So it’s June 2016 and I have just been informed that if I don’t move to Scotland as part of a workforce migration strategy, I will be made redundant. I have worked for a company that since I started there 3 years ago, has been constantly in a state of flux. Redundancies are completed quarterly and there was no quarter, I repeat, no quarter where no redundancies took place. As I started on their graduate scheme, I was protected for the first 2 years, but after that I was on my own.
As a background, I have already switched my career from my local dead end job, where I had no prospects and not enough wages to live on, never mind save. So, I decided to do something about it. I quit and applied for an Access to Higher Education course at my local college. My old job was on the ‘manual labour’ side of the job market, but the business was so small (3 employees), I had the chance to be involved with the running, as well as my own responsibilities.
It was because of this I wanted to study Business Studies at university. My GCSE grades were OK, but nowhere near good enough. My best option was the access course. I chose my two subjects (subjects I never even knew where a thing) and within the year I achieved GNVQ Level 3 certificates, which enabled me to apply for my chosen university, Leeds Metropolitan (now Leeds Beckett).
I completed the Business Studies course with a 2:1 and set out applying for graduate schemes around the UK, eventually finding myself a position with a multi-national organisation. It was a test working here and maybe I chose the wrong scheme in hindsight, but it was the path I took and not all bad things came out of it. It was here where I gained valuable experience (even if it was in small numbers) and it was here where I met my girlfriend and travel companion.
Now here we are in July 2016 and we agreed not to move to Scotland. We both became disillusioned with life behind a desk and both made the decision to leave this corporate world and enter a new, fresh one, but what shall we do with the redundancy? We both loved holidays and we both talked about travelling, but it was me who explained I couldn’t stand the thought of backpacking. Every negative characteristic about this way of seeing the world repulses me. So we looked at the numbers and the style we would want to complete our journey in and got down to seeing if we could make it work.
Our caveats came to include; no shared sleeping quarters with strangers, be able to stick to our own desires, not be bogged down by dates, no missed places before moving on and for me, it was all or nothing. So by 1st August 2016, we left our places of work and set out a date to leave and be back home before Christmas. That date was the 23rd August 2016.
It was set. We were going travelling. I have never been one to be scared, but equally, I have never been the one to put myself forward for opportunities, even though, I am a firm believer that anyone can do what they want, and this was the start for us.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.