Hello fellow travel enthusiasts, nurses, and passers-by!
You must wonder how in the world a full-time nurse who has two jobs has the time or even energy to travel, let alone write about it?
First off I'd like to emphasize that this did not just happen overnight!
I was also once a fresh grad, with a crap TON of student debt who wanted to find a job, live on my own, have everything fancy, and travel the world all at once.
BUT when I got my first paycheck-- being single, no kids, and no home of my own, I realized how much I would get taxed! There went all the money I thought I'd have to do it all! :(
However, this was the eye-opener that allowed me to realize that I had to set my priorities straight. So i said to myself "What do I knock out first?!"
So here goes the answer to the question about how I did it.
one word; PRIORITIZATION
Before i get into detail, I want to get this out there that it is TOTALLY UP TO YOU on what you want to prioritize. I am simply here to share my experience on what worked out for my lifestyle and situation.
1. LOANS: I was fortunate (though at that time i didn't realize it) enough to still be living with my parents during college and after. With my debt, I knew that I could take advantage of this opportunity. I then calculated my earnings and gave myself a deadline (more or less 6 months). So, everyday, I showed up to work, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and worked my little tail off!
Overtime? I got you. Need someone to take your shift? I WAS YOUR GIRL.
I basically ate, slept, dreamed and thought NICU.
Some may say that I overworked myself, but I had a goal. I kept my eyes on the prize... and 6 MONTHS later, I was $22k out of debt!!
And for those who have gone through this, man did this just feel so liberating! I was a free woman!!
2. MOVED OUT: Situations arose within my family where my mom and I had to change our living situations. And let me tell you, this is when I realized that you have to be prepared when they say that SHIT HAPPENS. Again, my world traveling came to a halt. Now, I wanted to buy a home.
3. TRAVELLED: After about 10 months of refiguring out my finances and goals, I realized that buying a home I thought I could afford was just not going to work. So I trashed that idea and asked myself "You have worked so much in the last year and a half, done your duties and all, what have you done FOR YOU?"
I realized that I needed to feed my soul.
So in the winter of 2016, J and I packed our bags and for 2.5 weeks we toured around Europe. Now we had both done some family international traveling in the past...but without any prior international traveling done together, let me tell you, it was not all what appeared on Snapchat and Instagram! It was difficult, but boy was it WORTH IT. It was what we needed as a couple! And from this point on, we were hooked!!
I knew this is what fed my little soul.
But in order to keep this lifestyle going, I knew that I had to give my designer bag-carrying, large-living, fancy car-driving dreams away. I had to give those away in pursuit of a bigger dream--to not let life pass me by; to let the little traveler that was caught in between the tiny walls of my babies' isolettes go when I am away from them.
And so, in growing up, I have come to realize that thought we have our plans in mind, things can happen that may throw you off...but the most important part of it all is that you take it, learn from it, and JUST GO SOMEWHERE WITH IT. :)