Pursuing a meaningful life – my journey

Isabella BEYOND 0 Comments

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Every time I moved to a different place I always had mixed feelings: on the one hand it felt like home 2 seconds after landing, on the other hand, I always knew that I was going to leave soon, and leave I did, with a cold heart and great memories in my suitcase.

It happened in Mexico as well, although it took me 3 years to realize I wasn’t going anywhere and that I could have bought a car for my sanity (using a taxi every day is not fun).

I loved this country so deeply (and still do), and found myself having so much fun in my job that I was almost sure that this was THE place, the promised land, where I was supposed to settle. Settle…What a word! But really, everything was so perfect: my job, my co-workers, my boss; and after work it was even better. My friends, the beach, the surroundings, the houses where I lived (I moved 3 times you know, intent on not losing the habit of changing). NOT a single thing was wrong here, and yet, every now and then, I felt the urge to think about where the next move would be to.

Volunteering in Africa

When friends or family hinted at coming to see me, the first thing that came out of my mouth was, “You had better hurry up, because I don’t know when I am outta here!”

Do I  really want to spend the rest of my life in only one place, regardless of how beautiful it was? Would I have time to see the world if I were to go on vacation once a year, every year?

And then another work trip would come up, and off I would go to Barbados again, then Curacao, the Bahamas, Jamaica, you name it: beautiful places, amazing hotels, great business partners (some of whom eventually also became friends).  And once more my mind was deceived. I was going nowhere. Look at where I ‘’have to’’ go to work. Am I sure I want to leave everything behind to go and live like a gipsy, in a situation of financial insecurity?

A work trip in the Bahamas

I am a luxury hotels freak, well, who wouldn’t be? I know how to audit a luxury property, what clients can expect from high-end service; I am a very demanding guest myself, and highly appreciative of great service and comfort, and being very spoiled. How could I ever survive with that big, important feature missing from my life?

Plus, during my inner brainstorming I surprisingly realised that a part of me loves working in corporate jobs and contributing to the growth of the company, with a team where I share the same philosophy and values.  It gives me a sense of pride and self-confidence. But then again, this is my comfort zone.

Climbing the Kilimanjaro

Once again, that monster within rose up strongly and loudly, “it’s time to go and check out something new. You’ve been here long enough, given your all and taken it all in. Get out of that golden cage that you have built around yourself and see what else is there. Don’t set your limits around your comfort zone!”

I believe, paradoxically, that it was precisely the feeling of security and comfort that had been pushing me away from that same “at ease” situation.

 

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anythingVincent Van Gogh

I am not saying that everybody needs to leave everything behind and take off. Everyone needs to find his/her own path.

I always had this curiosity to know what’s behind my own world, starting from the comfort of my family. But most of all I wanted to discover my own self in different environments, and that’s the path I chose for myself.

What’s yours? Do you ever ask yourself if you are exactly where you want to be? After all, that’s the point: if you are happy, stay, if not, move!

Antigua – Half moon bay – 2007

When I decided to leave Italy, 15 years ago, I had financial security, as I left with a job as a tour rep that took me all over the places; and adding to the fun of that was that I never got to choose where! I was told a couple of weeks before the assignment started where I was going to be the following month. It was exciting and I was always lucky to be offered amazing places; well any new place would have been awesome for me, providing me with a new world to discover. What I loved about that job as a tour rep was the responsibility I had towards my guests. I mean, I wasn’t saving lives, that’s for sure, but it was challenging for me and highly rewarding. This is how it worked: I got to a new place… let’s say, the Seychelles, I then had 1 week to learn about the places of interest, culture, people, transportation, tours and to make friends, real ones and ones who would be able to assist me in a challenging situation. I needed to get the hang of the whole thing in the blink of an eye so that when the guests arrived, I would know how to move around and make sure everything was perfect for them.  It was an easy way to travel around and get to know a place and a culture very well.  It was the life I had always wanted, every 6 months or year I changed places and started all over again: new place, new friends, new people.

I knew from when I was a kid that I was never going to get married and have a family, that I would never be able to stick to one plan forever, I needed change in my life. Constant change and continuous learning have been my biggest motivation. A reckless soul and untamed heart, but unable to shake FEAR! It is the monster that grows with my age, my worst enemy which has made me drive my car with the handbrake on. I have been reading and studying about fear. The most influential motivators tell us to embrace it, and not to let it overcome our desires and dreams.  That’s all very well, but how…? I haven’t found an answer as yet, but I need to put it aside for now and move forward, hand-in-hand with my fears.

From the Seychelles – where I was working as a tour rep

I now talk to it and ask it to be quiet for a while because I need to leave again; this time with no safety net, besides my own self, dreams, and savings.

I have a plan, but I am also open to whatever comes my way, and I will “let my life sing its song” (quote). I don’t have the light-heartedness of a 20-year-old, but I do have the experience of a 40-year-old, and see no other option for me right now, other than to move forward, keep on learning and changing.

I have been asked many questions by friends who don’t understand my choice. One of them was: “After this vacation what will you do?

After trying to understand the question, I just laughed…

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