My last days in the office were a mix of emotions. I tried pitching for a job that didn’t exist, I had friends telling me opposing bits of advice; to prolong the consultation period, to carry on business as usual, to just focus on myself. I was incredibly lucky that so many people around me had my best interests at heart, however it was a very confusing and overwhelming time.
It was Thursday, the day before my last day and I was looking at the calendar. 2 weeks away from Christmas. We were already in the run up to the quietest time of the year; where out of offices start to appear and everything slows down until the new year, including the prospect of hearing back from any job applications. Despite struggling to deal with the shock of the whole situation, I started to look forward, even if it was just in the short term.
I have never taken the opportunity to travel and see the world. My priorities up until this point have always been focused on my career and striving to get ahead. I had worked every single summer since I started university in order to give myself the best possible start to my career. And it worked; I did eventually land a great first job, but I’ve never been able to properly travel for a long period of time, and this is something I’ve always wanted to do.
That Thursday afternoon I scrolled through Google flights as I realized that if there was ever a time to pack up and see the world, even if for a short trip, now would be the time, as realistically I would have to have my head back in the game in January. New Year, New Job.
Not wanting to put a huge whole in my pocket, I started looking at Europe, and yes flights were reasonably priced but I didn’t fancy leaving cold, grey London for another cold European city. South America, Caribbean, …way out of my price range. Then I looked at South East Asia, which is quickly becoming my favourite region in the world. I had literally just come back from there 3 weeks prior but somewhere that I had always wanted to go for years was Thailand. And for some reason, the flights to Bangkok were the cheapest in the region.
This was my chance.
This was my opportunity.
This was me taking control of a situation that was completely out of my control.
That night I called my parents in excitement an nervousness. I was going to go and do something that I always wanted to do, alone. Of course they were going to freak out, as parents do. But I explained my logic; it was either go away to a country that I’ve always wanted to explore, free my mind, meet new people and have new experiences, or stay in London, alone, sad, depressed, not knowing what my next move should be. I know what I’m like and if the previous week was anything to go by, despite how strong I try to be and the support I have around me, I know that’s how I would have reacted.
My last day came around on the Friday. After my final meeting with HR, I did it. I booked my flights, booked a trip of a lifetime, with only 2 days to prepare! The next chapter was about to begin.