In all honesty, I’ve started and stopped writing this post so many times in the last week. Little Chef Big Appetite has always been about my recipes, healthy eating, and tidbits of my daily life. I know you guys aren’t coming here to read about my career or philosophies on life.
But, over the course of the last month there have been a couple of big changes in my life that I feel need some extra explaining, hence this post.
For as long as I can remember I have been incredibly jealous of anyone that I know or read about that quits their regular full-time job and goes off to travel the world. This includes the people that take a gap year between high school and college to get more “real life” experience, or those who graduate and move to a far away country to teach English to kids in need. I would always look at those people and think, “Wow, that sounds so daring and exciting…but I could never do that.”
But why? Why am I incapable of doing those things? I love to travel and I clearly am happy for others when they do it, so what’s stopping me?
Throughout my whole life there has been a “path” to success that I had to follow. Do well in high school and athletics to get into an excellent college. Study hard in college and secure summer internships to get the “right” job after graduation. Work very hard in your job to get a promotion. And it continues…
I want to stress that there is nothing wrong with this path. Until about a month ago I thought that this path was the only one I was meant to be on. I wouldn’t have had the countless opportunities or drive to succeed if it wasn’t for my parents. They’re the ones who encouraged me and showed me that all of the above was possible. I am forever indebted to them for all that they’ve taught and given me. I love you M & D.
Right around the New Year, I had a very enlightening conversation with Travis that really opened my eyes and showed me that maybe there was more to life than I was letting myself see.
I told Travis that there was so much of the world that I wanted to explore, and I just wished I could get up and go like some of our friends or other bloggers I read about.
He looked at me frankly and asked why we couldn’t be “those people”. At first I gave a couple reasons:
It’s not practical. What about our jobs?
It’s too expensive. How will we afford it?
We’ll come back and be broke.
What about our apartment? What about Bessie?
But those weren’t the real reasons. The real thing holding me back was simple. It was fear. I was scared of the unknown and scared of breaking off the only path that I knew how to follow.
Travis is incredibly practical and career-driven, so to be honest, I was surprised when he started listing the reasons why we should go travel. Neither of us studied abroad in college or traveled afterwards, and there are so many places in Europe that we want to see. We don’t have kids yet, so at this point there is really no one depending on us. And, making money is great, but we will have the rest of our lives to do that. In that moment, I thought, “Okay, if Travis, the king of practicality, is telling me that we can do this, we have to.”
Later that day, we started doing some research and realized that traveling to Europe in the winter could be very smart. There are far fewer tourists and everything is much less expensive than in the busy summer months. So after talking to our families, our minds were made up. We were going to do it. The decision was really that quick.
I gave my company three weeks notice, so I could help make sure there was a smooth transition, and my last day at work was January 27th.
I realize that by the way I am writing this (and by reading the title of this post), it might seem as though Travis and I are leaving Los Angeles, packing our lives into backpacks and traveling halfway across the globe for the foreseeable future. We’re not. We’re going to Europe for a month. With full suitcases. And staying in inexpensive AirBnBs and hotels. But you know what? Baby steps.
We want to see the world, so we’re starting small. And who knows, this could be the start of something really exciting for us.
Travis and I spent the last week mapping out our month-long trip. First up is Paris, and from there we’re headed to Amsterdam, Vienna, Prague, Berlin and Copenhagen. So if you have any recommendations for any of those cities, please share them in the comments below or email me! I’d love any tips or advice.
We leave in a week, so the next few days are all going to be dedicated to planning and packing.
Our good friend will be apartment sitting for us, and Bessie is going on her own little vacation to the east coast to stay with Travis’s family while we’re away. We are very grateful to them that they’re willing to take care of our little Bess for so long.
I am ridiculously excited about our upcoming adventure, and I definitely plan to blog regularly throughout the trip to share lots of details of where we are, what we’re seeing, and most importantly, what we’re eating. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram because I will be sharing lots of daily snapshots over there.
And in case you’re wondering, I am not sure what exactly my plan is when I come back, but for the first time in my life, I am okay with that.
One thing is for sure, though, you’ll be hearing from me much more often on here. Blogging consistently while having a demanding full-time job is no joke, and I am very grateful for the next month+ to have the time to dedicate to growing this hobby of a blog into something much greater.
If you made it all the way to the bottom of this post, thank you for you reading, and thank you so much for your support.