This travel plan – or better said, travel dream! – started as a plan B: one work contract wrapping up, in the event of not finding right away a very interesting next opportunity, I would take some time off to travel, and…soon, the sound of that plan B pretty much smothered my motivation to find another job right away! And so this became my plan A.

In my best pragmatic, meticulous planning self, I started to systematically set money aside for my big trip. I researched Round-the-world tickets, potential interesting destinations, and slowly, but surely!, concretized my plan. A wonderful honeymoon period thus began. Given my impending end of contract, a lot of people asked me about what I would do after, and telling them (a little healthy, unintentional bragging was of course involved) felt just like telling my best friends about a new crush: butterflies in my stomach, sparkles in my eyes, and that dumbfounded permanent smile.

Every honeymoon, however, has to come to an end. Mine sneaked up on me at first, a lingering doubt that my eyes had been bigger than my stomach: all those countries, over a relatively extended amount of time, were an extremely attractive prospect, but perhaps my finances could just not handle them. Like any lover in denial about their honeymoon coming to an end, I cheekily developed a very trimmed day-to-day budget, a coping mechanism, and handed myself over to the optimism that “it will just HAVE to work”.

Then came the breaking point: a minor trigger (a glance at my bank account balance about a month away from the beginning of my trip), tipped me over the edge…”There’s NO WAY that this will work!”. Nonetheless, this trigger just happened to come right after I had paid the (hefty) balance of my round-the-world ticket, and, as a lover who had just made a significant commitment to their relationship, I told myself “I will MAKE it work”.

That was the onset of my personal growth, spurred by this beautiful relationship: my needs were evolving, and the journey would have to evolve with them. I started brainstorming ways to make my trip less financially demanding, and quickly realized that these could potentially make it that much more enriching. For me, this journey is about exploring new ways of doing things, learning more things about the world and about myself, and finding what lies beneath…and beyond!

I don’t know what the path ahead holds for me, but I do know that, whatever it is, it will teach me plenty. And I would love to share my learning experience with you.