The times they are a-changin’

My life will be nothing like anything I have ever experienced in roughly two months. I am beginning to realize the frenzy September and October will be and I still have a few days left of August.

I will be moving to Salt Lake City on a day not yet determined in late October to an apartment not yet found. I will be quitting my job with hopes that I can find some sort of gainful employment after not too long a stretch.

I am moving for love and for a more meaningful life. Findlay, Ohio, is not the right place for me, while Salt Lake City has quite the potential.

The only pictures of Jon and me in Salt Lake City are of us tandem bike riding

We’ve been more easily found recently at places like these:

On top of Mount Elbert in Colorado, the tallest mountain in the state

The rainbow-colored desert of Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada

I am trying to stay calm about the changes, though. Worrying will get me no where, and aside from an instance or two, I have been rather successful.

For those of you who know me, all of this is quite a feat, because I love plans and being in control of the situation. And truthfully, I probably am as in control of the situation as I can be.

There are people in the right places who know I am looking for work. What I studied at university is what I want to do with my life. I am not even in that bad of a work-related situation now, but with this move, I can realign and better work toward my dreams.

I am always reading posts on blogs about lessons learned that the writer wishes she could share with her younger self, likely upon her high school graduation. These lessons are things like studying your passion rather than something that will get you a job, studying abroad because you really will not miss out on all that much, and being yourself.

It is good that these people realize these things at some point sooner or later. But for me, ever since some point sophomore year of high school, I decided what I wanted to do and have not wavered. Maybe it is because I went into journalism having a pretty good idea of what it was like with a variety of high school journalism opportunities where I found much success. Maybe a lofty goal helped, too.

Whatever the case may be, I cannot say that I have not learned any lessons. The lesson I have learned the past few months is that journalism is the right path for me. As I look for jobs on the fringes of the journalism world, I realize that regardless of whether I may or may not be able to show that I have the skills to perform the job, I do not really want it anyway.

The things I did in college helped teach me and make me who I am. I have learned that the things I did either outside of class or outside of my required courses are the things people remember about me and are the most important things to me.

Caitlin and I dressed for the Falcon Marching Band

My 2010-11 curling team. Yes, I'm wearing a kilt!

Curling, marching band (I play the trombone), glass blowing, fencing, years of German courses, studying abroad twice in Salzburg, traveling Europe, Christmas in Romania, interning in New York City, and on and on. And all of those can help me be a better reporter. Everyone has something to teach and meeting people gives me the opportunity to learn.

The vibe I get from reading many travel blogs is that the important and meaningful thing to do is to quit your job (after hopefully saving some money) and travel the world, and that if you do not, then you cannot consider yourself a true travel blogger.

I do want to travel the world, but I do not think I have to quit working in my field to do that. Yes, it does involve quitting my current job, but even with it, I would say that I have been able to travel the world in the past two years more than I ever could have imagined.

So what am I trying to tell you through all this?

Each person has her own life to lead and fulfill. Some people find their path sooner or easier than others. If you do not know what you want, then quit sitting around doing something you do not love. Find a new hobby, take a class, join a club, learn something new, take a vacation or travel, read, exercise. Something. Anything. Just don’t say you cannot afford it or do not have the time, because if you want it enough, you will find some way to make it happen.

I think life is too short to be unhappy and filled with excuses and regrets. I have lived a happy life so far and regret nothing, including the exceedingly difficult beginner Czech class I took in German at Uni Salzburg, which is easily the worst thing I have ever done, but I still was able to learn about myself.

And if you are looking for an example, then consider me. I am concerned about what will happen when I move to Utah because there are so many unknowns, but I know it is a step in the right direction to improving my life. If I did not go, that would be something I would regret immensely.

And so, I think it is fitting that I leave you with something I have taped to my bedroom door and look at just about every day: the Holstee Manifesto.

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10 Responses to The times they are a-changin’

  1. Caitlin says:

    Love it! Great, inspiring post! And the FMB picture made me laugh:)

    • elliewick says:

      Thank you! More or less all of that content had been rolling around in my brain for the past couple of weeks and I finally had to write it down. I’ll be adding it to my “About” page soon, too. Updating that page is what got me thinking originally. And I love that picture. If you don’t have a copy of it, I’ll email it to you.

      • Caitlin says:

        Hmmm…I thought I was tagged in it on facebook, because I’ve definitely seen it several times, but can’t seem to find it right off the bat. Maybe you should send it to me! Actually, I think it’s a hilarious photo, but also quite fun:) I figured you had been thinking about all of this for awhile. Thanks for sharing!

      • elliewick says:

        It’s in my “trombone” facebook photo album. I’ll send it to you, too, though.

  2. Kyle says:

    I could not agree more! I also have a home base, on purpose — not that I can’t leave everything and travel the world — but that I don’t want to. I like having a home to come back, I like having my doggies and my long term friends. And I also LOVE my job. It permits to travel a lot (I’m a wedding photographer and I do quite a few destination weddings) and I would never want to quit it.

    You’re right, travel bloggers often paint the picture that the only “right” way to travel is to quit your job and leave everything behind, but there is more than one way to be a travel blogger, in my humble opinion :)

    • elliewick says:

      Having a home is important to me, too. I like having somewhere I can return to. My boyfriend is pretty content living out of his car, so I know there may be challenges ahead in regards to that, but that is life. And I am glad you think there is more than one way to be a travel blogger, too. Thank you for your thoughts, Kyle!

  3. Heidi Weber says:

    Good Luck Alison!

    Salt Lake City is lucky to be gaining a gal like you!

    • elliewick says:

      Heidi! Thank you! The next time I come to SF we will have to hang out and practice German and you can update me on the latest German music. I haven’t done a very good job in keeping up with it this past year. I will have to start listening to Austria’s ö3 more often.

  4. Amanda says:

    There is no general “right” way to travel, or blog about travel, or live your life. There is only the way that is right for YOU. And you’re right — life is far too short to be doing anything other than something you love (I actually just wrote a post about that, too, recently!). I’m so excited for you to start living this next chapter of your life!

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