Up until October 10th 2019 I was leading a very normal life. I was studying Literature & Linguistics at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). I was living in an apartment with my boyfriend (at the time) with whom I was in a long-term relationship. I went home whenever I could to spend time with my sister and parents. If I wasn’t studying I filled my time with student jobs, parties, brunch or drinks at one of the million places in our neighbourhood, countless tv-shows, yoga on good days and stupid games on my phone on bad days.
Truth is, although nothing seemed to be wrong, everything was. I didn’t care about anything I was doing. I felt uninspired, tired and stressed out. Even worse, I felt empty, but it’s like I didn’t even know it. I just kept convincing myself that life wasn’t that bad, I should just make the best of it. Now I know that I was completely disconnected from myself and from everyone around me.
Why, you may ask?
I could tell you it’s because my relationships were toxic or because I was constantly surrounded by negativity. Or maybe it was because I’d been physically and mentally ill a few years back and it’d left a mark. Or maybe it was society, or my
lack of real friends or my need to fix everyone else’s problems first. To be honest, it was probably all of it.
So what did I do on October 10th?
I left my entire life behind and jumped on a plane to Costa Rica with no other plan than to write, to explore and to be free. This well thought-out endeavour *ahum* came to me in the midst of a depressing winter at the start of 2019. Back then it was nothing more than a daydream, a fantasy, and I didn’t expect it to become my reality. I felt completely and utterly stuck.
Now, I won’t pretend I suddenly got the courage to change my entire life out of nowhere. As physically and mentally drained as I was at the time, I decided to make myself even more uncomfortable and go to therapy. It’s kind of funny because I only went with the idea to get my anxiety under control but I ended up questioning my entire life, upbringing and sense of self. It wasn’t easy to be seen (after being so used to hiding away and feeling invisible) and to allow someone to tell me the truth, but it changed everything.
I dealt with a lot of personal issues and slowly started to feel like myself again. I’d finally woken up from my slumber. That’s when I thought ‘fuck it’ and booked my ticket. And so my future became uncertain again (is it ever not though?). I am no longer tied to anything or anyone and I have no idea where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing by the end of this year.
It still remains to be seen if I can create a more fulfilling reality for myself (ah, the good old search for happiness), because I’m definitely not there yet, there are still a lot of things I’m working on. But I feel like I have a chance, now that I’m finally doing things that I actually enjoy.
If you feel stuck in the system and want to break free or you already have and you’re making life up as you go (like me) OR you’re simply curious where this impulsive decision will take me, I want to invite you to follow me along on my journey! This won’t just be a travel blog, I don’t want to confine myself to a niche, I want to be able to write about anything I care about.
My hope is to inspire you to live life to the fullest (whatever that means to you) and to not settle for mediocre, for boring, for miserable. We all deserve a chance at inner peace and happiness and I know more than anyone that, more often than not, it’s ourselves that’s standing in the way. For years now, I’ve been trying to get out of my own way.
I hope you’ll join me, because everything is better when shared.
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