Last October, I quit my job, packed up my car and hit the road. I left a mortgage, two cats and my family and friends in Chicago. The hardest thing I’ve ever done. I first went to Seattle for a couple of months. Beautiful city, fun things to do but I found it to be bone-chilling damp cold and gloomy. So I took off to Helena, Montana to hang with my mom for a little over a week. Now I’m in Chicago for a month, but at the end of February, I’ll fly back to Helena and then hit the road to Southern California. Certain reactions to what I’m doing are so funny to me. Most of my friends and my family know me well enough to not be bothered by my decision, and they sent me away with, “have fun” and “I wish I could do that.”

A couple others have trouble with what I’m doing. What? What are you running away from? Obviously, you don’t know what you want. A place won’t make you happy. Aren’t you supposed to do that after college? At first I was taken aback by some of the comments (or furrowed eyebrows) and would get defensive because they would label me – “soul searching” – in a negative way. Where has spontaneity gone? Who’s rules do you think I have to live by?

I spoke with my cousin’s wife on Saturday because I’m going to stay with them in March – they live north of LA. She was refreshing to talk to because she laughed and in a positive way, replied “oh, you’re soul searching.” For the first time, I got a kick out of it and said “yes, I am!” I know what I want in life, just not sure where I want to live. So, I’m traveling a bit.

Who knows where I’ll end up – I’m just very lucky to be able to fly by the seat of my pants at this time in my life. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past couple of months. The trip has taught me to not be so concerned about what others think. And given me the freedom to “soul search.”