I always have been a career-oriented person. I studied law, dreaming of becoming the biggest criminal lawyer in the country, thoughts of a big house and a luxury car consumed me. I had very tormented teenage years, which fed the ambition of becoming something big, something bigger than everyone else. I come from a family of intellectuals that believe that studying and having a stable, respectable profession is the only way to go, so I followed that path believing that if I ever wanted to be happy, I had to have it all.
But even though I couldn’t put my finger on it, I knew something was wrong. When I finished studying, I couldn’t get myself to start working. I couldn’t make peace with the fact that that this would be my life, that I would be doing this for the next 40 years of my life.
So I ran away, literally.
I grabbed my passport and moved to London by myself, less than a month after having the idea. I studied there for a couple years to do my conversion course to be a lawyer there, but I was still unhappy. I threw myself into partying. Maybe that is the life we all want, jet setting around Europe, dancing like there is no tomorrow and drinking myself to delusional happiness. I was wrong again. Even though I was always surrounded by people, I never felt more alone in my whole life.
Law was clearly not the path for me and I needed to change direction ASAP. I started working in the financial sector and kind of liked it. It was challenging, intellectually motivating and I felt like I was doing something that could interest me for a while. In the time being, I started a weird new sport that I’ve never heard about before; spearfishing. Once in a while, I was leaving behind my fast-paced London life, travelling in the most basic conditions and to my surprise, loving it. A lot. I mean, I always loved spending my weekends at the family cottage playing outside when I was a kid, but none of my friends would have pictured me as an “outdoorsy girl” in a million years. But here I was, doing camping trips in Africa, living off fish we caught ourselves, sharing it with the local community and having the time of our lives.
I was discovering this whole new world that was so far from what I expected or even imagined and I was loving it. I was loving it so much that I wanted to do it all the time, I wanted my life to be about it. I got my first gig to do a documentary a couple of years ago and that was it, I felt like I found a place that would make me happy; a place where I could learn more about myself in 6 months than my entire life. I quit my job and decided to go all in. Was I scared to leave my comfortable life in London? Yes, I was. I was petrified. My new lifestyle would come at a price and it was hard. I gave away my dogs that could not have the stability they deserve, I gave up my paying job and I left the home that took me 6 years to build.
I had suddenly no home, no dogs, no boyfriend and no security in life, at 28 years old. I was basically homeless.
I traveled all the time, sleeping on friend’s couches and finding the money where I could by taking small contracts here and there, but for the first time in my life, I could truly say that I was happy. Really happy in fact.
-Finding yourself in a situation where you have access to nothing and where you are left to yourself teaches you so much about the person you are and what is really important for you.-
For the first time in my life, I was exposed to what I really wanted and not what I have been told to want. I am still discovering myself more and more every day and it is not something I could have done in a 9 to 5 job.
-The happiness you reach by slowing down and taking the time to discover yourself is so intense that you can almost touch it. It is palpable.-
Through all of those adventures, I managed to work on a venture that is now a thriving business.
Will I travel like that for the rest of my life? Probably not, but when I will be ready to re-enter the “normal” world, I will be sure that the values and perspectives I have are real and in harmony with the person I truly am. Because in the end, that where it all starts.