What 40 Days, 14 Cities, And 3 Countries Taught Me About Trade-Offs6 min read

I never did like margaritas. But everyone else loved them. I thought, how is this possible? The sour mix is unbearable. But then I had a margarita in Mexico. They make them with fresh limes, and they are delicious. It’s even better with Mezcal. I can never have margaritas anywhere else ever again.

But a few months ago, I started working again as a therapist at a middle school. The position was temporary. I didn’t expect to get attached to the school and the kids as much as I did.

As the position came to an end, my anxiety surfaced. I didn’t know what to do next. Although, I received a few job offers, the school that employed me created a position for me, yet I declined.

I decided instead to purchase a one-way ticket to Mexico. My spirit became restless. So, on November 29th, I left with no real plan. But, I knew my spirit was beginning to feel a bit restless and a bit terrified of predictability. I fear to be too comfortable, plus, I wanted to escape some of that miserable Boston winter.

Travel Is Medicine

Honestly, travel is medicine for me. That raw kind of travel where you’re walking through local neighborhoods and thumbing through menus with your Google translator; and getting scammed!

I went to 14 cities and three countries in 40 days, and I loved every minute of it. I traveled by air and land with my co-host Nubia from Chronicles Abroad travel podcast and friends.

Visiting Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. That’s the most compact travel I’ve ever done, and truth be told, I’m not about that life. But, I wouldn’t have known had I not done it.

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And, here’s the thing, there was a trade-off. There’s always a trade-off. My routine was obliterated mostly by my choosing and fascination with new sights. I missed out on job opportunities, and my family was a bit off.

But, don’t be afraid to choose yourself first because that’s when you can be more present for others. Don’t be a martyr. It serves no one in the end.

Here’s the other thing, what are you willing to trade-off? You can’t want to love and push people away. You can’t want to earn more without learning a new skill. You can’t connect without a certain level of vulnerability and discomfort. Etc. Again, be expected to dance the give and take with life.

Traveling will humble you, though. And that’s why I love it so much. Every day is an opportunity to remain outside of your comfort zone. I spoke so much bad Spanish. I know the locals were sick of hearing it. But, you have to put your ego aside to look foolish to learn something. You have to put your ego aside to be something.

When I lived in Japan, entering a Japanese restaurant was super intimidating, and there were times I avoided certain restaurants until one day I said, who cares?

We have to put ourselves out there, even if it’s just a little bit. As much of an introvert I am, you still can’t live your life in a bubble. I mean, I guess you can if you’re content.

But, if you’re not, if you’re out of alignment if you’re sitting on the sidelines, what are you going to do about it? What’s going to be different? How do you be fearful, practical, and still take risks?

It’s possible.

If you want your life to change, to be different, then you’ll have to do something pretty drastic for that to happen. There’s no way around it. You can’t hold on AND let go. You can either hold on OR let go. But I’m sorry, you can’t have both.

Choose.

Listen, drastic won’t look like what I did or anyone else, drastic has to be your definition. But, please do something, anything, let’s get messy and live a colorful life.

Don’t die with your dreams, un-lived and unfulfilled.

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