Only you can decide what is best for you. For me it was quitting my job in pursuit of my passions. What made me happy most? What theme kept reappearing that I would ignore? Why did I not take the chance earlier? Am I willing to start from the bottom again? So many questions I needed to ask myself and working a stagnant 9-5 did not allow me any time to reflect. Being away from that environment for a few weeks, has allowed me to walk around this beautiful city, taking in the sights and reflecting on what would make me happy most. 

Humanitarian work and travel has always been in my mind. Ever since I could remember I have always wanted to see the world and help the less fortunate. Until now, I did not take the chances needed to pursue this dream. But it’s never too late to begin. 

I started my search for jobs that would get me in the door and give  me some background knowledge on how to travel abroad and help change the world. I did not pursue this educationally and after completing a diploma and two post grads, I believe I do not need to return to school in order to go after my dreams (especially after I just finished paying off all my student loans). Therefore I had to come to terms with my options. 

I could not jump into a career right away. I had to look for small opportunities. I found a contract position with a company that promotes “backpacking with a purpose.” I accepted a position as a university outreach representative and my role is to call various universities and inform them of the program and scholarships/bursaries we can offer their students. This to some may seem menial and lack a connection but to me it’s perfect. I will gain insight into how the company operates, build connections and keep an eye out for room to grow with them/ new roles that may appear. It is starting from the bottom but also allowing me that foot in the door. 

Another way to gain experience is by volunteering. So I’ve decided to reach out to a few organizations and volunteer my time to help fight for change. Humanitarian work is all about helping a great cause and what better way to gain insight and experience than to take part in helping organizations behind the scenes as well as developing skills, by being in the front lines! Many organizations offer volunteers training sessions and give many opportunities to learn all the aspects of how to make a change the right way. So I have divided my spare time between two places; one where I will learn strategies on proper protests and issues with the environment and the other, I will develop my speaking skills on issue surrounding women and children’s right in third world countries. Both will allow me to meet like minded individuals who want to help improve the world and I can make connections for the future.

Accountability is key. I have made sure to let the people around me know my plan. Once you become a volunteer it is very important to continue to attend meetings and outings in order to stay up to date and grow. This is especially important as it is my alternative method from attending college/university for this type of career. I have also made sure that the people I told are ones who will suport me. Ones who encourage the change and give me positive reinforcement now and then. Have a good support system has been essential for me. 

So this morning I took my last major walk around this beautiful city. I will be busy the next couple of months transforming myself into the woman I know I want to be and know I can be. It is still early in my journey of self discovery but the first step has begun. So I encourage you to take the steps necessary to live your dreams. Every little step counts so even if you can’t take the huge leap and quit your current job, start researching opportunities or taking some time out of the day for those solo walks to reflect on what makes you truly happy.