Ever feel like the universe is trying to tell you something? Whether you believe in God, Goddesses or Unicorns, it always starts with a whisper, a nudge, or a knock. It’s that magnetic, ethereal feeling like you should be somewhere, or say something. I was in the midst of a busy work day, contemplating the countless hours of online lectures waiting for me at home (the life of a part-time Uni student), and frantically attempting to respond to messages of congratulations on my recent engagement. It was what I considered a regular Tuesday but for most, a manic and unruly whirlwind of duty.
I longed for a mental break, and found it in the gleaming light of my phone where I mindlessly browsed Instagram posts. Most of them being others, bored of their own workday, posting about holidays they’d been on and how they wish they could go back. It’s the cyclic digital envy life.
But today, I saw a post that said; Ever dreamed that your travel could matter? Ever dreamed that your travel could change lives? Ah yes, actually. I can tell you the countless times I’ve dreamed of this. In fact, I could date those dreams right back to 2006 - when I graduated high school...
My brother, the ‘golden’ child in our family, had just been on an expedition to find his purpose in life. He knew he needed to gain a better perspective, and reminded us regularly that he couldn’t ‘soar like an eagle, if he was surrounded by turkeys’. But despite his attitude, he was selfless at heart and so he spent three months volunteering in Tanzania, in an orphanage of 40 children.
I will never forget when he came home, how unimaginably changed he was. The stories! The children were so happy with the very little amount they had, and just one soccer ball provided them hours of entertainment. My brother was absolutely heartbroken and yet impressed, watching their tiny bare feet cross the rough gravel over and over, just to play the game they loved so much. He captured some of the most incredible faces we’d ever seen, and in some ways, I could sense the joy and graciousness of them, through him.
I said to myself, this is it. I have to travel the world and meet people like this. I have to tell their story; I am lucky enough to have an education, I have access to the resources I need, what could possibly stop me?
I envy that naive 17 year old. I had no idea how difficult it would be, to push through the boundaries and expectations, the limits and binds of money (or lack thereof). I could not, unfortunately, travel the world with lofty dreams, paying only with smiles and stories.
If I could just work for a little while to save up enough, then I’d go. Or, if I can just pay off this debt I’ve accumulated, then I’d go. Okay, if it doesn’t work out with this guy, then I’d go.
I lacked something that my brother has, that those kids have, and that many of my inspirations have; I lacked courage. I wanted to receive the reward for a life I was afraid to live. And the consequence of being afraid, was being regretful. I lost a lot of time, and I couldn’t make up for it.
When I saw that post, 11 years after my initial pledge, I knew my time was now, and the universe was giving me the push I needed. I had finally, through all my personal struggles, through all my selfishness and foolishness, somehow gained the strength I needed to let go of my comfort zone.
Would it be easy? Absolutely not. But could I handle it? Absolutely yes.
The more research I did, the more I admired The Boundless Edit founders and all the women involved. Here were these talented, successful people, and they discovered a way of helping others that didn’t look forced or condescending. The pictures of their recent travels proved how authentic their missions were; they were mesmerising, and the artisan women looked as though they were simply glowing with grace.
I often think about how I want to be remembered in life, and before I sent an email to Lilli at The Boundless Edit asking (or begging) if she could please take me with them, I decided that I wanted to be known for being brave. Not for the recognition or applaud, but just to know how it feels to have all that courage. To know that I can stand on any mountain, beside any other woman, just as I am, and be brave enough to accept the challenges that come my way. So let’s go.