August 7, 2014

Chasing a Dream. ~ Sonal Batavia

sonal chasing a dream

I quit my job to travel the world.

There, I said it.

Loud and clear for all of you to be my witness to what could be one of the most absurd decisions I’ve made to date.

I suppose that’s always the first step. Saying it out loud. Admitting it’s not just an idea as much as it is a real plan that lives and breathes on its own.

Despite that I have don’t have any of the logistical details of this sporadic travel figured out and it scares me at the very core of my bones that I’ve chosen to do the ‘unthinkable,’ I know there was no other way for me to survive.

That for years on end in my every moment of solitude I’d find myself wondering what it would have been like to seek the more I always felt I had inside of me. It would follow me like a bad nightmare, creeping up on me unconsciously in my most vulnerable moments. Threatening my motivation levels in every new venture and avenue I attempted to pursue, holding me back from achieving personal greatness.

Admittedly I acted on instinct. It all happened within three weeks.

The idea seeds being planted in my mind. The resignation letter that flowed out of me the moment my fingers hit the keyboard. The official face-to-face conversation with my managers. Booking my plane tickets. Packing my bags. Kissing my loved ones goodbye…hopping on a flight with no return ticket home.

It was always in the plan to pick up and leave at some point in my life; but like everyone else I was just waiting for the right time to do it. This perfect moment where I believed all the dust in my life would magically settle and everything, including my decision to leave would be crystal clear.

But the truth is there never really is a right time.

You’ll always find an excuse if you want to and you’ll always be leaving something or someone behind. After all if you weren’t, then it wouldn’t really be chasing after your dreams as much as it would be an escape from a bad reality.

Before I had a moment to rethink my decision about this dream that I had unconsciously manifested in my mind over years, it had suddenly built legs and arms right before my eyes. I knew the moment I said it out loud there was no turning back. There was no time to process whether it would be the right decision or not or whether I’d even find this ‘unknown’ thing I was looking for…

So here I am sitting in Delhi writing to all of you around the world.

So far everyday has been some sort of personal challenge or adventure of survival. I frequently question what day of the week it is and what exactly I’m doing this far from home. I’m afraid and uncomfortable so often I’m starting to forget what its like to feel otherwise.

In just three and half weeks, I’ve fled from a cheating taxi driver, been stranded on a kayak in the middle of the ocean alone, watched my life flash before my eyes under water, got lost and lost some more and had several emotional breakdowns about the realities of long distance relationships. I’ve swam in the bluest of blue waters, basked under the pinkest sunsets melting into the ocean, partied from dusk till dawn, eaten every coconut dessert you could imagine and stumbled in the dark with only glowing green fireflies to guide me.

I’ve met some of the most astounding people in my life. Strangers who have abandoned their once comfortable lives back home, detached themselves from their high paying steady jobs and modern conveniences to build a new life from scratch in a challenging environment. They’ve found comfort in family they’ve made for themselves; the owner of their local fruit market, the friendly waiter at the pub around the corner, the sweet eyed girl beside them on the train.

Despite that they too left home to seek for something more, they still don’t always know what’s next, how long they’ll stay for or whether they’ve found the dream career. What they do know, is that life is full of uncertainties and because of it they owed to themselves to fight for a life they would truly find happiness in and continue it, indefinitely.

Although it’s still quite early in my trek to make conclusions on my personal experiences to date, for now I leave you with some pearls of hope.

When you find the courage in you to chase after the unknown it’s as though the entire world conspires to help you get to where you need to go.

Kind strangers, inspiring travelers, silent angels, friends of friends of friends; everyone is somehow there at the right time and place with open arms to help you along your journey in different and unexpected ways. And as long as you keep your mind and heart open to everything, you’ll quickly start seeing that your path ahead isn’t so dark at all.

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Apprentice Editor: Kimby Maxson/Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Provided by Author

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Sonal Batavia