Chapter 2: Preparations

For the past two months now my entire life has revolved around making plans for my year abroad. The day after I paid my downpayment for Remote Year I dug into my finances and put together a budget to determine whether or not I actually could afford to travel for a year. The answer was, not really, not without dipping into my nest egg, a mutual fund I hadn’t ever touched. I decided to make a sizable withdrawal from the fund, most of which went toward paying off debt and covering my downpayment and then immediately went about finding other ways to earn money.

Within a month I was working five part-time jobs: my steady agency job with Janice, a project management position for a remote digital ad agency, a community management job for a local support group, two weekend shifts at my best friend’s restaurant and driving for Uber in my “spare time”. If you think I’m insane, most people around me would agree.

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Learning to make bread at Crash Cuisine

In addition to that, I was able to get out of my lease within a month. By the end of September my property manager had found another tenant to take over my lease and I moved in with my parents temporarily to save money. I’m now commuting an hour to work three days a week and working remote from home the other two days. “How am I juggling everything,” you may ask. It’s been a challenge.

On top of that I’ve been trying to learn Spanish, going to therapy weekly, trying to eat relatively healthy, started a new workout routine, making travel preparations and on top of it all, I’ve found time to start this blog. I had a cold all last week and had to deal with the anxiety of putting it all aside for a few days so I could rest up and get better.

I know I’ve piled on a ton all at once, but I’ve made up my mind to use the next year to reform my life and focus on positive change. I know once I leave, the likelihood of forming new habits will be slim as I’ll have enough to focus on as I bounce from one new place to the next. So instead I’m focusing on initiating new habits before I leave with the intention to continue them and maintain my health as I travel. It’s no easy task, but I’m moving slowly in the right direction and trying to be more conscious of how I treat myself on a daily basis.

On top of that, I believe the money I’m earning now will allow me to have the experience I want in the next year without having to make major sacrifices. If I run out of funds, I can always come home early, but I can’t imagine that scenario. So far I’ve been able to manifest the earnings I need and I’m confident that I can continue to do so now and as I travel.

I’ve always been capable of making my dreams come true, but at times in my life it’s been harder than others to push myself in that direction. When I made up my mind to leave Colorado in 2013, I chose a city, went there for a week and came home with a job offer. That was a perfect example of me manifesting my wish. However, in the time that I lived in Chicago, it seemed impossible to pursue my dreams. I had entrepreneurial ideas that fizzled and died, fantasies about travel that I never actually saved for, many plans for the future that were put off as I dealt with the stress and strain of day-to-day life. In registering for Remote Year I’ve created an impetus for so many things I’ve been wanting to pursue. In these pages I’ll record my progress toward each of those things as I rebuild my life over the next year and beyond.

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