Why I Bought a One Way Ticket to Mexico

Hey there, stranger!

Want to know why I decided to book a one way ticket to Mexico and not look back? Well when I was 24, I was living in Portland, OR and….

TBH, I was extremely anxious.

Anxious because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.

Anxious because I wasn’t sure if I liked this drizzly city.

Anxious because it seemed like everyone else knew exactly what they wanted to do with their life and they were on this great trajectory to get there. My apartment felt cheap and ugly, and I didn’t like living there.

I felt like I was shooting in the dark. Maybe I’ll be a baker, maybe I should do social work, maybe I’ll be a chocolatier. Nothing seemed to stick.

My indecision was paralyzing and I would often find myself mentally falling down a vortex of panic and dread with visions of my future self working at a Trader Joes in my 30s ( no shade TJ, I love you).

There was one particular day where it got real bad.

I came home biking in the rain from a 5am shift at a pie shop I was working at ( yes, I used to be a baker, we will get there), and I hated every damn second of it.

My boss + coworkers weren’t that friendly, and I felt like I kept fucking everything up. I didn’t feel supported.

I hated that I had this early shift and my hands were gross all the time.

I hated I was in the rain, I hated that it rained all the time. I hated that I had to bike home in the rain and didn’t have the money or means for a car.

All these feelings pooled up and sloshed around inside of me. This spiral would always result in WHAT AM I DOING I HATE THAT I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.

I came home, sopping wet from the precipitation and my own tears, threw my bike outside and collapsed on my living room carpet that I hated so much.

I felt paralyzed and didn’t know what I was doing, which made it harder for me to focus and make a decision.

Deep within me, I knew that I wanted to keep traveling. I had done a long backpacking trip before and loved it. Not just loved it, but there were moments of such freedom that it would bring me to tears. It would take me years to understand why. The memories would haunt me and hit me at random moments, letting me relish in the memory of that bliss.

BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR CAREER- Responsibility would shout to me. YOU STILL HAVE TIME, BUT YOU’RE NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER. YOU ARE GOING TO WASTE YOUR YOUTH TRAVELING AROUND WHILE EVERYONE ELSE IS SECURE IN THEIR JOBS. YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO KEEP STARTING OVER.

This voice would jump out when I would entertain the ideas of traveling again.

I heard the world begging me to get back out there. I wasn’t meant to be where I was. The only thing that could quench my thirst was a plane ticket out of Portland.

But then after that bike ride in the rain, I was over it. I just needed some time to refocus.

So I decided to book a one way ticket out of my situation.

Clicking on that “purchase” button when I booked my flight was the same lurching feeling that you get when you jump off a monster diving board. But at the end of the fall, your body plunging into water feels so purifying.

I didn’t know what I was doing but at least I had a direction.  

I share this story because I don’t want you to feel lost. We all do at times, but it is so important to know how to get yourself out. Not all of us know how to or when to, and I think once people do they regret they didn’t do it sooner.

One conversation that I wish I could have had at that time was with Deano from Los Angeles. He has such great insight to allowing yourself to make mistakes and constantly reinvent yourself. And he has been through it all: coming out, having a successful businesses sabotaged, and getting in a horrifying motorcycle accident. He has not allowed the potholes in life slow him down or think he should turn around. He has learned how to ride through it. I wish I had this kind of advice when I was younger. You can listen to his episode here.  

I would love to hear from you- have you ever jumped off the diving board and had to start swimming?

Which direction did you take?

Adrien Behn