The Floating Islands in Lake Titicaca

“You can do what’s reasonable or you can decide what’s possible.” –Unknown

When I was in grade school I remember my teacher had us write down what we wanted to be when we grew up. Honestly, at the time I had no idea what I wanted to be. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be, but I knew I wanted to be doing something important so I jotted down careers that in my young mind equaled success: doctor, lawyer, dolphin trainer, firefighter, astronaut etc.

And then life happened and all of a sudden I was 24, working for the man, and in a serious relationship that seemed to leave me feeling miserable more often than not. Where was that wide-eyed little girl who could have been anything?  I was at the point in my life, where I actually had to make a decision about who I wanted to be. I could be a writer and share my wisdom with the world, but wait, what wisdom do I have? I had no great life changing stories or lessons that others could learn from. I was ordinary and borderline boring.

Not wanting to be such a dull person, I had a sudden thirst for knowledge, but not the kind you get from textbooks. Real world knowledge; I needed to travel.

The rational/reasonable side of my brain told me that I was being ridiculous. I couldn’t travel! I barely made enough to cover my monthly expenses! The reasonable thing would have been to find a higher paying job so that I could actually save some money for travel. But who was I kidding? A higher paying job just leads to a nicer apartment, finer dining, and twice as many bills.  As luck would have it, a friend of mine, Eric Batchelor, was planning a trip to Machu Picchu in the winter and was looking for a travel companion. Without hesitation I hopped on Expedia.com and before I knew it I had purchased a round trip ticket to Peru.

I found someone to sublet my LA apartment for the month, used vacation days so as to still collect a paycheck, and traveled to Peru spending the same amount of money as I would have spent on my daily living expenses. Sometimes it is better to make a spontaneous leap, throwing reason out the window, and believing that you will land on your two feet.  Think of a speeding ticket, who has money reserved to pay for speeding tickets? No one, but when you get that ticket, somehow you manage to scrape together money to pay the fine, right?  Think along those same lines and you’re vacation becomes nothing more than a very large traffic fine (or four, if you decide to travel to Europe). That being said, I am not advocating being irresponsible.

In one year I traveled to: San Francisco, Washington DC, Peru, Jamaica, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, London, and Paris. Phew, that’s a mouthful! I know what you’re thinking; I must be miss moneybags, with wealthy parents or a trust fund. I am not. I do not have any financial assistance whatsoever and I made $24k this past year. How did I do it? I made the leap and then was forced to cut out the unnecessary minor luxuries a normal 24 year old would have. No $70 bar tabs, no cable TV, a downgraded cell phone plan, cooking at home, packing a lunch…all of these small things add up.

We have all kinds of reasons for why we cannot do things but I think you will find that when you take that sharp turn towards something you really want, you will figure out how to make the rest of your life fall into place. So do yourself a favor and issue yourself a “life” ticket.

Note: This article was written for and published previously on TinyBuddha.com. The original link can be found here: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/on-making-the-unreasonable-possible/