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I have had many birthdays while traveling. It was one of the many benefits of Alex’s fall break from university falling around the first week of November. I have celebrated 23 in Prague, 24 in Budapest, and 26 in Rawai, Thailand. I have been supremely lucky and this year is no different as we are in rural Greece in a town so small you can’t even find it on a map unless you have the Greek spelling. But this year feels different.
All the other years I was on vacation while celebrating my birthday, this year Alex and I are trying to create a life while traveling. Some of you may argue that we are on vacation but I assure you, we are not. But that’s not really why this birthday feels different, in all honesty it feels different because this is the first year where I have made a conscious and clear decision about what I want out of my future.
It seems up to this point, things like jobs and different opportunities have fallen into my lap. Not to say I didn’t work for them but I didn’t consciously choose that path. Ok, sure I choose to move to Rome at 22 and get a job as a tour guide but even while making that decision I knew it wasn’t going to be forever. Part of me hoped it would but deep down I knew it was just for the time being. The same can be said for our move to Healdsburg and my job as a wedding planner. The job was offered through a friend of my godmother’s and I said why not? It turns out that I actually really enjoyed it and in my opinion, I was quite good at it, but there was never a point where I thought to myself, “Gee, Ashley, why don’t you become a wedding planner?”
This trip, this attempt to turn travel into our lives was and is a conscious decision though. Perhaps the most conscious decision I have ever made. Sure, we have changed our idea and ultimate goal of this trip a few times but in the end it was a decision we made. So here I am, on turning 28 and I’ve made the first decisive and conscious decision of my life.
Travel is my life and ultimately what I want to do with my life. Not only that though, in the end I want to encourage people to travel too. Alex and I first mentioned this back in one of our earliest posts (but don’t go back that far…) but essentially our goal is to encourage people to travel. That’s always been the driving underlining force of this blog. Yes, we now focus on food and exploring the world through the cuisine of the culture but in the end we want you to go out and explore for whatever reason. If we can convince you to do that through our “Eat Local In” guides or even just through our stories then we have succeeded.
As 2015 winds down and 28 begins (for me anyways, Alex is a baby) Alex and I are looking to our future and continuing to make travel, cuisine and culture our lives and in turn inspire you to find what you are passionate about and get out and see the world.
So cheers to 28, finally making the first conscious decision of my life, and building a life based on what I am passionate about!
*Alex would like me to note that I also consciously decided to date and create a life with him. I personally didn’t think it needed to be said but it makes him feel better (and yes, Alex is aware of how insecure this makes him sound) 😉