For anyone who has spent any amount of time with me this year, you will know that YOLO is my motto of 2016. God knows how many times I’ve typed it out on Whatsapp, said it out loud (cringe, soz) and said it to myself both convincingly and unconvincingly!
I became very happily commitment-free mid-way through 2015, so I spent the next half of the year re-shaping my life back into something I enjoyed, re-positioning myself to be able to accept and be open to new and exciting opportunities.
Was my new situation a pre-destined plan? Had the stars aligned? Was it just great timing? Who knows, but one thing was for sure: this is my situation and it couldn’t be more perfect.
I used the ironic acronym YOLO to summarise my new state of mind, but it worked equally as a daily reminder of the one-eighty I had experienced in the last few months. I was inspired by my new freedom and that in turn propelled me to focus on making happiness-driven (and, I admit, at times impulsive) decisions.
Unleash the YES girl and make up for (a lot) of lost time…
…..Cue, also, the start of the path-altering behaviour.
One of the most significant effects of this path-altering behaviour was a decision to gate-crash a two and a half week trip to Australia over the New Year 2015/16. Which, really, is where it all started.
Well, perhaps the right swipe a few months previously did, too… Credit where credit is due.
With my 30L backpack and a very impractical rose-gold-mock-snake-print-crossover-bag (yeah, baby) I boarded a plane at Heathrow not knowing that when I landed it would change my 2016 in just about every way.
10 months later I now have an Australian visa and no return flight. YOLO indeed.
“What was it about Australia?” people ask me all the time.
I had a pull. An instinctive, unshakeable urge, that I was going to go back and that I would be back there before the next New Year. It was so clear to me that this is what I was going to do, even on day four of the trip as I sat on the Greyhound driving out of Byron Bay with an epic hangover.
Timing was right, no denying it. Or at least as right as it would ever be. I decided that when I got back to London I would make it happen; I would make it possible to move to the other side of the world. And that was my goal for the New Year.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of times when all I can think about is ‘what-the-hell-am-I-doing;’ doubts that keep me up at night sweating, but the next day it’s gone and I’m 100% sure about this path, this next step in my life, and I know deep down it’s the right thing. Sorry, Mum.
So, thanks to that one Monday in February, when I was off work, feeling run down and very sorry for myself, and somewhat unmotivated by life, I made a somewhat hasty, life-altering decision. I was going to do it. I opened Skyscanner and bought a one-way ticket to Bangkok. I figured, why not spend a few months in South East Asia on the way.
Then the countdown began. For real.
If that wasn’t a YOLO decision then I don’t know what is.
Stay tuned for more.