The world said, "No, do your A levels".
When I was 18 years old, I went to university to train as a nurse and travel round the world helping people in need.
The world said, "Get a proper job".
So the world and I had a chat about our issues and eventually came to a compromise. I would get a proper job, a 'career'. I would be Miss Corporate Bitch and I would be the best corporate bitch I could be. I would buy a house, drive a car, adopt a cat and do all of those things that the world expected...
...but it would have an expiry date. 9th February 2012, my 29th birthday, would be my last day of compliance. On this day, I will retire from my job, from the structure of 'normal' life and from the trappings of materialism. On this day I will be free.
And I will travel the world!
So that day is nearly here and I can hardly believe it. Suddenly, after 10 years of preparation, I'm entirely unprepared. So I have two lists to make: the first is a very sensible list of things that I need to do before the date comes round, and the second is a much more fun list of the things my new freedom will allow me to do.
Before the 9th February, I must:
- Hand in my notice at work.
- Hand in my notice at the flat I rent near work.
- Evaluate all my monthly outgoings and cut the ones I'll no longer need.
- Make sure the cat has a home (he's 16, I didn't think he'd live this long).
- Sell all my wordly possessions on eBay or at boot sales.
- Sell my car.
- Get my campervan insured for long-term European driving.
- Work out how to communicate with the rest of the world... mobile phones? Internet? Is it even necessary?
- Book and host three parties, one in each location of the UK where I have close friends.
After the 9th February I will be:
- Driving to my parents' house in Southern France for a visit.
- Taking my 1972 VW campervan around Europe.
- Visiting East Asia and India.
- Learning about Africa.
- Discovering South America.
- Getting a working holiday visa in Australia (while I still meet the age limits).
- Meeting my ex-boyfriend's Aunt in Canada.
- Meeting hundreds and hundreds of new people, and discovering the worlds I've been sheltered from all these years.
Let the planning begin!