It was summer of 2012 and my 50th birthday was approaching in November.  My sister and I had been planning for a few years to return to Paris to celebrate my milestone birthday together, but I was feeling so confused and lost without my job. I just did not know what I wanted to do. 

My sister and I would talk on the phone and she would say,”We should book Paris soon, have you looked into anything?”. I would reply, “Yeah, I will get on it.”

But I didn’t. Finally my sis asked me “You are just not into this, are you?” I replied “No, I am not. I am sorry. I do not know why.” For some reason I just did not feel that was where I was meant to be for that occasion. My sister was so understanding and just told me to find what I needed to do.

I was doing quite a bit  (too much, actually) of networking at the time, and people would often ask me, “What is your passion?”. I would look at them doe-eyed and think to myself “my passion,???”. I had lost it and had no idea what it was.

So, where was I going to go and what was I going to do for my 50th?–and what the heck was “my passion?” Would finding the answer to any or both of those questions help me out of that strange, lost place?

I realized that the  answer to my “what is my passion” question had to come to me in its’ own time-no forcing it.  However, the “where to go and what to do” question was something that I could tackle-even in my confused state of mind.

I do not have the kind of life that brings big surprise birthday parties, and here I found myself not even wanting to travel with my only sister for my birthday. So that seemed to leave traveling alone. That is the decision I came to. I made that decision in the way that I make most bigger decisions in my life. There is a moment of crystal clarity, kind of like a spark, and I seem to almost instantly know what I am going to do. There are doubts and fears afterward, but no going back. I know after that crystal clear moment what I will do.

So that matter was settled. I was going to travel somewhere alone for my 50th. Next question was where in the world was I going to go?