This year was truly an adventure for me. I spent this past year traveling the world and focusing on things that make me the happiest. Yet as time went on throughout the year I constantly had people chirping in my ear about how important a college degree is, and how I will never get a well paying job without one. I ended up letting people make the choice for me, which is the biggest mistake I made this past year.
I made the decision that after high school I would take the year off, travel, and hopefully give myself some guidance to the next steps I want to take in life. Which, safe to say it has. My first trip was to South Africa. I spent two months there volunteering and backpacking. To me, this experience was unreal. It truly changed my life forever. Yet, before I took this trip I had multiple people tell me I was going to hate it and was going to come home before the two months were up. I had people look at me like I was crazy when I told them, people actually asked “why would you ever do that? What is the point?”
Not listening to what anyone said and listening to my gut and still going made me feel strong and genuinely happy. I had an experience most people will never have the opportunity to get. After that I had the travel bug, I choose to continue traveling because it made me feel good. I took a trip to canada and after that made my way to Paris. People soon started respecting my decisions and instead of asking why?, they asked how? Surprisingly I still did not have enough self confidence in making my own choices.
Even after building enough trust in myself to travel to three different counties in a year as an 18 year old I still let people help make a huge life decision for me. Which was to go back to school. I was never good at school and I never planned on going to college. I let society change my mind. I have strengths that I should of kept focused on, but I cared so much about someone thinking I am a failure without an education.
It has been a full year since my first trip and I have finally realized that my biggest mistake made this past year was letting people try to create my future for me, between shutting down my travels and convincing me school is the only hope for a successful future. To me success is waking up getting the opportunity to do what I love.