Tag Archives: travel

Am I Making a Mistake? What Life Wants You to Know

Howdy Folks,

I’ve been on a hiatus, but now I’m back to share some of the happenings in my life. Hopefully, this post can encourage you in your own journey in this confusing as hell thing called life.

Image courtesy of Stuart Mills at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Mills at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I thought the middle of 2015 would be much more successful, but it’s actually been a struggle. I’ve been trying to add more accomplishments to my repertoire this year, but I’ve only been racking up failures. Nevertheless I’m thankful for the failures because they’ve taught me some important lessons that I plan to apply for the rest of this year and beyond.

First, I tried buying a house with my parents, and it ended up pretty badly because we made first-time buyer mistakes and had the worst lenders on the planet. We lost the house, lost a ton of money, and I almost lost my mind. I’ve been trying to block out those three horrible months, and I think I’m succeeding. At least that’s one thing going right.

Image courtesy of Stuart Mills at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Mills at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Second, I tried getting a full-time job in Atlanta, the place where I thought I would be living, but I’ve only gone deaf from the silence of these potential employers. I switched my job-hunting to Boston, but I got only crickets too. I have undergraduate and graduate degrees from Tufts University and Columbia, great references, and amazing cover letters. However, because I decided to go to Korea to teach English right after graduate school, I found myself teaching English for the past two years because I enjoyed it and, also, couldn’t find work in anything else. When I tried making the switch to getting jobs tied closely to my graduate degree, I got no invites for interviews because my resume lacked the experience.

Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net / I’m one of those X’s 😦

So, warning to those out there hoping to teach English abroad: make sure you have great connections to get a job in something different when you’re done and don’t spend too much time teaching English if your heart not’s really into it.

Thankfully, I don’t mind teaching English, but of course I don’t want to spend the rest of my life doing it. I want to make a living as a writer: write books, articles, and personal essays. Teaching English is just a fun way to pay the bills before I make it big as a writer or whatever that means. But I’ll know it when it happens.

Despite all of this, I’m currently enrolled in a Master’s program in Law and Public Policy. Why? Well, when I failed to get into a PhD program, I thought getting a second Master’s would be my way there. Don’t ever do this, by the way.

I also wasn’t doing anything spectacular with my life, and my father still clung to his dream of me becoming a badass lawyer. As a result, I made the BIG mistake of getting into this program. I got A’s, but I was incredibly unhappy and uninterested in the subjects my classes covered. Notice I’m speaking in the past tense here because I plan to drop out. I’ve never done this before and it sorta scares the hell out of me.

Now, I’m back where I started: lost, adrift, confused, miserable, and unfulfilled. The realization hit me that if I didn’t do something drastic, I would give up on life, not kill myself per say, but be a walking zombie who just did what was expected of her because it was easy and required no confrontation and risks.

Now, I’m not one to be concerned about the stars, but I’m an Aries and my claws came out at the thought of having my life controlled by the expectations and dreams of others.

I needed to do something crazy, something to shake me out of the three-year funk. Look, I tried. I really did. I tried being a normal functioning member of American society, but I failed. Others might say I gave up to early. All I know for sure is that I’m sick of forcing my self to be a person I’m not.

So, what did I do?

I applied for a teaching job in Aichi, Japan.

Toyokawa Inari Temple
Toyokawa Inari Temple

The specific town, Toyokawa-shi, where I’ll be living is about three hours south of Tokyo and possesses castles and gorgeous flora. I got the job because my teaching credentials were hard to beat. Competition didn’t have a chance.

The job is a perfect fit for me because I’ll be working 4pm-9pm, which gives me plenty of time to work on my writing in the mornings. I’ve already lived abroad before so I know what to expect and what not to expect.

Look, I’m not going to Japan to solve my problems or to run away from them. I’m going to Japan because I want to experience something completely new every single day. My soul needs wonder to shock it out of its sleep and slow decline toward death. Furthermore, I have no romantic partner nor children, so I have no responsibilities there. My parents are young and thankfully healthy and don’t really need me around.

At 28, I’m free so you bet I’m taking this opportunity.

However, it’s not all sunshine and unicorns. My parents will be furious when I tell them. My family will talk. People will think whatever they need to think about my decision and will most likely believe that I’m making a big mistake, committing career suicide. I know.

But I don’t want to be a lawyer, a policymaker, or office worker. I want to do two things: teach and write. In another country. And travel. I want to explore new places and write about my adventures. I want to meet new people and listen to their stories. I want to inspire other people to take the chance to travel when it’s given to them. I want to live a life that’s under my control.

I’m tired of trying to be someone I’m not just to satisfy other people, especially my parents, family, colleagues, and society. I want to be true to myself no matter the risks, no matter the number of shaking heads, no matter the disapproval.

Am I making a mistake? Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not. At the end, I’ll live with my decision. But one thing for sure, the ride definitely won’t be boring.

How about you? Have you ever taken a decision that you thought was a mistake, but went through with it anyway? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Stay Amazing,

Sammy

Tired of the Life You’re Living? Take Steps to Change It.

As I was sitting in one of the cafes of Northeastern University, skipping my evening class, I thought about three things:

  • I didn’t want to be here studying whatever it was I was studying.
  • I didn’t want to teach English as a second language anymore.
  • I wanted to travel the world and write about it.

I asked myself why was I limiting myself to options or to a way of life that I found deeply unsatisfying. I was 28 years old and felt pressured to have a stable, full-time job and help support my parents. But why couldn’t I do that through another avenue? Surely there had to be another way. I didn’t want to get married or have children. I had little to no desire to settle down. I wanted to move, explore, meet new people, and have adventures. As someone with very little responsibilities, I wanted to enjoy the precious time I had before it was all gone. So, what could I do to change my life? Right now. At this very moment of crisis.

If I wanted to be a travel writer, I first needed to write. I’ve decided to look up some interesting places in Boston and write about them. I’ll post them here on my blog and look for other places where I could have my articles published. I will scour craigslist for some freelance writing jobs so that I could start building my writing portfolio. And I’ll make more of an effort to connect with other writers who blog about their travels to spread my presence online. I’ll do everything I can to develop a voice that can reach a wide audience through multiple social media channels.

These are all very simple and I don’t have to wait long to start any of them. The beauty of all of this is that I can start now.

Sometimes, you have to look yourself in the mirror and be real about what you really want to do. For too long I’ve allowed other people to dictate my future. 2015 needs to see a change. Change in how I choose to live and where I choose to live. I need to stop wasting time living someone else’s version of what he or she thinks my life should be. I know myself well enough to know what makes me happy or unhappy. And it’s more than just being happy. I want to feel fulfilled. Like I have some power over my life and where I want it to go. And I do. We all do. We just need to take that first step and run with it.

                                                                                Where will you go next?

How about you? How do you find ways to change your life?

Stay Amazing,

Sammy

The Story of Teeny and Babby: The Shelf

There once was a doll, lovely, short, and pink. She called herself Teeny and lived on a shelf. Teeny always sat on the shelf and looked through her big blue eyes at the world around her—a world so familiar that it had grown weary and gray. Teeny sighed often and wished she could get off that shelf and see a whole new world. But it was impossible for Teeny. The shelf was very high and the new world was so far far away. Teeny believe she would never leave and this made her cry tears so big that her whole face became pinker and wet. Someone heard Teeny cry. It was the miniature picnic basket that contained four sweets, making this basket, called Babby, the sweetest thing on Teeny’s shelf, maybe her whole world. Babby asked Teeny why she was crying.

Teeny said, “I want to leave this world, but it’s impossible.”

Babby looked down. “It’s true. It’s a big jump down and an even longer way out the door toward the new world. But I want to go too. So let’s go!”

“How?” Teeny asked.

Babby came close to Teeny and rubbed its square head on her arm. “We jump of course.”

“But we’ll break!”

“Don’t worry, we won’t break. Believe.”

Teen looked down and felt very afraid, but she wanted to go. She nodded her head. “We jump.”

So Teeny and Babby jumped off the shelf, way down to the ground. Teeny was okay, but Babby was broken open and all the sweets spilled out of him.

“Babby! Babby! Are you okay?”

Babby groaned. “Of course I’m not okay, you fool! Don’t you see I’m broken? This is all your fault. Get away from me you ugly, stupid doll! I’ll never be whole again.”

Babby’s words hurt Teeny’s heart, but she didn’t cry. She knew it was because he had lost all his sweetness. Teeny picked up the sweets and put them back in Babby’s basket. She shut him close.

“Babby, are you okay now?”

Babby turned left and turned right, then he looked down at his sweets. “You put them all wrong inside of me, but that’s okay. Let’s go see the new world!”

Teeny smiled. “Yes, let’s go.”

So Teeny and Babby ventured out of the room toward the new world. They stopped at the stairs.

Teeny sighed. “How far can we go?”

Image

‘The end?