A couple of months ago, I left for Brazil with no return ticket. I just found some of my thoughts on that decision from the time just before leaving. I'm posting this, because I think it might help someone out when they're considering jumping into the unknown. You know, make the unknown seem less of a scary place. Plus I believe that it's better to put your stuff out there, even if it's not perfect, and I try to live up to that.
So here we go - enjoy:
"At the time of writing this, I have a total of maybe 600€ in the bank and no idea of how I'm going to fund my life 2 months onward from here, let alone a trip to the unknown, without a plan on returning.
Why the hell am I doing this to myself?
Let me tell you why this might be the most important decision I've ever done.
I feel, life is a balance between the safe & familiar, and the new & exciting. The old vs the new. Yin vs yang. For me, I love the new & exciting. Now, I believe in routines and enjoy the little things in everyday life like anyone. However, for me there's nothing better than the feeling of flinging my backpack on my back and heading for the unknown.
For years, I've felt like my tires were running empty, slippery. Like I couldn't push my foot hard on the gas pedal. If I tried, it still wouldn't work. A sense of familiarity is what has caused me to feel that way. Like, when I go to a party full of interesting people, I think I should be excited about it, but I'm not. I try to be interested in others but I feel everyone just sees through my bluff and fake questions. It's like, when I go on a date with a girl whom I feel is not quite my level, I still try very hard to make her like me, resulting in me feeling inferior to her and her losing interest. It's like, when I get excited about a business opportunity, I just make plans but don't execute on any of them. Those are the things that bug the hell out of me.
Because that's not how I see myself. I'm not that middle-class sucker stuck in a comfortable rut, with a decent business and a life that's boring as fuck. That's my worst nightmare.
No. I'm an adventurer. I'm a man who follows his heart. I'm an experimentalist who shapes his own life to be just what he wants. My life is about adventure, experimentation, love, sorrow, passion, heat, and doing what's right. Not what's easy.
So, I needed an adventure.
I remember when I first got excited about entrepreneurship and doing my own thing. I was high on life, boy, I was running fast. Little by little, familiarity sept in, though, and now it's high time to shake things up a bit.
You might want to ask me: Isn't it scary to leave without a plan, with no money in the bank? Hell yes. Everytime it hits me that I'm actually going, I'm shitting bricks.
And that's the point. Someone wise once said: “At some point, we seem to have mistaken comfort with happiness.”
I'm not willing to accept that my life was only about getting a comfortable living and doing nothing special.
Recently, my mentor asked me something that made me think: She asked me, Miika, imagine you're fifty and hosting your birthday party. Who are you with? What do they say about you? And, most importantly, what are the things you most regret not having done?
It struck me - there was only one thing.
That would be to not act on my passion and love and lifelong adoration of the country of my dreams, Brazil. I couldn't live with myself if I hadn't done anything about this.
You know, when I was 14, our parents took us to Brazil. I was mesmerized. I was a shy kid, but there was something in the way how the Brazilians were so open, welcoming and genuine that brought out a side of me that I hadn't seen before. I became a social, outgoing kid. And I really liked that. So, ever since that trip in 2004, I've had this love for Brazil somewhere in the back of my head.
That's where my musings end.
Now that I'm actually here, you might want to know if I've found what I was looking for?
The short answer is: Yes. Yes I have. I've started my own online business - something I've dreamed of for years but never had the guts to start. I've met old friends, found new ones, seen beautiful places, met beautiful women, feared for my life, listened to amazing stories, inspired people with my own, climbed to mountaintops both literally and figuratively. Not every day has been easy, but boy, do I feel alive.
This one time, for example, we had woken up at 4.30 AM to climb to a mountaintop to see the sunrise over Rio de Janeiro. As the sun finally painted us with gold, I fell silent with the realization: I'm living my dream right now.
What I want to say is this: We are all on that same endless journey between the familiar and the unknown. The familiar is safe and easy, but only by venturing into the unknown can we find the true joy we are looking for. So, even at the risk of sounding cheesy, I say to you: Be brave, accept the fear, and take that step. Good things will follow.
Miika Karppinen. Adventurer, public speaking coach, storyteller.