Are you going through tough times? If you’re in the 20’s to 30’s age range, then you are experiencing a quarter life crisis. As I write this post, I remember that night. It happened to me at 23. I found myself stuck in the middle of the woods. Cold. Alone. I have been hiking for hours and my phone was dead. Clouds seemed to get darker and suddenly felt the first raindrops. I attempted to backtrack looking for familiar landmarks but I was going around in circles. There was no sign, I figured out I was lost into the woods. I was already having panic attack and I knew I am going to be miserable. I feel trapped in this bad life situation. If only the mountain moves for my own sake. I must move through it. I told myself, “I have to do something to get out of this”.
That moment was an eye-opener. I realized that I was living in an autopilot mode. The struggle was real coping with anxieties about life, jobs and relationships. I took Nursing and I had no clue what I wanted from life after graduated college. I’d jumped from mediocre job to mediocre job. I studied culinary arts to join the rat race, not realizing my biggest roadblock was chasing a career I thought I wanted. My friends were working in higher-paid industries so I embraced the corporate world that kinda sucks. Working felt like a chore to me then. Hanging out with friends on a weekend doesn’t excite me anymore. I was confused in life, shouldn’t have given up on my last career, or if I’ll ever be happy with any career. Still, I had no clue what I wanted to be, sure wasn’t this.
I turned 24, exactly the same day when my father died. Things began to get worse. My life seemed upside down. I was experiencing a serious low point in my life. I never knew I had a “quarter-life crisis”. Many young adults have experienced this. It sucks! Trust me, the pain is entirely your pain, no one else. I’d woken up questioning myself, what the heck do I do with my life? What’s next? Am I actually happy? I don’t know.
There I was torn between fixing myself, pursuing the right career and chasing my dream. I was broke but guess what? Fu*k yeah, I’m going to pack my bag and travel the world. Few months later, I booked a one-way ticket to Singapore and bid farewell to the life I once knew. When the plane took off, it felt like it’s now or never. For the first time, all the bad thoughts disappeared. There I was, staring at my future and I knew there’s no turning back. The career, time also the place I had just didn’t fit me. I had finally given myself a permission to move on.
I enjoyed my first solo trip exploring the wealthy city of Singapore. You are right, traveling alone was exciting. Then, I navigated my new life in Kuwait, as I was eager to discover more about Arab cultures. Since moving to Kuwait, I started making friends and decided to live my life here. I found a decent job that allows me to feed my passion in exploring new places.
I distracted myself booking cheap trips and planning for big adventures. When I’m off visiting new places I felt my best. I traveled Southeast Asia with my backpack. I have discovered not just the ”wonders of the world” but who I really am. Witnessing the majestic sunrise in Ankor Wat, Cambodia, I knew I am meant to do something great. I visited Turkey and was able to meet fellow travelers and glad to hear their stories. I discovered that I find joy eating exotic street food in
Witnessing the majestic sunrise in Ankor Wat, Cambodia, I knew I am meant to do something great. I visited Turkey and was able to meet fellow travelers and glad to hear their stories. I discovered that I find joy eating exotic foods in Thailand not to mention full moon parties were a lot of fun. I’ve learned to appreciate small things after being robbed in Amsterdam. Wow! There was no regret after I got wasted and fucked up. Then, I took short trips to gulf countries on a long weekend. I never thought I made my dreams becoming reality while visiting 13 of my favorite countries in Europe alone in 40 days. I mean, who would have thought?. It happened so fast and I had the best trip. It never stop there, I had also fulfilled my “American Dream”. Yeah, I have landed the big apple celebrating my 28th.
You might now have an idea how I got out of the woods when I was stuck. There was no choice but to deal with it. I simply followed my intuition. I knew every step I make was a conscious choice. The birds along the way were free-spirited but never get lost. I found my purpose in life and tirelessly worked to finish the trek. Nonetheless, I savored the unpredictable and exciting journey. It was a big relief.
I am finally living my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still working my ass off to support my family back home but I make I take a break whenever possible. To be honest, social media freaks me out every time a wedding or newborn baby posts from my friends pop up through my feeds. Hell, I care (lol). Well, I am totally happy as f*ck even if I may not have a dream career. Like, you know there are things in life that can give you more happiness and I mean genuine happiness.
Therefore, traveling was the best thing I ever did for myself. It was a life changing moment. It made me a better version of myself. There’s no denying that it teaches me a lot of lessons in life. I’m not advocating that traveling will cure your “quarter-life crisis” but it worked for me. Deal with it if you’re trapped in a rut as well as feeling a little lost. Go find the way out with your intuition.
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