THE FIRST STEP


When people say they want to change, they normally tend to make superficial changes. It is extremely easy to delude ourselves and change only those things that make us more comfortable. However, it is through uncomfortable things where profound changes can me made. We just need to be brave enough and step out of our comfort zone.

When I decided I had to radically change my life, I had no idea where to start. The only thing I was 100% sure about was that the change I needed had to be profound. Only a profound change would break down the foundations that had built me; I was sure of one thing, I did not want to be who I was at that time.

During one of many sleepless nights, an idea popped into my mind. What if I left behind everything that tied me to my current environment? What if I packed my bag, and left? I loved the idea, but the question was, where are you going to go? And without even thinking, another idea popped into my head. Nepal and India…but, why? I did not know then, the reason why my destiny was taking me to Nepal and India; at that time I only felt the need to travel to the other end of the world.

As you can imagine, it is quite easy to dream about leaving everything behind. The tough part is to take the first step. As you already know, I have always had a lot of troubles in taking big decisions, specially those that society would think of as crazy, stupid, and without reason. “You’re crazy! What a big mistake you are going to make! You’re going to lose everything!” I could hear their voices in my head. However, nobody understood that I had already lost everything; this time nothing could stop me. I knew that my immediate surroundings would react in the worst possible way. I knew that everybody would criticize my decision and would do whatever they could to change my plan. However, people did not understand that I needed to leave as much as I needed to breath. I took the first step, and talked to my wife Sara.

As you would expect, at the beginning Sara though I was crazy. She though this was another crazy idea of mine. She though it would all be over in a few days. However, I was absolutely convinced of what I needed to do. I insisted day by day, until she realized I was not joking. After a few days of long debating, trying to explain to her why I needed to leave, she decided she would not let me go by myself; she decided to accompany me in this great adventure.

It is likely, that you are asking yourself: How would travelling to the other side of the world solve my existential problems? For me it was clear. I needed to see the real world. I needed to see what existed beyond my small and insignificant world. I needed to feel that I was capable of handling such a challenge and realize that neither fear nor my insecurities would stop me this time. I knew that travelling to Nepal and India would open my eyes. I needed to experience the real world through my own eyes. I wanted to wake up from the life I was living, and I was taking the first step in that direction.

Before anybody could convince us to stay, Sara asked for an unpaid leave at her work, and I quit my job as a consultant. I know quitting my job forever was something that most people never understood. However, I wanted to break the temptation of potentially coming back to the same old things out of fear. To ensure there was no way of coming back to the ‘old me’, I crossed that bridge and burned it behind me. I did not want a way back into my old life, I wanted a complete transformation. That was the first time in my entire life, that I felt I was in control of my life; I had my future in my own hands.