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For as far back as I can remember I’ve always been a very independent person and big believer that if you want something bad enough, you need to get up and go get it because amazing, exciting and wonderful things don’t just fall into your lap! you need to work for it and you need to use each day to create a life you love, by doing things you enjoy, that help you grow into the person you’ve always known you were becoming.

I’ve always been a dreamer and had a wonderful imagination, but in your early 20’s it’s really easy to lose sight of those dreams when the reality of adulthood starts to sink in and you realise that everything costs money and if you want to earn a half decent income fluffing about, just ‘winging it’ isn’t going to cut it.

You need to do courses and expose yourself to people and information you can learn from. You need to find a job that lines up with those courses and hope that you’ve picked the right career path. You need to go above and beyond to exceed your employers expectations because if you don’t, there’s a line of people who are every bit as good as you, who at the drop of a hat, would be happy to step into your shoes and continue on with business as usual.

When I was 24 years old a close friend of mine and I decided to embark on our first proper overseas adventure. Whilst we planned on having some cultural life changing experiences, that holiday was very much influenced by the nightlife each city had to offer. Most days were a struggle however, we both had no regrets! At that point in our lives that trip was the best thing we’d ever experienced!

As the years went on all I ever spoke of was Europe. These thoughts of mine at that stage in my life were nothing but dreams that were based off a distance memory. I was doing well in my role, I had a wonderful mentor and for all intents and purposes I had a great life, but I wasn’t happy. I felt like some big part of me was missing, maybe it was a sense of adventure and being excited to focus on the present moment instead the constant rinse and repeat, fast paced cycle of meetings, budgets, bills and rent.

I was stagnant in life hoping for a change but not willing to take any risks, waiting, waiting, waiting for something to happen, for this dream of mine to become a reality - but my friends, I have news for you, life doesn’t work that way! If you want things to change in your life, you first need to make some conscious changes within.

Around a year ago I was faced with the biggest decision of my adult life – Do I stay at my workplace that I have given 8 years to, or do I say bon voyage and go? This wasn’t an easy decision. This workplace was my second home and my team were like my family - supportive and kind, loving and encouraging. The decision was not easy, but I walked out of that place filled with so much gratitude because without that chapter, I wouldn’t have been ready for the next.

I’d given up financial stability and my career for temporary assignments with forever changing end dates – that was terrifying but totally worth it! My dreams were soon going to become my reality!

I spent days doing my research trying to decide what would be the safest and most cost-effective way to see as much as I possibly could in a short-ish period of time. I was scared because as mentioned above, I was 30 years old about to travel to the other side of the world flying solo!

I was a little bit sad because experiences are way more fun when you share them with other people and even with all of the incredible destinations I had jotted down on my list, I still felt as though the social aspect was missing from my itinerary. I shared my concerns with a fair amount of my well-travelled friends who all seemed to ask me the same question “Have you considered travelling with Topdeck?”

I spent and an entire afternoon on the Topdeck website looking at the possible adventures I could go on and decided to do the European Pioneer and Espresso Italia. Once these were booked in there was no going back - It was happening! - My 24-year-old dreams at 30 years of age were going to become my reality.

I went on my holiday in July last year and it was the best thing I have ever done. I made so many wonderful lifelong friendships and created so many incredible memories with people who for weeks on end became my travelling family.

The only anxiety I felt the entire trip was at Sydney’s airport’s departure lounge - Once I boarded the plane all of my fears and worries were replaced with excitement and that zest for life I had been waiting so long to feel!

I truly felt so proud of myself. Never in a million years did I think I would find the courage to go on a holiday alone not knowing what was waiting for me on the other end! But I DID IT!

I felt empowered and months later, I still do. Leaving my workplace of 8 years to go travelling was the best thing I have ever done, and I don’t regret that decision, not even for a single second.

Sometimes in life you have to take a chance on yourself, you’ll be surprised just how far a dream and a little bit of determination will take you.

Happy travelling! Arrivederci!

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