the groundwork financially, made logistical plans. I thought about nothing else for months.
When the time came to hand in my notice on my well-paying job and my beautiful rented warehouse conversion home, it felt like it should seem real. I left both in December. But actually, sitting on the beach a couple of thousand miles of physical distance and emotional space from my London life, reality hasn’t quite fully set in. Mostly I just feel incredibly spoiled.
I’m starting out my open-ended journey in Barbados. It’s a way to ease into my new life on the move. Some of my family is here, I’ve got friends here. Life happens at a slower pace on a small island in the sea, when your toughest decision is whether to go into town or to the beach.
I’ve been here for three weeks, and I’m starting to emerge from the haze of exhaustion that ruled my life for more than a year. I’m working on starting my freelance business and excited for what’s ahead. I’ll be in Barbados for a couple more months before moving on. It’s going to be quite a year…