It all started in 2009 when I found myself paging through Facebook posts of friends. They were all traveling abroad and posting photos of amazing places they were visiting. At the time I had never even stepped foot outside of my country. Envy started to consume my entire being. I wanted to see something amazing. My bubble of the aimless routine was simply not satisfying anymore. Ultimately, I craved excitement and change.
Life as I Knew It
…consisted of coffee, cigarettes, tequila shots, work, and performing as a solo musician. My entire day was spent in a dazed trance of creativity writing songs, making collages, and practicing my music. In the evenings I would perform (mostly) unpaid gigs or make barely enough to live on by waiting on tables.
It all came to a point where it was too much. Too much of the artist, and not enough of sober thinking, and doing, and being. I silently made the decision to do something about it.
I remember doing a gig and hanging out with my usual crowd, which consisted only of men. They always had something to talk about, and the conversations were either inspiring or… above all, just so human. One night, I was surprised to hear one of them mentioning his hotel. The next weekend I was there performing a gig for the locals. It was one of the highlights of my music career. A group of completely down-to-earth individuals who just needed to get out and enjoy some music next to a fireplace.
The next weekend, I found myself driving three hours with all my belongings to go and manage the place. It was a ghost town in the middle of nowhere with only the hotel bar buzzing at night. During my three months at the hotel, I had one customer – and they ended up being crooks who broke into the store across the street. I would spend my days stocking up the bar, and my evenings breaking up bar fights. On Sundays, I would play some guitar and started organizing all the loose sheets of paper I had written on.
My Mind Started Drifting
What to do next? I don’t want to stay here. Finally, one day, amongst the sheets of paper, I found a bucket-list I had made when I was nineteen. On it, I wrote, “Work as a photographer on a cruise ship.” So I applied. After putting together a portfolio I drove the three hours back to Cape Town for my interview. I waited nearly 8 hours for my turn and have no idea what I said or why they chose to hire me. Once I passed the interview, I sold my car, paid off my debt, moved in with my 60-something-year-old retired hippy biker friend and waited for my contract. Because of this, I went from the directionless musician to working harder than I ever have before and traveling to places I never dreamt I would have the opportunity to see.
Have you ever taken a step outside your normal routine to follow your dreams? What was your favorite experience? Please comment and remember to follow me on Instagram @onkeytravel.