The reason why I traveled solo in South America

Thought about reading my old blog posts and decided to write again on why I ended up alone in Brazil at the end of 2015.

Although I still agree with what I wrote, I don’t agree with the tone I used anymore . That’s why I’d like to give it a try again today. Maybe 5 years from now I’ll change my mind again…who knows?

If you were to ask the people who knew me, they would all tell you they were surprised by my decision and thought I was crazy. But now when I reflect on it, I tell myself ,“It was always meant to be that way.”

As far as I can remember, maybe when I was like 13, I always told myself that if I had the choice between a well paid job that makes me unhappy and another one that doesn’t pay as much but makes me happy, I’d choose option #2. There would always be people disagreeing with me but I wouldn’t change my mind. And until this day, I still believe that what matters in life is to be happy.

Happiness comes in all forms

Maybe happiness is about having a corporate career, be the owner of your own house, go on vacations twice per year, and afford to buy yourself all the luxury bags and clothes you want.

Or maybe it’s about being a stay-at-home mom and working on your hobby on your spare time.

People get confused because I had it so good in my corporate career. I had a great paycheck, could afford all the trips I’ve ever dreamed of, hang out with friends 3 times per week, lived in my own apartment.

At 27, I had reached all my goals in life

But I couldn’t feel happy about it.

I was feeling lost and, at first, I didn’t know what to do.

I considered the options: a) staying at my current job which didn’t work for me anymore but I had a great income, or b) just quit and give myself a chance to start a life in a way that would make ME happy.

What was the point of keeping my job if I was feeling miserable in it?

At that time, I still had 2 years of student loan to pay. It was risky but I thought to myself, “It’s now or never.”

The process of thinking about quitting and actually doing it took me 6 months. It wasn’t an easy decision mostly because I was afraid of other people’s opinions. But once I realized that this is MY life, thus MY decisions, I started to make plans for this new chapter in my life.

I thought about what I could do after quitting my job and traveling came as an obvious answer

I’ve always enjoyed traveling but was always too afraid to do it alone. So I saw this as an opportunity, and with the help of a friend, I decided to go on a trip in South America.

Never been there, didn’t even speak Portuguese nor Spanish. I’ve learned Spanish at school but forgot everything about it. I tried learning a bit of Portuguese before going to Brazil but it didn’t help me much.

What can I say? I love challenges. Or put in other words, I was naive BUT determined to find the answer to this question:

What would I enjoy doing every day for free for the rest of my life?

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