Two weeks ago I ended a 5 year career at the University of Toronto and now I face an uncertain future, an empty runway, and only my severance package keeping me afloat. I'm going to spend the next month exploring England, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and France. Seeing the world and basically going for broke. I'm tired of running a race I'm never going to win and making money that never really felt like mine because I didn't have the luxury of time to spend it.
The last year has been a non-stop test of my strength. From my common law partner telling me he was gay and that our whole relationship was a lie, losing the home we shared and all sense of what I thought was true in my life, to the day I was laid off from UofT and losing a friend to cancer. All 12 months I felt like I was griping the edge of a cliff with a giant vulture trying to pick my fingers away from the rock - waiting for me to crash and fall so it could pick my bones clean. I hung on with the help of family and friends, but now I can let go with no fear. I've got a plane to catch me and it outflies any vulture.
My passport, camera, and notebook are my close companions and only necessities on this journey - everything else is just details. I may be spending all the money I have on this, but at this point I don't care if I come back without a cent. I'll be returning with more of myself, the part that's always wanted to stand on the Bridge of Sighs in Venice and blow a kiss to 84 Charing Cross Road in London, and that's worth so much more.