“Are you nervous?”
A colleague asked me this the other day. At first, I was kind of confused by the question; “nervous about what?”
His response: “Moving into a van? Traveling on your own? Not having secure income? …”
I was sincerely surprised by that question. I don’t feel nervous about any of that. The truth is, up until he asked, it hadn’t even crossed my mind that maybe I should be a bit nervous…
Right now, all of that seems exciting and amazing to me. Yes, I do worry a bit if I will feel lonely at times but, I know I’m pretty good at being by myself and I’m sure I’ll meet awesome people along the way. And if I do get lonely, I can always come back to Auckland to see my friends for a while or meet up with them somewhere else.
Not having a secure income doesn’t bother me at all! Maybe it should. I’m at an age where most people start to think more about the long-term and focus on saving money, investing wisely and making sure they set themselves up for a comfortable life. For me, on the other hand, the best-case scenario is that I will be able to earn enough to cover my costs – I will probably have to tap into my savings at times. I’m definitely not gonna be saving money in the coming months. But somehow it doesn’t worry me at all. I know deep in my heart that the experiences I will have over the coming months will be worth more than any amount of money could ever be – at least to me.
But my colleague asking me if I’m nervous about these things made me think…
I noticed there had been other parts of this whole adventure that other people were concerned about or said they would find hard – but I’m really looking forward to them.
Moving into a van comes with a real limitation of how much ‘stuff’ you can take. And in my case, once the ‘must have’ kiting and surfing gear is in the van, there really isn’t much room left. Several of my friends have asked about this and said they would find it really hard to get rid of all their things.
I’ve been loving ‘getting rid’ of a lot of my things over the past few weeks. It feels so good, so freeing. It literally feels like the weight of all the stuff has been taken of my shoulders. I’ve been selling and giving away a lot of my stuff and have already put a lot of what I really want to keep into storage. I probably have to do another round of ‘can come’ / ‘can’t come’ before I actually leave. But, to tell you the truth; I’m looking forward to it.
I can’t wait to be full-time in the van and really reduce my life to the stuff I actually need and not having to worry about all the ‘other stuff’ anymore.
So all these basics things that other people seem to find hard or challenging don’t really bother me much at all.
But somehow, I couldn’t get the ‘Are you nervous?’ question out of my head.
Yes, the excitement and anticipation is definitely stronger than any doubt or fear right now, but I realised, underneath that, there is a certain nervousness. Not about being alone, having no money or having to give up ‘stuff’. The thing I’m actually a bit nervous about is that I don’t love it as much as I think I will.
Ever since I came up with the idea for Life Done Differently and moving into my van I’ve been feeling this sense of clarity, energy and contempt. I’ve been picturing it in my head; How amazing it will be, all the things I will see, the stories I will write and all the waves I will surf. I have this crazy level of faith and certainty that I’m doing the right thing. It’s that faith and certainty that made me risk my promising career, give up my secure income and it’s why I’m willing to say goodbye to my amazing friends for a while.
But what if I don’t love it as much as I think I will?
What if I don’t actually find the inspiration I’m looking for? What if I don’t find the solitude and quiet a crave? What if I don’t find the stories I want to tell?
What is ‘having time’ makes me lazy and unproductive? What if solitude turns into loneliness?
And what if I do love it and then turn into a crazy lady that can’t fit back into society and ‘normal’ life?
Those are the things I’m nervous about. Not enough to stop me from doing it – not even close. But enough to be on my mind.
But maybe that is what makes all this such an amazing experience. If I would know for sure that it will all work out the way I want to, what would be the excitement?
This is supposed to be an adventure. A time to explore, to just live and see what happens, a time to take risks! And I think if it weren’t for some kind of worry and nervousness it probably wouldn’t be that.
Three weeks to go before the big adventure starts :)
PS: One things I am seriously getting f*&%ing nervous about is the fact that I still haven’t been able to figure out a way to transport my longboard and my paddle board. I’m planning to head off in three weeks and have been reaching out to pretty much anyone in NZ who does anything with cars, steel and fiberglass but no one seems to be up for the challenge…
PPS: Unfortunately going on this trip means leaving my beloved truck, Fred, behind so he is looking for a new adventure buddy (aka owner). Learn more here and, if you’re in New Zealand, please share so I can find Fred and awesome new owner :)