Hmmm…why am I traveling around the world?
There’s a ton of reasons swirling around in my head, but at the heart of it, I’m TIRED!
I’m tired of all the bullshit I’ve been fed my entire life about…
- America being the best country in the world – I won’t tackle this one here.
- Chasing the American Dream – what dream? I don’t know about you, but this dreamy hamster wheel fucking sucks!
- Climbing the Corporate Ladder – job security, job security, job security – and successfully navigating through the never-ending bureaucracy, red tape, political correctness, and office politics [aka constant back channeling and backstabbing]. Oh, and don’t forget about the never-ending meetings where everyone and their fucking mom needs to feel heard when making one tiny decision that ends up changing the very next day.
- Becoming a self-proclaimed workaholic where companies benefit from all my blood, sweat, and tears to only be treated as an unappreciated, disposable number by leaders I don’t respect.
- Stressing out to the point where pouring a cocktail at noon sounds like the only viable option to make it through the rest of the day while incessantly puffing on an e-cig [speaking for a friend].
- Saying that I’m going to plan my one-week vacation next month, and then the month after that, until an entire year has gone by and I haven’t taken a single day for myself. Convincing myself there’s too many people counting on me and project deadlines feel like a 10-car pile-up on the freeway.
- Feeling like I have one foot in the grave and am on the verge of collapsing from a heart attack at the ripe old age of 32.
- Buying a fancy house in a safe neighborhood. And, secretly competing with the “nice” neighbors about who has the newest and fanciest shit – gotta keep up with the Jones’!
- Thinking “stuff” will make me happy. Will buying that new phone, car, computer, pair of sunglasses, outfit, really stop me from being depressed and hating my day-to-day life?
- Being told to get married and have kids. “They’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but I’ve only slept 4 hours the past 3 nights, I haven’t had sex for so long my vagina has grown cobwebs, there’s throw-up in my hair and shirt, the living room is littered with feet grenades [aka toys], and what’s this gym place you keep speaking of?”
Couple all that exhaustion with…feeling LOST AF!
At 35 years old, I still have no idea why I’ve been put on this earth. Finding my PURPOSE is a constant source of struggle. It’s frustrating, because I know I’m capable of SO MUCH MORE. I’m hopeful travel will help me unlock my true calling.
I can confidently say it isn’t designing cloud-based software systems and automating processes for employees that can’t be bothered to learn something new. God forbid, right? My career in Salesforce was good to me [it’s why I can afford to travel], but if I hear its name before I die, it’s still too soon.
So…I’m venturing out into the great unknown searching for answers about what’s next for me. Creating a custom cape company called Unicorn Unplugged didn’t do it for me either. Although, I have a feeling the capes will be resurrected for a different purpose in the future.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m scared shitless, but I know I can’t stay here anymore. I rather risk my life out there vs. staying in the United States another year. If I stay, I become part of the statistic – another clinically depressed American taking a pill to numb myself in order to make life slightly more tolerable. That isn’t a life worth living to me. This hamster is breaking FREE y’all!
Travel has called me ever since I was a little girl. I’d light-up any time my uncle mailed me a postcard from some new country he was visiting. I’ve kept every single one all these years.
But, like most, I let LIFE, OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS, and FEAR dictate my decisions when I got older. It saddens me to see how FEAR cripples so many people in so many ways. I’m over fear. I’m jumping into the deep end feet first with ankle weights on. Life really is too short for me to play it safe. Of course, I’m smart about it. Taking risks and being reckless are two different things.
I’ve never gotten out of a shitty situation [big or small] and said, “I wish I would have stayed in that longer.” It’s the opposite, I wish I would have made that choice eons ago and hadn’t wasted all that precious, finite time.
I’ve grown into this no bullshit, tell it like it is, kind of woman. Sometimes I love her, other times I struggle to recognize her in the mirror, and sometimes I don’t like her very much at all. I’m learning to accept my extreme personality. I’m either all in or all out, and nothing in between.
Like most, my personality has so many layers. As soon as I think I have myself figured out, I throw myself for another loop. The thing is, I’m still trying to figure out if I’m more like a parfait or an onion. Maybe I’m an onion parfait?
Getting back to the real story.
In June 2019, enough was enough. I quit my fancy, corporate job where I built an amazing team of badass women along with my koosh salary. I gave it all up. WTF was I thinking? I sold my fabulous home, car, designer clothes and accessories, and fit the rest of my belongings into three large storage bins.
Living with less and trading-in my stuff for an experienced-based life seemed like the only answer. And when I say live with less, I mean stuffing my entire life into a 55L backpack.
Ever Wander is not your ordinary travel blog. I’m as raw + real as they come. This isn’t going to be a “7 Tips & Tricks to Travel to Thailand” type of blog. It’s more like having access to my personal diary – sharing my story [the good, bad, and ugly] and the stories of other people I’m fortunate enough to meet, giving back through volunteering where I’m visiting, exploring new things, and how I fundamentally evolve as a human being through these experiences.
Just check out my personal Instagram account [@ashley.perona] to get a flavor for how raw + real I am. I recently went through two massive cosmetic surgeries [Lipo + BBL [Brazilian Butt Lift] + BA [Breast Augmentation]] and documented the entire journey – weight gain, gross pics, unflattering videos, meltdowns, and all.
Whether you agree with cosmetic surgery or not, it wasn’t easy sharing the journey. And, I did it because it’s way too taboo, there are WAY MORE women and men out there that are unhappy with their bodies than anyone realizes, and paying for a service to make them feel better in their own skin and elevate their confidence shouldn’t be judged nearly as harshly. End rant!
Let’s get back to traveling around the world.
I was supposed to kick-off my travel adventure in April 2020. First stop was Japan baby! Psych! Just kidding! COVID came in like a wrecking ball and destroyed my plans like Hurricane Maria did to Puerto Rico in 2017. So, I figured if COVID was going to completely fuck my 2020 plans, I might as well do a lil body transformation while I wait.
Oh, I also snuck in a 50 day [July – September 2020], 7-state road trip driving over 5,000 miles in a Tesla [hello charging stops and time] and was fortunate enough to connect with over 20 friends and family members prior to my surgeries. I’ll go more into detail on that trip in my next blog post.
It’s November 2020, and I’m all healed up and back and better than ever. A few nights ago, I booked a last-minute trip to Bogata, Colombia to get this party started. Then, I’m off to Punta Mita and Tulum, Mexico. And, permits permitting I’ll be off to Bali, Indonesia early next year. Woot woot!
Follow along if you want a front-row ticket to this crazy chick’s adventure of a lifetime! I guarantee it won’t be boring! And, you just might learn something. Or, better yet, become inspired to live your own version of a more experience-based life! I’ll be waiting for you and be your biggest cheerleader!
Ever Wander | explore. experience. evolve.