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 or Snapchat 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 πŸ˜‰

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.

travel-01

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 πŸ™‚

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 journey make sure you follow me on Instagram here and Snapchat (username @jessicasafko).

Morocco

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  • Kat Bula

    Ha! So fun to find this today. My BIG business/blog/brand realization of the last couple of weeks has been the same thing about transparency. Yay revolution of genuineness on the internet! You’ve given us all such a gift in posting this.

  • Yay!! HUGE congrats on doing that! I’m so very happy for you. I’m glad we’re on the same wave length with that. Safe travels and thank you for following along πŸ™‚ xo

  • Thank you so much!! xo

  • Wow, thank you for those amazing words! I’m so happy to give you a bit of inspiration. The name of the program is Terminal 3. Sending those positive vibes right back at ya πŸ™‚ xo

  • Glad I found this post – I’ve also decided to move halfway around the world and take a giant leap into the unknown, so this is super timely and helpful! I know exactly how you feel about everything being perfectly “fine”, “good” even, yet still sort of sucking, which is what I’m trying to combat as well. Good luck to you, looking forward to following along!

  • So moving, so important to find time and space to reflect on what is working and what isn’t and taking control over your life. Well done from getting out of your comfort zone and just going for the life you want!

  • Waoh, it’s a so inspiring story which almost give me tears!
    I love the way you were so courageous to say goodbye to the comfort you knew to embrace a new life, a big congratulations for this big changement!
    I hope you are happy with your lifestyle now, i didn’t know there were such a program! What’s the name of this program? (Just curious, it’s not my type of lifestyle πŸ˜‰ )
    Send you a lot of positive vibes,
    Aline

  • I totally agree about the fear holding us back. Thank you for the kind words and support, Marianne! Excited that you’re also part of my INSTA workshop πŸ™‚ Just made it to Berlin and I’m already feeling especially inspired for some new offerings. Can’t wait to share them with you soon πŸ™‚ <3

  • Thank you for the love and support, Carla! It’s already been an amazing heart and eye opening adventure. I’m excited for what else is to come πŸ™‚ xo

  • Awh. I love this post. Sometimes fear holds us back from spreading our wings. So glad you found the courage to step out because you are awesome. Glad those who love you gave you the space to go for it. I am loving seeing the beautiful colors of your travels. Enjoyed being part of your insta workshop. I can only imagine the great offerings or products this will inspire. Thanks for sharing the adventure. Marianne at Living With Color Designs Blog

  • So inspired by your courage! You’ll have the time of your life. Travel always opens my eyes my mind my heart in new ways πŸ™‚
    Xo Carla

  • Hi Morgan! I’m so happy to hear you can relate and we’re both not alone in this πŸ™‚ Thank you for the kind words. I truly appreciate them! The program is called Terminal 3 – terminal3.co They are actually still accepting applicants to join in the coming months so maybe you can join our adventure. xo

  • Abby!! Thank you so much for your kind words. That’s so awesome you moved to Vienna! I totally plan to make it there next month when I’m in Berlin. Thanks for your support and following along. xo

  • Morgan Sullivan

    Hi Jessica! Love this piece. I can relate on pretty much every point – from the discontent out of nowhere, to dropping everything to fly off on an adventure, to working long hours from without a lot of human contact. You aren’t alone in the way you feel πŸ™‚ Best of luck to you in your travels and growth!! One question – what program did you join? It sounds really cool and I would love to at least look into it (always nice to have a back pocket option).

  • Abby Peddieson

    Jessica!! I’m so excited for your new journey! Living in a different country and culture is so difficult, but life-changing! In 2008 I moved to Vienna, Austria to be an au pair for a year. I only stayed for 6 weeks because of some difficult circumstances. But it changed me in so many ways! I’ll tell you the whole story sometime if you are interested. So happy for you, and I can’t wait to follow your adventure!

  • Thanks so much, Amira! I love following along your journey too (all the colorful, vulnerable, and honest moments you share). Thanks for your support! Cheers to our beautiful, messy quarter life crisises haha xo

  • Aw you’re the best, Kristie!! Thanks for all your support on my wild journey. I’m thankful to have you as a friend. Love ya sunshine! xo

  • That’s awesome to hear. I’m happy you found yourself through something you never thought would be you – that’s always the best, right? Thanks for following along, Audrey! πŸ™‚

  • Giiiiirrrrl, I just love ya to pieces. There’s something truly special about being real, and honest and truthful in the moment not only with others but with yourself especially!! I am SO proud of you for listening to your instinct and following your heart even though it was/is confusing. You’ll find your way and you know when you’re on the right path. Sometimes though, the journey of finding that right path is a little off-road and rugged. Regardless, enjoy the journey!! Love ya, girl! and I can’t wait to follow along the way! xo

  • Totally been there with that quarter life crisis! I came out the other end of mine (ALSO having left LA πŸ™‚ ) with an MBA and a corporate job. Two things I never thought would be “me”, but now they are. These seasons in life are awesome for self-actualization and growth. Dig deep!

  • Amira Rahim

    Girlfriend, the quarter life crisis is real. Completely feel you on this and I’m in a similar place. Thank you for sharing such vulnerable moments with us. It’s fascinating to watch your journey and knowing how scary it was to make the leap makes it all the more special. Go girl!

  • Thanks so much!! xo

  • Thank you! It’s only been 3 weeks and I already feel like a new, improved version of myself. And I totally love that quote, Karene! Congrats on going back to where you feel best πŸ™‚ xo

  • KarenΓ©

    This is awesome! You’re going to grow so much – I’m really happy for you.
    Sometimes “the heart has it’s reasons of which reason knows nothing”.
    It’s like me returning to South Africa, because this is just where I feel alive even if many many people think it makes no sense. Sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do.

  • Amazingly brave! Safe travels!