I have been an armchair traveler for a while. I love to read travel memoirs, guide books, and blogs about people doing awesome stuff. I spend a lot of time on Matador Network and devising ways that I can see more than my suburban hometown. I've moved a few times first 2 hours away for college, then 3,000 miles away to San Diego, and crisscrossing the states again, I landed in Washington DC for a year. I've seen quite a bit of the United States, but my travel bug is still consistently pestering me.
During the month of July I was homeless. I had given up my apartment, but was sticking around the DC area for my flights to London, rather than driving to my parents house and having to drive all the way back. I took full advantage of my rent free month. I flew out to Las Vegas (on a southwest rapid rewards free flight. true LUV ) for a weekend with some friends from San Diego, then drove down to Raleigh, NC to visit my college girls that have turned southern. It was great visiting with people, and while at Molly's in Raleigh I found a book on her shelves called The Lost Girls.
The premise of the book is of 3 girls that are 28 that decide to take a year and travel around the world. Most of the stories are about the people they've met and what they've learned about the world and themselves. The girls were fantastic, real and normal, they didn't come from excessive trust funds and live an wildly privileged life. They worked hard, and earned their trip.My sister and brother in law recently did this as well, so it's something that I've been very interested in doing myself.
The timing of finding this book, was when I was doubting some of the choices that I've made for the upcoming months. I have quit my job at my former school in Washington DC and I've decided to spend a few months in Spain. I started to freak out a bit, while my friends are getting married and having children, I haven't been in a long term functional relationship (functional being the key word). I started to think that it would be a better idea for me to just move to Florida in September and scrap the whole traveling idea.
But after reading it, I realized that there really is no rush. Spending 3 months learning a new language and culture is will only help me grow. Although my decision is not the most financially responsible one I've ever made, I am confident that it is the right choice. I'll be leaving for Spain August 29th and spending my first month in San Sebastian enrolled in a language course before moving on to Madrid and up the other side of the coast until November. To please my mother, I will return in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas and will then start the process of moving down to Florida.
The book didn't cause me to jump ship and plan to move abroad, but it did help ease the negative thoughts in my head that was talking louder by the day. Any traveler, aspiring traveler, or armchair traveler in their mid-late 20s, should definitely give this a read.