“As with any journey, who you travel with can be more important than your destination.”
I’ve been thinking about sharing this particular topic for a while now – one reason being that you can get to know me on a deeper level and understand the “whys” behind the lifestyle I chose, and another being that I don’t want to portray my life as perfect because although my life is one of many many things, perfect is not one of them (although it is pretty awesome).
Let’s take it back to the summer of 2014 shall we?
The Dreaded Post-Grad Life
I was in a really weird place. I had graduated in May from NAU and moved back to the Phoenix area. I had a marketing internship lined up and about a month into the “what could have turned into a full-time job” internship, I was absolutely miserable. I was a valuable asset to the company, this I knew, however they were giving me busy work that was completely irrelevant to the job title I got hired in as. Not only that but the boss-man was a total jerk. When he made the decision to yell -and oh so professionally, swear in my face – I up and left.
I was also newly single. I had broken up with a great guy because truth be told, my heart wasn’t in it. I never fell out of love with someone else, making me feel like I was living a lie.
So here I was: unemployed with a ton of debt from student loans burdening me, living back at my moms, single, confused and totally off-track from where I saw myself a year prior. Being in your early 20s can really suck sometimes!
After a couple months of applying for several jobs, exploring the ever-so-lovely world of Tinder and even spontaneously moving to another state for an entire week, I landed myself a decent job at a startup in Phoenix as a copywriter. Two words: game changer.
I finally gained some ground and felt that good things were coming my way. And they did.
In addition to the few months of success at my new job, Iden (surprise, the guy I never fell out of love with!) and I had also been rekindling our relationship through consistent calls and texts and a visit from him in Phoenix. After seeing him in person again, I knew there was no going back . Ever since I met him in 2011, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be with him for potentially the rest of my life – and the feeling was mutual.
This was great and all but I finally had a steady job going, as did he, states away. Not only that but about a week after he visited, my job asked me if I was serious about staying as a long term employee and offered a pay raise as an incentive.
Now at this point I’m sure most young people would jump at the chance of a pay raise three months into their valuable jobs. I, however, responded by asking for some time to think about it. My gut feeling told me there was no guarantee I would be around for more than a few months.
After I had told Iden the conversation between my supervisors and me, he realized that this could be our “now or never” moment and threw the idea of me moving out there.
Okay “threw” might be the wrong word. Iden is THE most analytical, over thinker I’ve ever met. Ever. So it didn’t actually happen like that – we had previously talked about moving in together, eventually. So when he offered me to move out there I knew he was serious about it. Now I really had a decision to make.
If I chose to move out to northern Texas, where he was working at the time, I would be leaving my job, my friends and family, my cat, and a place where everything was familiar to me. I would be moving to a place where the population was one fifteenth of Phoenix, I would be moving to a place where I don’t know anyone, I’d be unemployed, and we’d be moving to another foreign town within the year.
With all these odds against me, my impetuous personality recognized that I also had the chance of a lifetime – it’s not every day that a 22 year old has the chance to live, travel and grow with the one they love. Maybe it sounds like young, dumb love but I’m a pretty smart girl (not to mention I’m dating a genius) and I knew that this is something we both wanted to do and would therefore make it work.
No Ragrets – Not Even One Letter
Almost two years later and – warning: sappy moment – we’re strong as ever. We’ve matured and have gone through so much together through our travels, remodeling a home together, raising a dog and so much more! I couldn’t ask for more.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been an infinite amount of challenges that come with this unique and hasty lifestyle. Loneliness has been the biggest challenge by far. Going from almost always being surrounded by friends and people I love to only having and knowing one person in a vicinity of miles and miles is really freakin’ tough. Especially for someone who’s like seventy percent extroverted and thrives on social interactions.
Even though isolation was one huge adjustment, I’m still in constant awe of how fortunate I am. Every day I take the time to relish in the beautiful life I’ve chosen. I thank God every day for all the crazy, incredible opportunities I’ve been given and honestly can’t wait for what’s to come.
So yeah… if I had the chance to choose love and the uncharted travel life over a promising career, I would choose it all over again… and again.