“You want to go WHERE?!?” Yes Mother. You heard me right! I want to give up my well-paid, secure, fantastic term-time career in Education to return to the place where my heart resides – America, before moving on to fulfil another dream of working as an English teacher in THAILAND and travel the lengths and breadths of Asia! Sounds amazing right?! Okay so maybe it is a little crazy but this isn’t a decision I have taken likely. I actually love my job here in South Wales and I have amazing family, friends and six younger brothers who I adore – just hand me an apple and call me Snow White(!). So why am I doing this?? Because my overwhelming burning desire to see the world, make an impact to people’s lives and my need to spread my wings completely and escape from my comfort zone has completely and utterly consumed me. Since 2014, I have travelled all across America and Europe and have already completed my first summer at Lake Greeley Summer Camp in Pennsylvania – wasn’t this enough?! Quite frankly, no. In fact, these experiences have only fed my inner wanderlust bug and it’s fat and ready to burst! I just need to cut my strings, sell my beloved car (sob!), grow a pair of stronger wings and leave the 9-5 routine life. Yes I know teaching jobs in Asia isn’t going to pay well by any means in comparison to my job in Education in the UK and yes, I realise I will be working longer hours for less pay but you know what? I’ll be doing it in a county bursting with culture, experiences and once in a lifetime opportunities! I’m sure that’ll be more than enough compensation. What’s money anyway?!? You can’t exactly take it with you. What’s the point of being the richest corpse in the cemetery?? When it comes to money, I live through the wise words of Avicii – “I want to be remembered for the life I lived, not the money I made” and then I imagine I’m that cool guy bungee-jumping in Bali and driving an off-road jeep across the desert!
So are you not happy?? It’s not a question of happiness Mam. I am very happy. The happiest! And that’s why I feel ready to take this leap of faith. Because I’m happy, confident in myself and my abilities and I’m strong. I feel like I can achieve anything and take on the world! What I’m feeling can be described as ‘discontent’. I feel like I have achieved everything I possibly can in my small town and I feel stuck. I am not a tree. I don’t want to occasionally dip my toes into the pond of travel when my job allows. I want to fully submerge myself into that pond – head as well – face my fears and leave my comfort zone behind while I swim towards adventure and excitement!
But you’ve been dreaming and talking about travelling since you were little. You’ve been threatening to up sticks and leave for two years! Why now?! Uh. Here comes the cliché answer. The combination of a birthday and a guy. I know… But it’s true. Wish I was cool enough to just say “Just because!” but I’m not. So anyway, in December 2015, I had a birthday. I turned 26 and started developing strong feelings for said guy. I had actually already started making plans (in my head) and planned to leave in April 2016. Well we all know how the story goes… girl falls for guy but girl has plans to leave her life behind for a new one in paradise. Girl has a big decision to make. Girl pops over to Krakow to seek perspective and guidance from fellow traveller knowing fully well that she will lead her into the right direction and preach the words we live by – “Life is too short so live it without regrets”. Girl returns home. Girl knows she cannot settle until she follows her dreams. Girl books flights and gets visas. Girl has just been pushed into the pond of travel and she is 100% certain that she has just made the right decision. For her. Girl celebrates with a beer. I guess what I’m trying to say is to never let anyone or anything get in the way of your dreams, no matter how hard or difficult that may be. Barriers and obstacles will present themselves to you and it is a matter of choice as to whether you overcome them and keep moving forward or turn back around and go backwards. As long as you have a determination and you stay true to yourself, you will make it happen.
So what’s with the blog?? Anyone who knows me well (especially as a child) will know that I love to write. Writing is my hobby, my therapy, my escape and whenever I am travelling, I am always scribbling into my journal. Documenting my experiences, thoughts and surroundings so I can re-live my memories over and over again with accompanied music playing. You’ll soon pick up that I am a massive music fan. I love all music and will often quote songs and lyrics at random. I apologise in advance. It’s a trait I’ve picked up from my dad and it’s where I get a lot of my inspiration from (excluding Steel Panther). I also read a lot of other people’s blogs (and still do) when I am researching, planning and looking for inspiration. I find blogs much more reliable and more of a valuable resource than pre-approved articles and information found on websites of organisations looking to sell you their package deals and treks. Not saying that they’re not good sources, but they can often be one-sided and I like to read about raw, real experiences. So I basically want to return the favour! I want this blog to not only be a resource to encourage my family’s need to know exactly where I am, what I’m doing and who with (Hi Mam), but also to inspire, prepare and advise others like me who want to make that change and follow their dreams.
Hell, I’ve been babbling on so much, I forgot to introduce myself! The name’s Sami or Sam or Manth depending on how, when and where you met me but Sami’s fine. I’m from the Welsh Valleys (big up Merthyr!), born and bred where we have mountains for back gardens and sheep as pets. It’s a beautiful place. Put Wales on the bucket list. NOW. So feel free to follow me as I embark on these incredible adventures I have lined up for myself. Just promise me one thing… Don’t judge! But feel free to laugh at my expense as I am known to get myself in stupid, hilarious situations as my Lake Greeley family only know too well…
Okay, let’s do this.