Day 366 of 1827: The First Anniversary
Exactly one year ago, I landed in Medellín, Colombia and began the greatest adventure of my life.
When I look back on the past 365 days, I am amazed by how much things didn’t go according to plan… and yet strangely, how much they did.
I’d like to share with you something that I wrote a little over a year ago. When I started working with a life coach, she gave me an assignment: Pick a date sometime in the future, and write the story of your life at that point.
I picked New Year’s Eve, 2013.
Maybe I’m unwrapping my present a little early, but I think this is the right time to take a peek and see where I thought I’d be by now.
It’s New Year’s Eve 2013, and I am celebrating with my friends in Santiago, Chile. We’ve rented out a top-floor apartment with a balcony so that we can watch the fireworks and celebrate the new year.
My girlfriend is with me. We met while I was traveling, and our interests were so co-aligned that we found ourselves constantly running into each other over the past few months. She mingles with her friends in the crowd, sometimes at my side, other times on her own.
I speak with my friends and contacts at the event, as well as several people that I am meeting for the first time. Some of the people at the party do not speak English, but I am able to converse with them in Spanish just fine. A few guests speak French, which I have recently started learning. Eager to try out my new skill, I strike up conversation with them as well.
I talk with my friends about our accomplishments over the past year. I’ve started a couple of businesses that keep me fairly busy, but I still find the time to travel and have adventures across the world.
We also talk about our goals for the next year. I’ve been thinking about purchasing real estate in a few countries and building rental properties. I meet a few people at the party who have connections that might be able to help me with this project.
As the final countdown begins, I find my girlfriend, and we stand together on the balcony, watching the city lights.
My thoughts drift briefly to our flight the next morning; we will be traveling to Europe for the first time, where we will take a few weeks off from our current projects and learn to snowboard together.
3… 2… 1…
Happy New Year
The funny thing is, I didn’t really set out to make any of this happen when I started my Five Years Abroad. I mean, I knew it was what I wanted, but I didn’t have the foggiest idea how to make it all come together.
And yet, just 1 year later, I’m almost there.
I’ve often read that greatness is achieved one day at a time, but I never really appreciated that until today.
I can’t tell you when things started to turn around, when I went from goggle-eyed tourist to international entrepreneur, because… honestly, I really don’t know.
I can’t pinpoint any one thing that I did that made all of my current successes possible (well, okay, I mean aside from getting on a plane one year ago :P).
Really, I just… took it one day at a time. I made a little progress each day… and now that I’m looking around, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come.
In between, of course, lots of things went wrong or just didn’t go according to plan. But even the disasters feel… right. The lessons I learned from my failures were significant, and despite the frustration, cost and occasional fear, I’m really happy with how this past year has gone.
There’s still a long way yet to go, though — I’ve got a great thing going with my freelancing, but that’s not the same thing as starting a business; I’ve got a bit more Spanish to brush up on before I start tackling French; I’ve started chatting with my friend about investing in property in Paraguay, but I have yet to lay down any cash.
And as for the girlfriend… well, there’s still a few months left until December, ladies (:
Looks like it’s time to start writing the story of my life on New Year’s Eve, 2014.
|What’s the view like from your balcony on New Year’s Eve, 2014?|