Breaking Open

Written by  April 8, 2015

How the desire to travel takes root.

It always comes at the most inopportune times, doesn’t it? You’re sitting at your desk at work, mid-conversation with someone. Or maybe you’re about to fall asleep or listening to an important presentation, and then it happens. Your eyes bug out, wide as you think they have ever been, your heart is pounding and your thoughts are racing a mile a minute.

One word, one picture, one thought becomes the catalyst; and suddenly it’s a lot more difficult to focus on your daily routine. Congratulations, you’ve got the itch to travel and it’s consuming your thoughts. This build-up that leads to your inexplicable desire to venture off into the unknown? I call this breaking open.

There are a select few who go through this and it’s not a simple task to explain to someone your reasoning to want to pack up and move somewhere foreign without knowing how long you will be gone or what you will do, but this idea comes to you almost divinely and it’s not easily ignored.

Breaking open is the best thing for your heart, soul and for your entire being. Breaking open is what happens when that catalyst makes you re-evaluate your life and sets you on a whole new path, one that perhaps you were always supposed to be on. You are left completely open and vulnerable, feeling intensely motivated, scared and excited. For some it comes from grief, despair, boredom, curiosity or staring at the same scenery for too long. Here you are now, wide open with a thirst for adventure, an unknown purpose and the thrill of not knowing what happens next.

You want to tell everyone, scream it from the rooftops, but it’s also precious and you want to keep it safe so that you don’t jinx yourself, for this is more than just some wild dream. This is going to be a reality—your reality.

And there I was in my room, my belongings scattered all over the floor in the same state as my life—complete and utter chaos as I lay in a heap of clothes near my door in a red dress with the words, “I’ve been in the countryside, I’ve been thinking,” burning in my mind. Suddenly it was like I was holding a compass in front of me and the needle spins rapidly and points me in a completely different direction, I get the idea and I know what I have to do, as if it had been so obvious all along—and I quickly scribble down a game plan of how I can get there.

There is something deep inside of you that always seems to know what to do in these moments and all you can do is trust it for whatever reason that is. You are standing on shaky unstable ground, and there is no better feeling of ecstasy than dreaming up your next journey.

Don’t let anybody tell you that your dream isn’t possible, because it is.

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Published in Work Abroad Blogs
Elizabeth Tirkalas

Elizabeth had two dreams when she was a child; the first to travel the world, setting her feet on every continent she could, and the second, to be a writer, and perhaps join the circus along the way. Elizabeth is an Ashtanga Certified Yoga Instructor. She graduated with an undergraduate BA degree in History and English Literature from the University of Western Ontario and studied Humanitarian Aid Management in the Netherlands. A Canadian expat, Elizabeth blogs about her life working abroad in Australia.

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