Here I was, sweat beading down the side of my face, heart thumping so loud I could hear it in my ears, and biting my arm to keep from crying – or screaming.
I was having yet, another anxiety attack. After completing a very successful presentation to the VP of our department, the overwhelm of what I perceived of my life and the toxic work environment, sent me into another spiral.
After the Attack was over, I went back into the meeting with a smile on my face and taking notes like I really gave a damn.
Enter my life at 26.
After graduating from college, obtaining a high paying position at a Forbes top corporation, moving to The Big Apple, full social life, and maximizing my vacation days, from the looks on social media my life was LIT *twerks*!
Yet inside, I was fighting a huge internal battle between where I was and where I knew my heart wanted to be. Certainly, I had more to give this world then some metrics on project performances? Surely my worth extended past a “great job this mid- year review, we will talk promotion in another 6 months”, after working super late nights and early mornings. Not to mention being the only Black person on the 2nd floor. To add insult, I was under the age of 30, had the credentials and know-how, and spitting out recommendations and solutions to rooms full of good ‘ole curmudgeons who would pat me on the head with a “that’s nice but we will continue doing it our way.”
I was over it.
My Fake Happy Look. Knee Deep in Depression.
Enter my life at 27.
A year later, after the episode in the women’s bathroom, I knew I needed to talk to someone outside of my family and friends. Leave it up to the traditional Black family from the South, I knew my Parents and family would tell me to “pray it off”, and my friends just did not know what to say.
I took some time off of work and saw a therapist. One of our sessions tapped into what made me the happiest and “traveling the world” was the first thing that popped into my head.
Refusing to take medication as treatment, I made the scariest, most daring, and the best decision of my entire life.
I left my “good” job.
I left a 6 figure salary, a beautiful downtown apartment in Philadelphia, my favorite brunch spots, and health insurance behind. All I knew, was that traveling made me happiest. Experiencing different cultures, sensory overload, meeting interesting people, and being out of my comfort zone – I loved it all and I knew, at that very moment, I needed to travel in order to change my life.
So I sold everything in my apartment and packed up the rest in my car.
Over the next 3 months, I backpacked, alone through South East Asia. A young, woman of color, with only a backpack and a heart and mind ready to heal.
I was terrified.
Leaving it all behind and caring everything I had left in the world on my back, felt like walking on a cloud. I had nothing. Yet I felt so free. I was shedding. Fears, doubts, low confidence, exceptions set out for my life – all fell off of me.
Traveling the world freed me from Anxiety and Depression.
Through my journey, I saw people happy and fulfilled just to have the time and ability to spend with family and friends.
I learned that my opinion and perspectives meant something and were valuable.
I learned that my passions, skills, and know-how, could give me the ability to create the life I desired outside of the American Dream.
My perspective and outlook on life broadened.
I learned how to walk in my worth and in my Power.
I became fearless.
I was a new person.
Yosemite National Park. Two Weeks After Leaving Corporate America.
Enter My Life at 29.
Two years later, I am still traveling the world, sharing my experiences with others through my travel blog, and adding as much value to the world as I can.
Travel still saves me from me.
Every time I travel – I learn a little more, shed a little more, grow a little more.
Travel is my therapy, when I am feeling entitled, selfish when my ego starts speaking, or when depression attempts to creep back in.
Travel saved me.
Care to share a vulnerable moment? Comment below let me know.