Today is probably my favorite throwback of the year! I arrived in Ecuador on this day 3 years ago for my first solo adventure!
It started out a bit rough. I was scared, my grandma kept telling me I was going to die alone over there, the food was weird and I was having a really hard time forcing myself to eat. I lost a lot of weight in the first week or two and thought a Crohn’s flare up was inevitable. I was terrified I had just made a huge mistake.
Then I calmed down. I kept meeting the friendliest locals, I started to find food I really liked and everywhere I looked, I was surrounded by so much beauty.
During that 3 months, I did so many things that were out of my comfort zone. I ate all kinds of things, I hitched rides from random people, I wandered around alone in what turned out to be some really sketchy areas, I rented a cabin in the middle of nowhere, I faced my fear of heights and I experimented with some psychedelics.
I also attended a month long yoga teacher training in the Andes Mountains and volunteered on a nature reserve in the Galápagos.
Some days were so incredibly fulfilling. Other days, I found myself stressed out and missing my car, my old apartment, my friends…my old life. Then I would remind myself why I left it all behind in the first place. I had been so miserable going to a job I hated just so I could pay for a tiny overpriced apartment in a part of the city I didn’t even want to live in. My car and my friends were still there, waiting for me to come back.
I could have my old life back too, if I wanted it. But I didn’t want it. I loved the constant chaotic uncertainty of travel. I loved not knowing what was going to happen from day to day. I felt alive for the first time in as long as I could remember.
Taking this trip was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. It’s also been the best thing I have ever done for myself. So many people projected their fears and doubts on me. So many people told me I was crazy for giving up a cushy job with health insurance to go roam around alone. So many people were resentful of the fact that I had the balls to do what I wanted when they didn’t.
Don’t let people who are afraid to live their own lives tell you how to live yours.