Hello and greetings from Colombia.

In love with Barichara.
In love with Barichara

This time, it is not about taking a vacation. It is not about maximising my annual leaves to give myself the best experience I could within a short time frame. It is also not about refuelling the travelling endorphins, then return home to make the endorphin last as long as possible until the next flight out.

This time, it is about listening to my heart, following the intrinsic desire to pursue my dream. A dream I have longed for but never dared acted on.

The Big Step – I quit my job

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It is goodbye.

I have been dreaming about quitting my job to travel since 5 years ago. I know it is not possible practical in our economy driven and conservative society so I held on to the dream.

I did not quit my job to travel (yet). This time, I had the perfect opportunity that came by.

I was being selected for a scholarship under ELE FOCALAE program to study Spanish in Colombia. My interested in Spanish started because I want to travel to South America. Unlike in Asia, English is the preferred choice of the common language, most countries in South America speak Spanish. Since I already have the top two widest spoken languages (English and Mandarin) under my belt, it is the right opportunity to attempt the third widest spoken language in the world, Spanish

Perhaps it would be beneficial in the future or maybe it is for self-accomplishment sake. Anyhow, it was an opportunity too good to pass.

It was a big decision because it took me much courage to make the decision to quit my job. Quitting my job is not an easy decision for I have to first convince my parents. I had to justify the sound decision

There, I took my big decision of leaving my comfort zone and stepping into the unknown.

The Unknown

There is a fear, a fear of the unknown.

What will the future hold?
What will the future hold?

Entering the unknown zone, my stakes are high. I leave behind my comfort zone and job security. I will miss out on all those family gatherings and occasions such as births of friends’ newborns, weddings and birthday back at home. I know I will regret if I do not come along for this adventure.

I was being offered the option to take sabbatical leave. After a thorough and careful decision, I decided not to take it up. I do not want to be tied down by a finite date to return and I am not sure if I can go back to a life of being a Key Account or even the corporate world. Maybe I will, or maybe not.

In fact, my plans are fluid. It is dependent on many factors. I am not even sure when will I return home. Maybe I will be home after 4 months, maybe just in time for Chinese New Year or maybe even longer. Beat me.

All I know is that I want to explore Colombia. Break those stereotypes and negative perspective that surrounds the country. Since I am already on the other side of the world, I want to take the chance to travel to other countries in South America. Might as well for I am not even sure if I will be back in this region again.

I live by this quote.

“Rather do it and regret than not do it than not do it and regret”

I know that I will regret if I do not enter this unknown zone. Hence I decided to take the chance. I want to take the chance of being out there, be open to opportunities that may or may not come along the way. Surrender myself to life and let the natural survival instinct take over.

Anxiety

If you think I was able to dashingly quit my job and leave my life behind, you are wrong. I suffered those anxiety attacks.

Anxiety attacks that what if I squander all my money away, what if I go broke? What if I cannot find a job that I like, what if I cannot even find a job when I return home? I had too many what ifs.

I am a natural worrier, someone who needs financial security. Coming from a low-middle income family, money is important to get us by. I used to tell myself that I will never quit my job before landing myself into the next. Ha, it is funny how life turns out to be. I insanely or bravely quit my job depending on how you see it!

I kept going back and forth with my anxiety. There were times I was all positive that everything will work out fine but other times, I freaked out.

It gets better as the days go by, especially when I am here because I ain’t got time for those between those lessons, making new friends, adapting to life here and planning for trips around Colombia.

Embracing the future, come what may

For now, I choose to embrace.

One of the moments I treasure in life.
One of the moments I treasure in life.

I can either ponder over the decision that is not within my control anymore or I can live the present moment and have the best time of my life.

There are times I still second-guessed if it was a wise decision for not opting for sabbatical leaves. Deep down inside I know it is only a comfort zone.

We can never predict what is going to happen in the future, I just need to trust, have faith and be brave enough to face the future. I believe everything in life happens for a reason. Whatever it is, it is an experience I will never trade for anything in the world.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever” – Steve Jobs

Maybe one day when I look back, I will be able to connect the dots in my life.

Only time will tell….

Pamela Loh

Pamela, born and raised in Singapore. She is a dreamer, explorer, traveller and local tour guide.

A perfect day for Pam would be being on the road, having beers and endless of great conversations that shape a wider perspective.

Come say hi!

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3 Comments

  1. Very brave decision! I’ll be looking forward to your Colombian adventures! I’m counting down the days to when I quit work, also – just under three and a half years to go, until I start cycling around the world!

    (btw, your commentluv seems to be broken)

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