Let me backtrack a little. For years I had wanted to travel to South America. I’m talking about 4 years of taking Spanish lessons and talking about my “one day” plans. I never really did much active saving, and other things kept coming up. Until finally I had a relationship end and I thought “well come on, shit or get off the pot!”.
So I did. Travel to SA, that is :p My four years of doing not much saving was behind me, and in about 5 months I saved up enough money for the absolute trip of a lifetime. Including a 5 day, $6000 yatch trip around the Galapagos islands and a 4 day Inca Trail hike. Amazeballs.
But for the whole trip, something was nagging in my head. See, once something gets in my head, an idea I like, I can’t really shake it. And that’s what was going on.
My sister had driven me to the airport for my Big Trip. Since she was going, she had also offered a lift to her friend’s little brother, because he needed to pick some things up. I was so nervous that I sat in the back and just listened as they chatted. Now Peter had just returned from 2 years living in Canada. He talked about the great time he had had, the friends he had made, and also about how his work Visa had been really easy to get.
The thing I love about this BFF? She was totally up for it. Sadly for family reasons, she ended up having to change her mind.
Anyway, so I travelled on to Mexico and Cuba, the whole time thinking about what would happen when I got “home”. I’d given up my rental to travel, and everything I owned was in my sister’s garage. I was on leave from my job. Oh and yeah, I’d pretty much spent every dime I had.
I arrived home with an extra 5 kilos (sadly not in my suitcase - damn those enchiladas!) and a very strong determination to be leaving again just as soon as it was possible.
Did I mention I was broke? Like wow diggidy, I gotta go to work tomorrow I pray there is fuel in the car already kind of broke.
But that wasn’t gonna get me down, oh no sir. I started planning straight away. I looked at what it would cost me to get there, to live there, to apply for the VISA ... all the nitty gritty.
And then I looked at how to get to that number. First off, I needed to find somewhere to live (I love my sister, but trust me, that was not a solution! Also, she lives about 2 hours away from where I was working), then I had to pay for said place, and move my stuff there.
Oh, and don’t worry, there was a little bit of credit card action to pay off. And by little, I mean significant.
So, I had a pretty “good” job - you know the kind, you hate it but it pays well? I got out my trusty budgeting template and I worked out exactly how long I would need to stay at the job to be able to move to Canada.
It was 12 months.
It was still a really long way away.
So I got real with myself. I honestly looked at my numbers and said “Laura, you are playing this SAFE, girl!”. I was chasing a dream, but with the energy of a diabetic chasing a Mr Whippy van. If I really wanted this dream, I had to go balls-out crazy for it.
I redid my numbers. And this time, I allowed for it to take me a month to get a job, not 3. I got brutally honest with what I was spending money on and cut all everything that wasn’t helpful to reach my goal.
And, to show myself and the Universe how much I believed in what I was doing, that I would get to Canada and I would live and grow there, I upped the ante - I threw out or donated a heap of my stuff (cut the storage fees from the budget), and I sold my beloved car. First car I’d ever owned.
I made those decisions in October. And that got me down to 5 months.
Over the next two months I tried really hard to keep my spirits up, working in the job I really loathed. I’d also managed to meet the love of my life and then promptly move into a very difficult long-distance arrangement which sucked monkey balls. Life was a bit tough.
Finally, just before Christmas, I was visiting with a very dear friend of mine, and talking about my plans and the general woes of the world. I told her that I wasn’t sure I could manage another three months (which is how long it was at the time) in my horrible job, even if it meant getting my dream.
She asked me about my beliefs, and if I had spoken to my angels. I said I’d been so busy at work and Skyping at odd hours, I didn’t do much of anything else. She urged me to try and make some time.
The next day was Sunday, and I was flat out doing who-knows-what as usual, but I’d remembered what Jen had told me. On the way back home from the supermarket, I quickly looked up and said “if you’re there ... could you please just help me get some time. Just a little time to talk to you properly, because I really want to make this happen”.
And that was it. I didn’t give it another thought, just went back to my hectic Sunday and general dreading of Monday morning.
“Laura, can I have a quick word?”
“Sure Alex, no worries”
I followed him away from my desk and into the CFOs office. And he shut the door. Now, the agency I was working in was fully open plan apart from this one office and some meeting rooms, so it was clear it was a big deal.
I asked point blank (I’m a bit like that) - “Are you firing me”.
All I really remember of the next 5 minutes was something along the lines of:
“ ..... really sorry ...... change of direction ..... 3 month package ..... loyal service ...... really sorry ...... blah blah blah ...... future of the blah blah blah ...... SEVENTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS ..... waaaah waaaah waaaaaah ...... TAX EXEMPT ........... blah blah .......”
I eventually cut him off, signed whatever they were pointing at me, and floated out of that office like I was being carried on the wings of angles. Because, you know, I was!
I later heard from a colleague that my boss had mentioned being really confused, since he’d “never seen anyone smile like that while being let go”. LOLZ!!!!
The rest of the story can be told at another time (I’ve gone on a bit here!) but the highlights were Christmas with my family and an amazing Summer with my friends, no work but loads of quality time to spend with my loved ones before I MOVED TO VANCOUVER! Where I found a place to live within 4 days and a job within 2 weeks. Oh, and married the love of my life, traveled across the country and had the best time of my life to date.
The moral of the story, I suppose, is dream BIG and then BELIEVE!! Because any dream is possible with a plan, but when you add in utter FAITH, you get more than your dream - you get magic!!
Love and light as always,