Today’s Quarter Life Epiphany brought to you by: Melissa
Hi –insert your name here-,
Yes I am talking to you dear reader. It’s nice to meet you. I am Melissa Giroux and originally, from Quebec, Canada. I am a backpacker full time since June 2014 and a travel blogger at abrokenbackpack.com. I am old. Okay, maybe not. I am 26 years old. I am currently enjoying Australia on a long term trip. In June 2014, I left everything behind to travel for two months. So far… I never came back. I quit my day to day job as a social worker and a travel agent to live the dream.
What advice would you giveyourself at 20? And at 25?
I wish I could have known all of this when I was 20:
- You are too young to be unhappy. If you have a dream, stop dreaming about it and go out there;
- Even if you are “sure” about some stuff, it will change;
- Don’t get crazy with credit cards, it’s not your money;
- You don’t need to settle down just yet.
I wish I could have known this when I was 25:
- Don’t compare your lifestyle with others: your life; your choices;
- You are still young, so don’t freak out!
What does a quarter life epiphany mean to you?
I think it’s a big turn in your life. When I turned 25, I was completely devastated (and excited at the meantime cause I booked a flight to Hawaii on that day!). I mean, it’s a good timing to ask yourself some questions about what you really want. I am so happy that I spent that year away from my typical categorized life daring adventures. So, I guess it probably means happiness.
What was your quarter life epiphany?
Here is the story, I turned 25 years old, with my flights booked to go to Vancouver and then to Hawaii for a few days. The plan was to go to Western Canada to improve my English for two months. I was supposed to come back home after two months. My plans were falling apart for this “coming back”. I am one of those who think that if life doesn’t go right, turn left. I saw an opportunity to fly to Australia as it was cheaper from there and here I am. Bonus: I fell in love with another backpacker on the road.
What do you think inspired your quarter life epiphany?
Two years ago, I quit my job and sold everything to go on a long term trip in Europe. While I was in Turkey, only 6 weeks later, something happened (you can find more about this long story on my blog) and I had to go back to Canada. My dream was destroyed and I was totally desperate. When I left for this two months trip, I had commitment back home and I had no idea that, this time, it would be the one.
How are you different now than before your quarter life epiphany?
I am different according to my friend or family from home. But, truly, I know I am not different. I am only the person I was meant to be. It’s just too easy to get in a routine with all other’s expectations. Traveling make me rediscover myself and let me be the one I want to be.
What advice would you give to others who want to make a major change in their life?
Don’t let the fear decide for you.
What challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?
I have a big money challenge as I still pay some debts from home (I had a lot of fun with my student loan and I made some mistakes when I was younger). Working abroad is a really good way to live the dream while being responsible.
Working abroad is also a huge challenge as you end up with “crappy” jobs most of the time. I have a diploma back home and I am not using it while I am travelling. But, I accepted it.
What do you wish more people realized?
Life is too short to be unhappy…
What advice would you give to someone having a quarter life crisis?
It’s normal! You have two options now:
- Decide to postpone this crisis;
- Make sure you will not get another one by making some massive changes.
I ALWAYS travel solo so I don’t have to let my travel buddies behind again.
But I AM NOT travelling solo ANYMORE, because I fell in love with another traveler.
I get through long flights by…
cutting my sleep in half for a few days before so I can sleep on the plane.
The cause that really gets me riled up is….
that everybody is settling down and I am so not ready for that kind of life.
When traveling, I always miss…
the poutine (a super good Quebecker meal!).
I REALLY want to visit…
too many places that I can’t even write a bucket list.
Best travel tip?
Avoid the crowd and find a secret local spot!
Best packing tip?
Panty liners for these gorgeous female travelers; it will save some laundry later!
Worst travel experience? What did you learn?
My Turkey story; How to be safer as a solo female traveler and how Facebook can be dangerous.
Current city versus home city? What’s different between the two?
Millaa Milaa, Australia VS Gatineau, Canada means: Cows, big fields, rainforests VS City, family and friends.
Favorite place to live?
(A cheeky one: Canmore, Western Canada).
Favorite place to visit?
The non-touristic Greek Islands!
Melissa Giroux is originally from Quebec, Canada. She is a full time backpacker and a travel blogger at abrokenbackpack.com. Travelling since June 2014, she is currently in Australia on a long term trip. Follow her broken stories as a traveler with debts and massives doses of craziness.
Visit her and show her some love!