“Damn it! I hate this one, too. Wait….what is that smell? Is that cat piss? Whatever I’m smelling makes me want to barf right here on this ‘freshly shampooed carpet.’ OK. That is for sure pee. How are they renting this out smelling like this? Bye. I’m done.”
Nearing the final straw at my old job (but before I officially quit – read that story here), it was becoming impossible to find a place to move in LA. Anyone that has ever lived here (or, hell, even just visited) knows that there are tons of apartments in this city – like TONS – so not finding one seemed like some huge joke. And what I knew to be true at the time was that if I moved and did not have a source of income, I would be placed way down on the list of desirable applicants, so I needed to stay employed until I moved. That said, my tolerance for nonsense was about a negative 52, so I was either going to get myself fired or have to quit with no apartment.
During all of this, I was still feeling like quitting my job and moving apartments wasn’t quite enough. Like, there was something else I was supposed to do, but I could not figure it out? Thinking I just needed to be more open to getting what I wanted out of LA and why I moved here, I tried working on gratitude and being open. Well, that wasn’t working, either.
While I was packing up my place with about 8 days left before I had to move out (and still without a place/plan) a piece of paper fell out of my junk drawer. On this paper I had written 6 different places. On the list the first part of the world I had written was Bali. Don’t believe me? Here’s a photo of it (and I have NO recollection of ever writing this and didn’t know it was in the junk drawer. This is all playing out a like a movie, eh? Yeah, I swear I’m not making any of this up.) –
This paper fell on the ground and I was like, “Hmm. That’s interesting. Where in the hell is Curacoa? Did I write this?!” In that moment, I had this overwhelming feeling that I was supposed to go to travel and end up in Bali. Like, overwhelming to the point where I was so clear on that decision, it felt weird. Without really putting more thought into it, I decided to leave. And for the first time in 4 years, I felt total peace.
Now, in deciding to move out of my apartment, throw my stuff in storage and leave the country, I started feeling a bit overwhelmed (shocking, I know). Around this same day of the paper falling out of the drawer, I decided to accept an offer to speak at an event near my old apartment. This event came a few days after I decided to travel. In the talk, I mentioned throwing your concerns out the window and just living life. I then went on to say that I would be traveling and had zero plan. Like, zero.
Here’s what no plan actually looks like on moving day (and it is SUCH a good thing I’m not in this photo, cause I was an actual hot mess) –
After speaking at this event, a friend of mine that I did not know would be there came up to me and said, “Kate I don’t know when you were thinking of traveling, but if you want to start in July, I will be in Sweden with my family and you are more than welcome to come and see me there and stay with us.” In my head, I was going to start traveling out of the country July 1st (a fact I had not shared with anyone up and to this point) so this just worked out splendidly.
I went home that night and looked up flights on a website that my friend tipped me off about since she flies to Stockholm so often. I found a direct flight on July 2nd for $400 from LAX to Stockholm. I booked that flight right there and then. After some deep breaths, I hoped the rest of this chapter (which I dubbed “Adventure 2015”) would work out exactly this way and off I went.
The above photo I took in the city streets of Stockholm the night I arrived. This was one of the first photos from my adventure and is still the most significant to me for loads of reasons.
Moral of the Story: Leave.