I didn’t make it. My biggest dreams for this year have been crushed.
My first reaction was weird. At first glance of the Top 10 list without my name on it, I felt empty. It was as if my soul was sucked out of me. All of a sudden, there was a huge void within me. My face was blank. I couldn’t express any emotions. My dreams were gone.
I texted my closest friends with the bad news. My phone didn’t stop ringing for the next 10 minutes. The replies were all the same — the blah blah blah dreams haven’t really been crushed, that I will get to travel the world eventually no matter what. That I never give up on my dreams. More blah blah blah ensued.
As my friend and I looked through the videos of the finalists, I found the deal-breaker to the judges: the fact that I didn’t mention transportation. I felt like such an idiot. I broke down in tears.
Then I got angry. So angry I wanted to hurt myself, throw everything in sight.
It was a scary, scary feeling. “I should drink,” I thought. But that would be a terrible, terrible idea.
My whole life started to play out in my head again. It will take me 3 or more years to pay off the rest of my debt. It will take me even longer to go on an extended around the world trip. I was starting to drive myself crazy.
I started to hyperventilate. I got worried. Post-travel depression was peaking its ugly face again in the weirdest scenario. I told my friend to take me home…
This all happened Monday morning. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t look for any freelance work. Not only were my dreams crushed, but also my inspiration and determination.
I was paralyzed.
Then, I got the weirdest news today: an old friend of mine died in a car accident. The good friend I stayed with Sunday night? She had dated him and really liked him. She couldn’t stop crying. He was about a year or two older than us. No older than 28. I couldn’t believe it. Life can also be sucked out of us in the blink of an eye…
But I’m still alive—bitching because I didn’t win a stupid contest…?
Knock knock Maria Alexandra? That’s right. That’s a slap I needed. And so, I wrote down a to-do list:
- Buy a TBEX ticket. Sign up for all pre and post-TBEX trips.
- Buy Puerto Rico-Toronto flight. May 25-June 8!
- Canada for 2 weeks. Contact tourism boards, come up with an itinerary.
- Kickstart my Spanish travel blog, have some blog posts ready by June 1.
- Take min. 5 interisland (Puerto Rico) trips before Canada tour.
- Start recording mini travel shows from every day trip I take.
- Be on the lookout for Spanish translator gigs.
That shall keep me busy until mid-June. I’m also going to prep well for the TBEX speed dating and see if I can score some press trips and/or translation gigs for the rest of the year 🙂
I’m happy to be alive! Those travel dreams can wait…
PS: Don’t ask me anything about the contest though. I’m done talking about it…