Growing up, I always knew I was different. My aspirations and goals were different from those of my friends. They wanted to go to college, get a nice job, get married and have kids.
Instead of reading about history from books, I wanted to see historical sites with my own eyes. Instead of having the same circle of friends my whole life, I wanted to meet new people from different cultures. Instead of getting my education and job at my hometown, I knew I was destined to see far away exotic places. Instead of marrying the first guy I dated, I wanted to date the world.
I knew that there was more to life than my familiar surroundings, and I needed to explore it. I wasn’t ready to compromise and live an unhappy life. Looking back, I’m glad I was restless, because it changed my life. I walked in a life path that was not what my family and friends expected me to do. Living the wanderlust life was what my heart truly desired, and this is the path I will always walk on. I now realize that the conventional lifestyle is not for me. I do not want to compromise on a nine-to-five office job, rarely leave my hometown, or marry someone who doesn’t share the same aspirations and ambitions as I am.
How I changed my life?
The quote “If you don’t like it, change it” sounds like a cliché, but that’s exactly what I did. Twenty year-old me packed a suitcase and embarked to the city of her dreams- New York. The summer that I spent living in New York, while all my friends were working in temporary jobs, was much more than just a summer. It opened my eyes to a whole new world that I craved to be part of.
My love for New York was inherent. For years prior to my life-changing summer, I had a big picture of the big apple hanging on my wall with the lyrics of the song “New York City” by Norah Jones. I used to read the inspiring lyrics everyday and dream about a future in the city.
In New York I lived the life I’ve always dreamed of: I worked at fashion shows backstage, I took a ride in a limo, I attended stylish cocktail parties on the city’s most exclusive rooftops, I made friends from all over the world that shared my passion for fashion, and even modeled.
However, education was something high up on my list of priorities and I had to go back to my home country once I found out that I was accepted to University. After New York, I was never the same. I wanted more and more, because I knew what I was missing on. I knew there’s better things in life. Therefore, every summer vacation from my degree I spent abroad traveling to exotic locations. Even though I had a boyfriend at the time, I made it very clear to him that once I graduate I will be moving abroad. At the end, we broke up long before I graduated. After him I didn’t want to get into a new relationship so that things would be easier when I will finally spread my wings. I didn’t want a man to hold me back, there was no one that could make me give up my dreams.
Where I am now?
I’m sitting here right now typing this article in my cute French apartment in Lille, a city in the north of France which is bordering with Belgium. I’ve moved here eight months ago, living in France has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I feel like I’ve integrated to a great extent in France: I’ve learned about the French culture, I’ve made friends for life, and my French has improved immensely. Lille has also been the base of most of my travelings through Europe, with a close-by small airport near Brussels. For the moment, Lille is my home. What will my future home will be? Who knows. Not knowing is what gives me the thrill. I’m restless, and I love it.
Nowadays finding myself has become my priority. But don’t get it wrong, finding yourself doesn’t mean you are lost. For me, it simply means that I want to learn more about myself, live my life to the fullest, and find out what makes me happy. And I want to do it before I rush into a serious relationship and get married.
To me, the answer is that I’m in the right track of finding happiness. What makes me happy at this stage of my life is to travel as much as I can, as far as I can, and collect adventures.
Everybody always tell me how lucky or brave I am. I could not disagree more with that statement. I am not lucky, I chose to travel, I chose to move away. Everyone can do it, everyone can be “lucky” like me, but most of them choose not to do so. It is your choice how to live your life, it has nothing to do with luck, it has a lot to do with willingness and aspirations. When I realized I wasn’t happy with the way my life was going, I took steps and worked hard to change it. It is doable for everyone, no excuses, you just need to want it bad enough to change it.
It’s important to stop and reflect on your own achievements
If I’m reflecting at mine, as for now, I’m everything I wanted to be by this age; I’m well traveled, well educated, I lived in many different cities, and I speak 3 languages and currently studying my 4th language.
My motto is you only live once, so you better live the life you want.
Take pictures every day, you will love looking at them twenty years from now. Spend your money on adventures, not material things. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to break-free.
I believe that life is not meant to be lived in one place. I want to experience new adventures, learn about different cultures, meet new people, and go to places I’ve never been before.