When I first told my fashion friends that I was quitting my job to travel around the world, they were dubious, but intrigued. When I mentioned that I would be living out of a backpack for three months, wearing pretty much the same thing everyday, and (gasp) not be bringing along my heels, they were stunned. How could I quit my life of parties, fashion, and indulging in the best of NYC to live such a reverse lifestyle?
After working for years in the fashion industry, instead of a renewed sense of following my midwestern childhood dream, I felt like I was slowly slipping further away from myself. Did I really see myself still working to increase footwear profitability in five years? In ten? I knew that I wanted to do something that felt challenging on a personal level, and I knew that whatever I did had to allow time for travel. So, I made a list of all of the things that I loved to do. While some seemed a bit far fetched as a career plan (tennis player, dessert taster), two interests leapt out from the page: travel and writing.
I decided to give myself one year to see if I could make this work. If after that year I didn’t feel fulfilled, or couldn’t support myself financially, it would be time to go back to fashion and devote myself to my former career path. But one thing stuck with me from my years spent pouring over Vogue. I couldn’t give up my love of fashion, just because I was leaving my desk job. If I was going to follow my dream, I would need to remember my first passion as well.
So, with the decision firmly made to scour the world for the best in local style and culture, I found a way to combine all of my interests. Its been four and a half months since I made that decision and I am leaving for Peru in two weeks. With an itinerary full of exciting trips to weaving villages, and Peruvian ateliers, I wake up every day with a smile on my face.
Who knows what the future will bring, but until then, I’m just going to enjoy living in the present.