The Best Adventures Begin with Choice

By October 15, 2012Choice

Most epic stories or adventures begin with a dramatic life change. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, decided to go on an incredible journey to Italy, India, and Indonesia after a devastating break up. Elliot’s life was completely turned upside down when E.T. arrived. Queen Elizabeth I took the throne as England’s first sole female monarch after the death of her father and a series of unprecedented events. Whether real or fictional, all these stories have one thing in common: a choice.

Gilbert could have stayed in New York, continued her job, and found a new relationship. Elliot could have freaked out and turned his back on E.T. Queen Elizabeth I could have listened to everyone around her and married. But they didn’t. Each one made a choice to move forward and do what he/she felt was right, even when it was questioned.

In August, I took on one of my boldest Life Experiments yet—Rejection Therapy. The rules were simple: for one month I had to get rejected at least once every day. I chose this experiment because I needed an impetuous. We all have points in life where we feel stagnant, and I hoped that asking for what I really wanted would set my dreams in motion. Best case scenario: I took one step closer towards making my dreams a reality. Worst case: I received a “no” and I got my rejection for the day. (To read more about my   rejection escapades, read about week 1 & 2). Rejection Therapy reminded me that anything is possible and that we never know until we ask.

Unknown paths can be the most exhilarating

Shortly after my experiment ended, I got a call letting me know that our entire department was being laid off. For many, losing one’s job or being broken up with are the two ultimate ‘rejections’ in life. I now have experienced both, and although I admit there was a twinge of shame and despair, I choose to see it differently.

I choose to see it as being “let go.” In the midst of being ‘rejected’ it’s easy to feel powerless. It took me months to move on after a devastating breakup from the man I thought was “the one.” I now view it as one of the best gifts of my life. He did me a service in letting me go and gave me an opportunity to be and do more than I ever imagined possible.

The same goes with the job.  I’m grateful to the company I worked for and for all the opportunities they gave me. I choose to take this as a sign from the universe that it’s time for me to follow my biggest dreams and to be who I really am.

It’s time to walk across

Since I was 9-years-old, writing has been my first love and deepest passion. I love to explore, travel, and hear people’s stories and perspectives. Like Gilbert, Elliot, and Queen Elizabeth I, I choose to take this life change as an opportunity.

An opportunity to go full time with the blog, to write, and to begin a round-the-world adventure to see parts of the globe I’ve dreamed about, to sail, hike, ice climb, bike, horseback ride, and surf my way through Central & South America, Africa, and the Himalayas. I leave San Francisco next week to spend some time at home before setting off. The journey is a work in progress, but I’ve learned that the best adventures begin with choice.

Stay tuned as the adventure unfolds…

Join the discussion 22 Comments

  • SOPHIA says:

    Dear Jacqueline, May I just say you are not alone! Writing has been a way of expressing myself and connecting to a collective journey shared by so many. In my case, it took me from a divorce (I wrote the Art of Not Dating because of the pressure to date) to the Andes Mountains in Ecuador (where I will be returning this week) to discover the playful, Latina woman hiding for so many years. My mission is also to travel to sacred places in the world and write about them starting with my cultural inheritance, South America. Perhaps we will cross paths? I wish you more dancing, mirth, travels and growth! Stay tuned!

    • Jacqueline says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, encouragement, and well wishes, Sophia! It sounds like you’re living quite the life! I’m intrigued by your mission to travel to sacred places in the world. Guided by a shaman, I visited several sacred sites in Peru with a small spiritual group a little over a year ago. It was a life changing experience! I would love to cross paths. I will be sure to check out your site, and look forward to continuing the conversation!

  • oddnna says:

    Good luck Jacqueline. Sometimes we can’t let go but the universe helps us with it. We’re let go so we can nudge ourselve a little more difinitevely through that other doorway.
    I love the picture to this blog too.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Thank you! Yes, the universe did me a great favor towards pursuing the life I really want. No more planning, saving, or questioning when the time is right to make my break for adventure. 😉 Really glad to hear that you enjoyed the picture as well. I took that photo with my iphone a while back and it seemed appropriate. How’s your book deal coming along? That’s my next challenge!

  • Pete says:

    Go Jackie! Well done. Very excited for you.
    Do let us know if you want to make a stop off in Abu Dhabi / Dubai! 🙂

    • Jacqueline says:

      Thanks Pete! I would love to visit you and Eva. Europe and the Middle East aren’t in the plans as of now, but I might have to make an exception. 😉 Are you already living there? I will definitely be at the wedding though for sure!

  • Atlanta says:

    Sounds amazing. I’m also reinventing myself and my life right now, and there has been times where I was trying to look things from a positive side, and I couldn’t. It’s empowering to read your blog and remind myself that I can do that. 🙂

    • Jacqueline says:

      So glad to hear that! I went back and forth about posting about how much to post and share, but in the end, I decided that this is part of my story, and I hope that it inspires and empowers others to realize they’re not alone and that changes, whether planned or otherwise, can present us with opportunities to live the lives we really want.

  • I do believe in divine intervention so I believe the direction you are taking now is meant to be part of your life journey here on earth. God speed – over the thrills and the spills. I am so excited you chose to embrace this opportunity as an enlightening and a loving experience.

  • Luca says:

    On my, this is cRRRRRazy!! But that’s what makes you great, keep your child-minded attitude, I admire you so much!! I’ll be following you through the journey!! Good luck 🙂

  • Priya says:

    I love this post, Jacqueline! It’s easy to dwell on the bad (I know I’ve been there), but it takes courage to find the beauty in other opportunities when one door closes. This is awesome! I can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

  • Martine says:

    Great post! It is all about perspective – you choose how external events effect and define you. I am so excited to see this adventure unfold for you!

  • Nancy says:

    one of the biggest problem of our live is how to make a choice, our success is probably depend on what we chooce, make a choice and work on it, we can make a difference.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Completely agree with you, Nancy! One of life’s greatest challenges and opportunities are the choices we make. I also keep in mind, that we’re human, and like this piece of advice says, “Our choices are half chance, so are everyone else’s.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5QgT3vgIOA At the end of the day, we make the best choices with the information we have, and hope that it was the ‘right’ one. But that’s all part of what makes life worth living! 🙂

  • A very impressive article. Well prepared. Very motivating!! Set off on to way

  • l0ve0utl0ud says:

    Have an amazing time and well done for taking this huge step to realise your dreams!

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