After working at an agency for a year and a half, I decided to take a break. I was working alone the majority of the time and felt there was a big disconnect with where I wanted to go and who I wanted to be. I needed to find myself, which was exactly what I did. During this time, I moved into the city, kept a healthy lifestyle, and travelled.
Moving into the city is something I’ve always wanted to do, so as soon as I saw the opportunity, I took it. The city's energy feels full of possibility. I was able to discover new neighborhoods and meet incredible people. Knowing that I’m in the middle of this amazing chaos of a city, filled me with so much hope and energy. I kept busy by being physically and mentally active.
I took all types of exercises like barre, boxing, boot camp, pilates, dance, row, cycling, etc, while keeping an open mind in what types of classes to take to discover what I liked (boxing & yoga) and disliked (cycling & pilates). Yoga and meditation played a big part to help me find my inner peace. I remembered Yoga to the People were hosting a Happiness Yoga Workshop and knew this was exactly what I needed to find a sense of balance. The workshop had a few traditional yoga exercises but included some fun techniques like laughing out loud, staring into a stranger’s eyes, and writing a note to yourself. I left the workshop having a clear mind and knew that if I ever felt lost again, I could use the tools I used there.
By the end of my break, I took a month to travel abroad. Traveling gave me the chance to open my mind and provided a fresh perspective on how others live their own lives. I planned a trip for two weeks in Turkey and two weeks in Italy. The experiences were very different for many reasons. For starters, it was my fourth time visiting Turkey so I had a lot of personal history there whereas it was my first time in Italy. My previous times in Turkey I spent it with my ex-boyfriend since that’s where he’s from, but this time I saw the city, Istanbul, through a different light since I was surrounded by a solid group of girlfriends that provided a strong support system. I decided to visit Turkey again because I get a “homey” feeling each time I go, leaving with the fondest memories. I couldn't wait to create new memories on this trip. Turkey’s hospitality is superb and it's people, food, architecture, etc is A+ and can’t wait to go back. Italy, on the other hand, was spent with my family exploring a new culture, cities, and lots of food. I had a wonderful time and even experienced my first silent rave in Milan.
My break made me feel like I was finally taking control of my own life; by creating my own path of self discovery and peace. My almost-three-month break from work, was the best decision I’ve ever made. I can honestly say I've become a better person for it. My advice to anyone who is looking for a sense of self or control is to look within and always listen to your intuition. Whether that mean you should travel, exercise, or experie something completely new and out of your comfort zone, you are the only one that knows what is best for yourself. Remember to enjoy and savor each moment life brings along the way.
Melissa Serje is a sales and marketing professional with a huge passion for fitness and travel. She freelances as much as she can so she can continue pursuing her dream of traveling the world full-time.