Let me take a few steps back for a moment…I think It’s important to share what led me to start this whole journey, because if I ever needed some sort of proof that fate existed then this was it!
First I have a confession, before summer 2013 I never had any interest in travelling…let me just leave that hanging there for a second.
As I write this post I am in the process of setting up what I hope to be my new career (!!) as a travel blogger of sorts, and this is something I just can’t admit was a lifelong dream of mine. To be honest my dream was actually to become a successful Marketer, which I feel I have achieved (Brand Marketing for Heinz, Mr Muscle, Blue Dragon anyone?!) but now I have a new dream that came about by some sort of intervention of fate (well I like to think so anyway).
In 2013 I was blissfully working for Heinz in the UK, in a job I absolutely loved and anyone that knows me will tell you I was in my dream job. Then out of the blue Heinz was bought out by two Private Equity companies and a lot of people started to be made redundant, first in the US and then Europe. Once the news of the US redundancies spread everyone in the UK (well everyone I spoke to anyway!) started to think the worst, and as any normal person would do, started to think about a backup plan. Lots of people ‘jumped ship’ early and took the initiative to find a job before they got pushed, but I loved Heinz and decided to wait and see what happened whilst being sensible and thinking about ‘what I would do if the worst happened?’.
Now, I hadn’t done what a lot of students/graduates do and go travelling during/post Uni, as I was of the mind set of getting ahead in my career as quickly as possible and didn’t have the money or desire to waste a year doing something that I didn’t see the benefit of at the time, and I don’t regret that (I’ll cover that more in a future blog post).
I had also become a real foodie over the last few years and Asian food was most definitely my favourite cuisine (Tsunami in Clapham saw my face on far too many occasions), and I had been religiously watching re-runs of Rick Stein’s Eastern Odyssey (don’t judge!) which followed old Ricky around most of Southeast Asia trying out the local delicacies…I was hooked!
This lead me onto a random thought…why not go to Southeast Asia and try out my favourite cuisine for real? I started looking into it and spoke to some people over a few months and then decided ‘why not?!’…’if the worst happened and I got made redundant I would go travelling to Southeast Asia for a few months’. What happened next surprised me…
As this idea settled in my mind and I did some more researching, the thought grew and grew and I came to the conclusion that actually I didn’t want this to be my back up plan, I wanted to do this for real and decided two weeks before I was due to find out my Heinz fate that no matter what happened, I would travel to Southeast Asia in 2014!
The next bit was hard, drum roll…I didn’t get made redundant.
Mixed feelings eschewed, I had been given a great confidence boost in that not only did Heinz want me to stay but that I’d been moved into an even better role, but now my priorities had changed. I now REALLY wanted to go travelling :/
The next week was an emotional rollercoaster as I re-decided to hand in my notice and was proceeded to be asked if this was really what I wanted to do. I felt like I had to make the decision over and over again that week as different options came up but I REALLY wanted to go and once I have made a decision I usually act on it…fairly impatiently!
I couldn’t believe it, I was leaving my dream job that had taken me years to work towards and here I was throwing in the towel on a whim! but nothing has ever felt so right. Not for one second did I have any doubt in my mind that I was doing the right thing, I was ready. I was grateful for offers from Heinz to give them a call when I got back, and that I would be missed, but the envious comments/looks I got over my 3 month notice period I smugly consumed (sorry guys!).
Bye bye commute, bye bye horrible English weather (it was October by this point!)…hello world 🙂
I once heard that people that haven’t travelled have only ‘read one page of the book’. Having been an ignorant ‘I-just-don’t-get-travel’ person before this point I never really paid much attention to all those clicky people that had been travelling and banged on about it…in fact I was one of those eye-rolling ‘oh just shut up’ types, but I feel like I’ve now ‘got it’, I’ve ‘fallen down the rabbit hole’, walked ‘through the looking glass’ and have had a light bulb moment!
I can’t believe what I was missing!!!!
Have you had a similar ‘light bulb’ moment about travelling? I’d love to hear about it
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