On July 1st, I left everything behind to travel the world.
I left behind my comfy apartment in LA, gave away or sold everything I could, gave my dog a new temporary home with family, ended the best relationship I’ve ever had with my boyfriend, and sold my car. Sometimes I feel like I have given up my sanity, but in the best way possible.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen little bits of what I’ve been doing, but I want to let you in on all the details on what led me up to this decision. I don’t usually get personal here, but one of my major goals for this year is to share more of my life with you – especially the unpretty stuff that happens between my colorful posts.
I’ve become a pro at sharing the good, but it’s time to let you in a little more. So here it goes…
So one day (6 months ago, actually), I woke up and I felt like I got run over by a massive truth truck. I was sitting in my apartment, feeling overwhelmed by life, work, and everything in between. I woke up that day not wanting to start my work. I couldn’t bear to live out another monotonous day.
I had a loud internal dialogue with myself. I’ve always believed that we are the creators of our own reality. I thought to myself if this is the reality I choose, why I do I feel so empty? Am I really making a difference and serving the people who need me most in my business? Or am I just a fraud because I’m so far from having my shit together?
I really took a deep look inside myself. I wondered if this was all life had to offer then maybe I didn’t love life as much as I thought I did. Maybe I was just faking it all along. I also felt so guilty for having such first-world problems.
Like boo hoo I’m so unhappy in my cushioned life, happy and healthy relationship (took me a while to find this), and thriving business that allows me to make a good income doing what I love (well, sort of).
I realized for the 1st time that even though I couldn’t pin down what was making me so unsatisfied with life – I was simply unhappy. This life I built wasn’t the life I wanted. I hated commuting from my bed to my home office to work 10+ hour days and only having tiny amounts of human contact for days at a time. From outside, my life looked pretty awesome. I had an amazing group of supportive friends (which is a bit challenging to find in LA), a boyfriend who was willing to sacrifice our relationship in order for me to find my happiness (he’s still my best friend), and my own business where I call all the shots.
So what did I do? I packed up all of my things and moved in with my sister in Vegas because I knew something had to change. Moving back to Vegas wasn’t a party. I grew up here and it was truly going back to my roots. I went back so I could figure out where I needed to go next.
I went back and forth from LA to Vegas so I really started feeling like a nomad. Vegas is not my favorite place, but I am grateful I had a place to land to figure everything out.
There’s not much to do in Vegas because I don’t have a lot of friends and I’m not immersed in any sort of community there, except for my family. Because of this, I was left to have too much time to think. I thought there is so much more to life than working crazy hours and I was determined to get to the root of my unhappiness.
I wanted to rip myself out of my comfort zone into the straight-up unfamiliar. I felt the deepest part of me desperately needed it. #quarterlifecrisis 😉
From there, I had plans to travel solo or possibly with a friend but I had no idea how, when, or where. I started planning my escape and it just didn’t feel right. There was a month where I immersed myself in so much work (launching and creating a new course) so I wouldn’t have to feel my breakup and moving away from Los Angeles, which I absolutely loved and didn’t really have a strong reason why I left.
I then found a program where I could travel, work on my own business, and live with other entrepreneurs. I immediately knew this was for me. I’ve never been more excited to pay a deposit and join anything in my entire life. It was a total impulsive decision. A decision that I made to run away from some of my problems at the time.
This all happened about 5 months before I was to get on a plane to Morocco and not look back for 6 months. Well… 6 months are planned but as of now, I have no definite plans to come back.
As time went on and I started planning my trip, the realization of my impulsive decision became real. I’ve always leaned towards doing life unconventionally, but this was unlike anything I’ve ever dreamed of.
There was an equal balance of “what the f*ck am I doing?” and “this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.”
So the time came, I officially left LA and journeyed to New York to visit more family before I left on my adventure. The weeks coming up to my trip, a lot of people told me how brave I was to do this, but of course some people told me how I crazy I was and how I was going to be so unsafe… basically telling me to lead with fear and have an escape route from the program I was joining.
As I boarded my plane from New York to Casablanca, that was the moment I realized there was absolutely no going back. I had a couple tears in my eyes as the plane took off which I totally tried to cover up because no one wants to be the crying girl in the airport. I always end up being that girl. I am horrible at goodbyes, especially leaving people and places I love.
As the plane took off I thought about all the people who loved me and supported this wacky decision of mine. I felt so thankful to have such incredible friends and family. I started thinking I was insane that I ever want to leave that support system.
I also thought about all the little things I was leaving behind. The comforts of watching a lot of Netflix in bed, eating good Mexican food, In & Out (seriously, that’s a legit necessity in my life), having a lot of alone time. I knew that being around tons of people all the time would be an interesting transition for my somewhat introverted self.
I was about to enter the complete unknown.
I had no idea who I’d meet along the way or even who exactly I’d be traveling with for these 6 months. I had no idea what my day to day would be. I had no idea how my business and lifestyle would morph as I continued on this journey. It’s a weird feeling to have all of this scare the shit out of me and excite me beyond measure… and all at the same time.
I knew that once I landed my feet upon U.S. ground again, I would be a completely different person.
So here I am about 3 weeks into my trip with 9 strangers who are quickly becoming the opposite. I’m not going to lie, these 3 weeks have been challenging and full of ups and downs. Having a super important collaboration deadline almost immediately when I arrived here was something I probably wouldn’t do again. I came here really stressed but it really made me remember that this is not a vacation but now my lifestyle.
I will be working Monday – Friday on my business and having most of my adventures on weekends. It’s an amazing situation because I am surrounded with other people doing the same. My time so far in Morocco has been a truly magical experience. One I will never forget and one I can’t yet put into words.
And I know this may seem like an exaggeration but I feel like I have learned more in the past 3 weeks then I have learned in my entire life.
I have started learning a true work-life balance that suits me. These 3 weeks have forced me to put what I want first because I can’t go back to that place of utter dissatisfaction that I was in 6 months ago. I have learned that I need to fulfill my own heart so I can properly serve my clients and have them grow to new heights as well.
When I am in these beautiful places it forces me to not become obsessed with the things that don’t matter in my business. I focus on the important things that will grow my business and outsource what I need to so I can soak up these places to the fullest.
You know those moments that give you chills because you know you are exactly where you are supposed to be? Well, I’ve had a couple of those here. They didn’t come at the beginning, but now they happen often.
I honestly don’t have a plan for sharing my new journey as a newbie digital nomad/location independent biz owner, but I’m excited for you to join me along the way through the ups and downs. I promise to not always make it filled with sparkly, rainbow unicorns… but share the reality of what truly goes on 🙂
I hope you can relate to my story in some way. Maybe you feel like you have to be perfect and share only the highlight reel of your life in order to build your brand. If you feel called to share more, I hope you can join me in revealing the moments in between the colorful highlights. Life is messy. Without the darkness, we cannot have those true vibrant, soul-fulfilling moments.
PS – If you want to follow along my travel journey make sure you follow me on Instagram (username @jessicasafko).