The New American Dream: My Story.

The moment of certainty:

I had turned 41 and was sitting at my desk at work feeling panicked and desperate. At this point in my life I obtained a strong sense of self with dreams so clear that I could almost touch them, yet I was living the exact opposite of the life I imagined. I followed the rules….go to school, get a job, get married, own a home, invest in your 401k…..this was the American Dream, right? Why am I not happy? Why does this feel more like a prison of societal expectations, and less like a dream? Why is there so much value on stuff rather than experiences and human connection? Questions that haunted me like a Stephen King novel while at work…not a good sign.

Before the Recession I was self-employed working in destination event planning. I traveled, kept up with the setting trends, and filled in as officiant or wedding singer if the emergency called for it. Life was exciting, and with my calling the shots and guiding my own schedule I felt in control. However, that specific time in history also required balance and security that the event industry could not offer (people were still getting married but opting for backyard soirees instead of platinum wedding blowouts). I was okay with this as event planning was not a nine-to-five job and burn-out is possible even with the most exciting careers. I decided to return to higher education and broaden my horizons. Fast forward to a respectable corporate career, finding myself not being okay with someone else calling the shots in my life, working on their schedule, or being told when I could take a break. I was tired of being told my ideas or concerns needed to be kept to myself, and that calling out office injustices within a corporate setting was not being a good “team player”.  I had a voice, a purpose, and a fire that was at risk of being snuffed out. I found myself needing to find a new American Dream, as this was no longer the way I chose to utilize the hours of my day. With all of the pertinent items on society’s checklist checked off I was still feeling anxious, dissatisfied, bored, and unfulfilled. Was I just ungrateful or had I accomplished what I needed to thus far and in major need of some inspiration? It was time for serious self-reflection, re-evaluation, and perhaps re-invention. It was also time to be my own Boss once again.

Time for Change: 

I took to my journal to begin seriously processing my feelings. I needed to take stock of my life and revisit some long-forgotten passions and goals. What excites me? What inspires me? How do I choose to spend my spare time, and can I make a living from it? The answer ~ travel and education. Whether in a different City, different State, or different Country I am always excited for the opportunity to learn and explore, to try new foods, attend a festival, meet the locals,  hear the stories, legends, and folklore of a historic town, or take a ghost tour. This is where I am most in my element, and upon my return I share with loved ones all I’d learned.

Introducing to you my company, Expedition Confidential. Join in this “secret journey’ with me as we discuss everything travel-related and travel-adjacent.  Whatever I learn I will share with you. This can include topics such as history, art, cuisine, culture, dark tourism, travel etiquette, packing tips, safety tips, how-to’s, Q&A’s, and My Favorite Things just to name a few.  Celebrate with me on this new adventure. Please leave comments allowing me to get to know you ~ and Stay Tuned! Video content will be uploaded to YouTube, with photos on Instagram,

Let’s Explore, Experience, and Evolve together…………

Melanie

 

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