A girl in her (almost) 20s who never knew exactly what to do with her life. Afraid of, after finishing university, getting stuck in a job that would always make her completely unhappy. With an enormous desire to conquer the world, but with no idea about how to do that. It could be a cliché character from a teen’s romance, but it was exactly how I felt before deciding that it was about time I had an adventure.
My name is Anna and I’ve already thought about becoming an engineer, an economist, an architect. But I ended up studying journalism. What didn’t happen because I’d imagined myself as the most successful journalist in the press room, or because I wanted to be the first person to give the breaking news on TV. The truth is that this decision only came up as the most reasonable one because I’ve always loved writing, chatting and discovering. And that’s it.
But as time went by, those passions were swallowed by the studying/working routine, what made me question not only my preferences, but myself. So I became uncertain about most things, and only sure about one: I couldn’t find any answers to my doubts at home. And, as a destiny’s gift, while I was having all those doubts, I bumped into a post on Facebook that asked me one simple question: “do you wanna be crazy?”. My answer? Yes. And that was exactly how I got to know Worldpackers.
So I was enchanted from the very first time I entered the website. The idea of being able to travel low-budget when I felt just like running away seemed perfect. And after I signed up, every time I had a little break from work, I’d look for places to go as a Worldpacker. I started talking to hosts firstly from Latin America, even not knowing what I was doing or how I was going to make it. I began to tell my friends about my adventure, and they all had that bipolar look from who find it awesome but idealistic. But, anyway, I was sure that I’d go. I had to.And, unexpectedly, in one of my searches I found a hostel that seemed like the opposite from what I was doing with life. It had hammocks, a tree house and a chilling room. It was calm while I was running, it had a connexion with nature that I’d forgotten about while being lost in the city, and it seemed so real while I felt like life had turned superficial. It was located in a city in Spain that I sadly had never heard about: Granada. I googled it and found mountains, amazing views and historical places. People always ask me how did I choose where to go. I like to think that I didn’t, and that my trip began when I let Granada pick me.
I never thought about not going, but of course I was afraid. I was a 19-year-old who had just traveled alone to meet her ex-boyfriend. What I was going to do there? How was it going to be? Who would I meet there? All the possible questions were asked by me and by others, and those made me question if I was doing the “right thing”. So I received an email, from “Allan from Worldpackers” asking if everything was okay with my trip, and saying that he was my Travel Buddy, someone that would be there to help me traveling. Then I made a list of questions and sent him. He helped with my travel insurance and with finding the cheapest flight I could. But, mainly, he helped me feeling that I was safe because I had someone there to help me in this place that I didn’t know much about, and that would be my temporary home in a couple of months. And that’s one of the best things Worldpackers has offered me: the support to build courage to go and write my own history.
So I went. And about that I could write unstoppably. Because in less than two months, I felt like I’ve lived years. I explored Granada, the hostel life, the oversharing. I discovered a new country, a new lifestyle, new foods, new songs, new drinks, new words. I lived with people from Argentina, Australia, England, The United States. I made friends from India, Colombia, France, Mexico. I had short love stories and funny relationships that I’ll carry with me forever. I took 9 hour buses to get to cities I’ve always heard about but never really thought about going. I had midnight stops in the middle of spanish roads that made me ask what I was doing there. And now I know the answer to that: I was living. Living in the most sincere aspect of the word. Writing, chatting and discovering. Writing my thoughts, chatting with inspiring people and discovering myself. Taking down the limits that I’d built and finding that I could be what I wanted to be. That those preferences that I thought were about journalism, were, in reality, about living.
And when I came back to Brazil from that magical experience, I started being a lot more critical about what I was doing with life. But it took me almost an year to get my crazy version back and decide to quit my job. My plans were to come back to the self that I’d been in Spain, and again I felt like I couldn’t do that if I stayed in the same place that I was. I thought about going back to the road, and finally making that trip to another country in Latin America, that was my first idea before going to Spain. I began to search in Worldpackers one more time, but something else found me before I could choose somewhere to go. This time, Worldpackers picked me. And that “Travel Buddy” job that I found awesome and that helped me so much, now is mine to make. And I’m crazy about being the one that will be there to help passionate travelers to become Worldpackers. And what else they want to be.
From the Worldpacker Anna Mota