I made the decision to quit my job in January and travel the world for 2016. But it didn’t start as a decision...it just kind of hit me. This crazy idea hit me and a light went off in my head (or my soul?) that this was exactly what I needed to do.
At Google, it’s part of our culture to share your ideas with everyone. It’s rooted in collaboration; the more people you talk to about your idea, the more feedback you’ll get, and the more real it becomes. So I told everyone about my crazy idea to quit my job and travel the world.
Fast forward about two months. My boyfriend broke up with me because he doesn’t see a future with someone who is leaving for a year. The financial realities of my decision are becoming apparent: I’ll have to spend a lot of money. I’m also really scared. Traveling the world by myself? For a year?
But Google saved me. I told everyone before fear had crept in, and now that I’m terrified, everyone is now telling it back to me. When consoling me about my breakup, my sister said, “Don’t be sad. In a few months you’ll smile about all this on a beach in Brazil.” So far I know at least two people who have booked trips because they were inspired by me. That’s powerful, and also embarrassing. I inspired someone and then chickened out myself? Not me, no how. I’m too stubborn and proud as hell to let that happen.
At Google, our founders tell Googlers to do things that are “uncomfortably exciting.” The idea is that if you’re a bit scared of your idea, it’s big enough to make a difference in the world. I’d say uncomfortably excited is a pretty good description of how I feel right now. So let’s do this.