It has been six weeks since I left my apartment. So far, everything has gone well. I have learned a few things about traveling now. One thing that I’ve done is loaded up souvenirs in a box and I mailed it to my parents. There is a weight limit for carry on at the airport so I had to cut back on how much I was carrying around. I’ve traveled on five trains, four planes and countless cars. I most enjoy flying on a plane because it is faster however I do enjoy the freedom of the car. Speaking of freedom: I have never felt so free in my life. Most of the time I don’t even know what day of the week it is. I have forgotten what it feels like to work.

After China, I made a stop in Alaska but I ended up cutting that trip a little short. I had planned on spending two weeks there however I’m not a fan of snow and the bitter cold. So I looked around, slept in an igloo, went fishing and I even went on a crab fishing boat. After Alaska I decided I want some warm sunshine so I headed towards California. The flight was chaos though. First of all, the plane was five hours late. Once the plane finally arrived, I boarded with my bag but somehow I left my phone in the lobby. I went to look for it but it was already gone. The plane took off but we soon had to turn around because someone on the plane was having chest pains. Finally, ten hours after the scheduled departure time, we took off fo


r California. When I arrived in Los Angeles, it was 90 degrees and the sun was warm. The first thing I did was find a hotel. I’ve found that I get cheaper rates if I go to the hotel the day of booking as opposed to reserving a room. So after I got my hotel, I went for a walking tour of Hollywood. I found it fascinating that on one side of the street was a homeless man but on the other sidewalk was a woman dressed in fur.

I saw the Walk of Fame and went window shopping on Rodeo Drive. I went to the Hard Rock Cafe where I ate an amazing hamburger and I even caught a glimpse of Sir Elton John. I then had some business to take care of so I did laundry and then went to the walk-in clinic. I saw a doctor and he gave me a

prescription so I took advantage of that while I was in America; I’m not sure other countries would be so simple. The first night I stayed in the hotel was great. The next few nights though, I had loud upstairs neighbors who seemed to enjoy bouncing basketballs at 2 in the morning. The next few days I toured around Los Angeles and then after a while, I decided to travel further up north. I got to the center of California after 9 hours of driving. I am shocked at how massive this state is compared to the rest of the country. If you drive 9 hours along the East Coast, you would pass through four states at least.

Once I arrived in Central California, I got another hotel and found that I had enough hotel points to pay for my room for four nights and I got a dinner coupon! After settling into my hotel, I started to look at the attractions nearby. I found that Yosemite was only an hour away so the next day I rented a car and headed out. Once I got to Yosemite, I ran into a crazy amount of traffic. I’m pretty sure walking the park would have been faster than driving. After finally finding parking, I decided to leave the car and just ride the free shuttle. I went hiking on several trails though my favorite was Vernal Falls which has The Mist Trail. It feels like it’s raining as you hike up the huge rock staircase. My legs are still sore but the views were incredible and well worth the hike. My day in Yosemite was awesome and I am so glad that I went.

I traveled around California for a while and now I’m in my hotel in Santa Cruz. I am loving the freedom of traveling. I decided to stay in California for an extra week and it feels nice that I can extend my trip if I desire. My bag is packed and I’m ready to travel somewhere else. So I’m flying to Tokyo in the morning. I bought a Japanese Conversation book so hopefully I can communicate with people. I’m not exactly sure what to expect but I guess I will find out once I get there. I am so excited to go to Tokyo! I feel so free and nothing is holding me back. I love this phase of my life and I can’t wait to move on to the next location.

I arrived in Hong Kong a week ago. When I first landed, I was in shock. I don’t blend in here at all. The first thing I did was go to an outdoor market where I tried different foods like Shark Fin Soup, which was amazing. I also took a ride on a tram at The Peak which had spectacular views of the city. While walking, I got pretty lost but eventually I got to the science museum which was incredible. I also went to the The Temple Street Night Market where I met a fortune teller and I even had my palms read. It was an amazing day. In the evening, I realized I had somehow lost my credit card. After becoming very upset and panicking, I found it in my sweater pocket, thankfully.

This week I have visited numerous restaurants though my favorite was Lung King Heen which is an excellent Cantonese restaurant. I also went to Hong Kong Wetland Park where I saw birds and waterfalls. They had a nice souvenir shop although I’m reluctant to buy anything because I have very limited storage. I did end up buying a postcard and I’m considering buying a postcard in each country and then maybe I could create a big scrapbook with them. I also spent a couple evenings at Lan Kwai Fong, a popular nightlife area. I met some great people and danced the night away. It was freeing to just enjoy myself in that environment.

Two days this week I went to Hong Kong Disneyland. I enjoyed seeing all the characters and attractions. One of my favorite rides was the Jungle River Cruise. I sat up front and I loved the water and the trees. It was a bit loud and scary though, but I would ride it again. The park had similar rides to the American Disneyland, like the Cinderella Carousel, the flying Dumbo elephants, and It’s a Small World. The food was incredible and the staff was helpful and always smiling. I really enjoyed my time in Disneyland and I hope to return some day.

The next day, I went on a walking tour of the Avenue of Stars. There were all kinds of plaques and monuments for actors in the movie industry. I loved the Jackie Chan kung fu statue. I visited several shops along the way and I ended up buying an umbrella. I really have enjoyed touring Hong Kong. It is a beautiful city with a lot to offer. I loved all the parks as well as the endless shops and restaurants. I enjoyed this city a lot more than I assumed I would.

I made the terrible mistake of going with the cheapest lodging I could find. I stayed at the Chungking Mansion for three nights. The first night was okay because I was just exhausted and collapsed on the bed. But once I woke up the next day, I realized what a mess it was. There were beatles on the floor, drunk people all around. It was jam packed with people and a total fire hazard. At first I decided to just settle and not move around but the second night that I stayed, I didn’t get any sleep because the people around me were so loud. I stayed one more night but still didn’t get any sleep so I checked out and found a new hotel. The one I’m at is much better. Unlike the Chungking Mansion, there is running water in the room and even a shower! It is much more quiet but a lot more expensive. Thankfully, I can afford to upgrade. I don’t know what I would have done if I had to stay at Chungking.

I am having a great time traveling. I want to see more of the country however I think I’m going to have to cut my stay short so I can make it to the next location. If I ever come back, I’m definitely going to do Disneyland again and I will think twice before staying at a cheap hotel. I love the adventure that I’m having. I wake up every day with no plans and I just go where I please. It is so freeing to be able to relax and enjoy the scenery. For the first time in a long time, I can say that I love my life. I have enjoyed seeing Hong Kong but I think I’m ready to see what else the world has in store. It may be time to pack my bag and head on to the next adventure.

I just got back from my meeting with my Paycation travel agent. Some changes have been made to my trip. I wanted to just go where the wind will take me but the wind doesn’t work well with airports and schedules. I have to have some structure to my plan so I have decided to map out where I plan to go, but not purchase the tickets until I want to leave. That way, I can spend a long time at one location without being pressured to move on to the next location. My travel agent also advised me to get rid of my luggage and instead get a large traveling backpack. Airlines charge for checked luggage and sometimes it ends up costing more than the flight itself. She has convinced me to cut down on what I’m going to bring with me and instead only take the essentials in a backpack that can be carried on for the flight. This will save a tremendous amount of money and prevent frustration with lost luggage. The only thing that’s tough about this is I have to lose my makeup, hair products and cut way back on my clothes. But if I’m going to be a world traveler, I may as well act like it. And what world traveler carts around a tub of makeup all over the place?

So with less luggage, I am now ready to embark on my adventure. My first destination is China because I figured I should go big or go home. The flight leaves tonight at 10 o’clock. I will be landing in Hong Kong where I will take a bus to my hotel. Then, I will visit The Hong Kong Science Museum and finish off the day at The Temple Street Night Market where I will enjoy local food, souvenirs, fortune telling and other attractions. My hotel is booked for two weeks but after spending some time there, I may choose to extend my trip or travel somewhere else within the country. I am so excited to see China so I want to make sure that I have plenty of time to leisurely stroll through the country if I choose to do so.

My next destination will be Scotland so I can see the Edinburgh Castle and go hiking at Loch Lomond. I plan to stay at a hostel if it’s possible. I think I may stay here for a week or two before moving on to Ireland. In Ireland I want to see The Cliffs of Moher as well as tour the ancient remains of Glendalough. I plan to spend a month here because my ancestors are from Ireland so I want to really get a feel for the country before moving on. I also plan to see Australia, Japan, Hawaii, France and Norway. I will add more locations as I go along but these are my first few visits. There are 195 countries and I would like to see them all, if possible.

I bought a new camera so I can document my travels and I also bought a laptop that I can use while I travel. I want to share my adventures with everyone so pictures and a journal are mandatory. I am bringing only four outfits and two pairs of shoes, a blanket, a hairbrush and other small essentials. My backpack weighs almost 40 pounds which is nice because I can easily walk with all of my belongings on my back and it will never have to be checked for the flight. My mail is going to be forwarded to my parents house until I get back home and I have set up my phone calling plan to accommodate all of my traveling.

I am so glad that I have made this decision. For once, I feel like I’m actually living my life. Instead of sitting in an office chair on 20th Avenue, I am going to be walking around Hong Kong. I’m going to travel the world and see what so many others don’t get the chance to see. I won’t be strapped to my desk for a lifetime and instead I’m going to experience the beautiful world. I don’t have a long term plan right now; I’m focused on the present. I want to live for the day and enjoy the world while I can, starting with Hong Kong.

For ten years, I have worked in my cubicle. I have it decorated with picture frames and inspiring quotes but regardless of how many tropical pictures I put up, it’s just a gray cubicle. I sit beneath a florescent light that shines on me all day, every day. The walls are white, the conversation minimal. Every day, I saunter in to the office where fresh brewed coffee greets me as well as my irksome boss that hands me a stack of files without so much as a please or thank you. I spend my days pecking away at a computer until my eyes feel like melting out of my head. If I had known all my years of education and studying would have result in this, I would have thought up a different plan. My grand finale, my career, is grey and artificial. Ever day when my alarm goes off I dream of packing my suitcase and taking the A train to the airport where I could just jump on any flight to anywhere. But instead I put on my heels, grab a danish and head to the office where my soul slowly dies.

My cubicle is located in the middle of the office, so I have zero access to natural light. I’m surrounded by others that are quietly pecking away at their keyboard. Day in and day out, I slave over my work. The only sense of real life is the small fan I have clipped on my desk that offers a cool breeze. I wish I could say that I got time off to enjoy life, but I don’t. Every weekend I end up working from home. Every holiday, I’m hunched over my laptop trying to keep up with the work load. I get the lovely option of taking a two week “vacation” but that always means I will just spend two weeks working at home. It’s been years since I’ve gotten away from this life. I don’t even remember what it feels like to have time off. So recently, I decided to do something about it.

I composed a letter to my boss. I thanked him for being my mentor in the corporate world. I thanked my colleagues for all of their work, but I said that I was done. I’m done with the office chairs, white walls, and cooped up life of a cubicle. I’m finished with nylons and high heels. I wrote the letter and then turned it in with today’s date as my last day of work. My boss didn’t really respond; he just shrugged his shoulders which made me realize I had made the right decision. So now I sit here with my belongings in a box, my trusty fan put away, my pictures taken down and my desk bare. I’m done.

I have gotten rid of most of the things in my apartment and boxed up the rest. I’m renting out my apartment and I’m going to spend the year traveling around the world. I’m not sure where I’m going to go yet, but I have a bit of an idea. I know that I want to put my feet in the Pacific Ocean, throw a snowball in Alaska, attend the Opera in Australia and feel the rain in Vietnam. I have hired a travel agent to help me plan my trip but I am not going to make it too planned out as I also want to go where the wind will take me.

As I sit here with this box on my desk and all my pictures taken down, I have realized that tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. I always felt it necessary to enter this corporate world and fight my way through it. But after many years of fighting, I have decided that it’s just not for me. I want to see the world. I want to meet new people, experience new cultures and try new food. I thought I would be emotional today, but the only emotion I have is excitement. I am beyond thrilled that I have made this decision and I am watching the clock as it slowly approaches 5 o’clock so I can finally be done. My box of office belongings will join the boxes in my apartment. I’ve been packing for two weeks and tomorrow it will all go into a storage unit. All I’ll have left is some luggage and clothes. I am ecstatic.

I know that the corporate world is a great environment for some people, however, I have realized that it’s not for me. I am not meant to be kept in a cubicle all day pecking away at a computer. I want to see the world and experience life. I am not satisfied with a boring corporate life, I want something more. I want to experience new adventures, meet new people, and live outside of a cubicle. I’m not sure what my life plan is now as it’s all kind of up in the air however I do know that it doesn’t not involve working in a cubicle. So I’m going to see the world and then see where that takes me. Maybe I’ll end up working in Tokyo or Madrid or maybe I will just travel the world for the remainder of my life, I’m not sure. I do know that I am five minutes from walking out of this office for good and I am beyond thrilled. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me and I am ready to be alive for once.