Hi everyone! My name is Jen and I’m looking for some advice, I suppose! I’m 32 (okay, 33 at the end of the month) and am contemplating traveling for either the month of August or September. Unfortunately, I find myself constantly battling with the “American” values I was raised with (ie…college, career, marriage, family, career, career, career).
A little bit of my backstory…I’ve always felt this desire to see the world, but this was never an option that I was presented with while growing up. Where I grew up, it wasn’t “are you going to college?” it was “where are you going to college?” It was expected. I followed the same path as all of my friends and 10+ years on the majority of them have climbed that ladder and have the successful career, marriage, 2.5 children with the house in the suburbs. No matter how much I feel like I want to (and try) to catch up to everyone, it just doesn’t even seem to happen and it’s as if I’m constantly treading water.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2009 (I was 26) and was working at a restaurant that was renowned for hiring Irish students here on J1 visas. Working with these kids who were aged 19 - 21 opened my eyes to this whole idea of leaving your home and seeing the world. It was because of them that I pursued and succeeded in getting a work visa and moving to London completely on my own in 2011. I lived there for 3 years, finally returning to the States in 2014. It’s been rough since being home (dealing w/ a break up, moving back in w/ the parents, finding a job and figuring out “what next?”. Basically, trying to catch up to everyone else who in that time had gotten engaged/married, started families or received promotions.
The career that I spent the last 2 years trying to cultivate I have finally decided that it’s not where my heart lies and I don’t want to do it anymore. I’ve always looked at not being married, not being in a relationship, not having a solid career and not having kids as something bad, like I was failing at life in my 30’s.
Once again, I have the summer off (apart from my serving job) to “figure it all out,” (again). My original plan was to spend the summer looking for a job, adopt a rescue dog (to join my street cat I acquired in London) and try obtain that mainstream life in Chicago. However, I’m feeling like I should look at not being tied down (apart from my cat and apartment) as a blessing instead of a curse. I can just pick up and travel somewhere.
Soooooooo. I need some advice! Do I stay, get the dog and spend my summer applying for job when I still have no clue what I want to do? Or do I put that on hold for a month to have an adventure?
have an adventure!!!!!!!!!! You will love it!!!
Has anyone ever done any of the volunteer programs via this site or just did your own thing? Thanks!