Here’s The Story Of A Girl Gone Global…
For those who aren’t familiar with my story, let me share with you my story. So in May 2014, I quit my job back just a week after completing my MBA. I had been aimlessly applying for new positions outside of Atlanta, but nothing had quite panned out, so I figured I’d go to Europe for a month or two and see some of the world before heading back into Corporate America. I had been dreaming of exploring Europe for some time and my lousy 10 days of vacation weren’t going to do it.
I began planning my route in January. Realizing that I would need at least 2-3 weeks, I asked my employer for the time off. Of course, we were in the midst of a corporate takeover, a full packaging redesign, among other things and they just couldn’t give me the time off and “leisure travel” didn’t qualify for a sabbatical.
So guess I wasn’t going right? WRONG. This trip was important. Not just for my sanity, but for my well-being in general. I had just went through a devastating breakup, on a high from completing a crazy full-time MBA program (while working full-time) and was sick and tired of Atlanta. I needed a mental reset.
Leaving It All Behind
So… I quit! I put in my two weeks notice, packed up my apartment, put my things in storage and got a companion ticket from a friend on Delta Airlines. At this point, I had some savings, a 24 day tour booked and plans to only return back when I was broke.
I figured if all went to hell, I would just come back, move out to California and stay with family until I landed a new gig. Even if it were moving back to my home state, it would be something different.
Of course, I would’ve liked to have had a companion, but I learned long ago if you want to do anything, do it yourself– for yourself. I had been posting my travel aspirations for months with many giving empty “I’m in/ I’m coming/Let me know the dates.” When it came to book something, it always came to excuses: lack of funds, no passport, no vacation time, etc. Fortunately for me, I’ve always been one to make my own fun, my own path and I credit my charisma, openness and spontaneity for much of my success in life. So if you want something bad enough, don’t wait on others to green light your plans.
Europe On A Budget
Many have asked how I planned such an elaborate trip. Actually, I had an idea of what I wanted to see, but didn’t have any concrete plans besides a 24 day tour with Expat Explore. The rest was totally up to how I felt. If I wanted to go to Belgium, then I went. If I felt 2 days was enough in Crete, then I left when I wanted. I was able to cover a lot of ground this way. So I set off for London (which ended up being Paris due to 2 full flights and my standby status). I booked my hostel once I touched down at Charles de Gaulle airport at a nice Korean guesthouse, where I met some amazing people from all over the globe. Not bad for my first hostel experience!
Two rainy days of sightseeing left me kind of depressed, so I decided to cheer myself up with some American cuisine (at Hard Rock Cafe) and a few drinks. Little did I know, a simple conversation and a few drinks at a bar with some French businessmen would leave me with a job opportunity in Dubai.
Sounded pretty shady at first, but I did my due diligence and research and found it was a legit company after all.
Look Mom, I Didn’t Die!
I finished out my “Around The World in 60 Days” with 17 countries, 39 cities, 7 different currencies, countless stories, priceless memories and a new life in Dubai under my belt. Quite the feat for a young, black girl from East Oakland. I’m now enjoying my days in Dubai, which I affectionately call “the sandpit” and I’m loving every turn my life makes.
So I say all of this to say if you want to make a change in your life, consider these tips:
- Be Open-Minded
- Be Spontaneous/Flexible
- Be Social
- If You Want Something, Write It Down And Work Towards It Every Damn Day
- Stockpile Your Karma Points
- Do Shit That Scares You
- Pack Light And Travel Far