Seven months ago, I bought a one-way ticket to Cartegena and started this whole “trip around the world”. When I set out on this journey, I did not set any time limits and did not put in a major effort to form an itinerary. That being said, there were a few plans made before my vagabonding months that guided me to some of my destinations.
While my initial instinct led me to explore the coffee fincas of central Colombia and practice my Spanish, a visit back home for Christmas and an agreement with my friends to visit their side of the world for New Years took me to Cambodia. A promise to be at a friend’s wedding took me from Vietnam to India and a family vacation a year in the works brought me back to South Africa.
After I said goodbye again to my family in March, I realized how much had changed in nine months. Last year in June, I left Durban after my half-year work assignment there. I was back on streets that look so familiar but now everything was different. My company is not sponsoring my stay or giving me an apartment and car to get around. I don’t work for a company or have any income to speak of. But more importantly, I have no place I’m meant to be going next. Never before has my life ahead been as wide open; a billion different forks in the road that lead to the where I’ll be, the what I’ll do, and the who I’ll be.
This realization is as scary as it is liberating, but ultimately I embrace the uncertainty. Fear of the future used to be a massive impediment for many parts of my life, but seven months ago I dove into it headfirst. I put a small pile of my things in a bag and went to a country I’ve never been to before. I did this because I realized that even as comfortable and structured my life had been, the future is as unknowable as it is inevitable. Rather than trying to control it, I’ve let the future take me where it will.
Here’s to the coming months of adventure through uncertainty.