I had a lot of thoughts on how to answer this question, but there are two main points I want to make.
The first is that I had an opportunity to go to Russia. To see Moscow and St. Petersburg and travel the Trans-Siberian for 40 hours into Siberia to play a small part documenting the work of the Fox Cities-Kurgan Sister Cities organization. But this isn’t a shock to most, as I’m rather a travel opportunist. When I graduated from college I promptly left for New Zealand and spent all my money. Now that I’m giving up my main source of income I’m heading to a surprisingly inaccessible country with $200 visa fees. Although, thanks to travel hacking that visa actually cost more than 26 hours and 12,000 miles worth of flights.
The second point is summed up in this manifesto. I’ve had this in my apartment for a while, and I’ve been looking at it a lot lately:
I didn’t quit my job because I didn’t like it. In fact, I loved most of it, and learned leagues about areas of profession I am going to continue pursuing. I have/had some of the greatest coworkers imaginable, although rules of propriety and Midwestern manners disallow me from repeating any of the sorts of jokes we laughed at in the office.
But despite that I’ve been suffering from a severe Quarter Life Crisis. Nothing fills me with more inspiration or joy than traveling, and I actually haven’t left the United States or its territories since 2009. Obsessing over a spreadsheet detailing paid time off just wasn’t going to last. This one trip accounts for more vacation days than I – or most Americans – would get off in an entire year.
I believe I’m torn between a lot of professional directions and interests in life, but chief among them has long been an unquenchable thirst for travel. So when my roommate in Madison asked me if I was interested in getting out of our lease early so she could pursue a summer internship, I said sure. With an opportunity to immerse myself in a country that isn’t terribly high on most people’s To Visit lists and a blatant disregard for personal financial responsibility, I decided to take my own leap, pack up my things, and leave the country. At least for three weeks.
I’ll let you know how it goes.