In Catholic school, I was taught that life was meant to be a sacrifice and that you were meant to pay for your sins for life. You were not meant to be happy to have pleasure but instead “carry your own cross.”
Colombian culture to a certain extend follows those believes - the group and family are important and the needs or desire of the individual are not that important.
As a gay man living in Sydney, I often felt like I was living a very selfish life. “What do I want..., Where do I want to go? What do I want to buy? Who do I want to fuck today?” I felt like it was all about me. There was an emptiness about it...a life that only is projected inward. I decided to do a number of volunteer activities: work with the homeless and telephone counseling with a gay and lesbian hotline. That was the good teachings I took from Catholic school - the idea of social justice of helping others. Helping others and volunteering does make you happy. It did for me. I realised that having that external focus helped.
So quitting my job and traveling the world did feel a bit selfish - this adventure was all about me. My development, my journey...but at the same time right now it is all about me. I’m single. I have no children, no mortgage and no real responsibilities. As grandma would say, if God gives you lemons, make lemonades.
So if you are a free spirit...then take off. That is one advantage of being single..of being alone...no plus 1...just me and my suitcase.
It has been a month since I left Sydney..since my old life...my old job, my old apartment...my ex boyfriend...my broken heart...and I feel free. I am excited about each and everyday. I have dreams of a lover in Rome and of a wonderful new life. I took the plunge...sink or swim and a month in...I am swimming and loving the view.
I realised that taking control of my life - making changes and going down a different path is what ultimately will make me happy - going where I want to go...which at the moment is Rome. I do not know where I will end up...or with whom but I know it will be different to where I started from. That’s the thing about travel...once you go from A to B, you tend to come back to C. You are never the same after a big journey - your mind and heart will have grown, new memories will affect your outlook on life and you’ll discover new and wonderful things about you.