I wanted to learn German but I was so overwhelmed with setting up my freelance business that I couldn’t really take in anymore information.
Travelling to and living in a new place increases your cognitive load. Along with quitting my job and starting a new business, I really felt the strain.
When you travel, you probably need to be in a mindset of freedom and abandonment. Even though I quit my job to be more ‘free’, I’ve actually found my lack of rigorous self-discipline when I don’t have any external demands to be a hindrance.
I’ve learnt the hard way that freedom is simply a state of mind. We need to recognise that everything in our lives is the result of our own choices, and even being a freelancer doesn’t necessarily mean you will feel free.
Dreams are always better as dreams – actual reality can never live up to the fantasy. Even though you can post endless exciting photos on Instagram, there is still the drudgery and mild panic of everyday life.
Despite this knowledge, it’s always worth pursuing your dreams because you only get one life. I wouldn’t want to live my whole life not knowing what it was like to pursue my dream.
I’m not saying that I regret becoming a freelancer, but it is truly difficult. The difficulty is mainly internal, struggling with a constant fear and lack of self belief. It’s so hard to keep that fire stoked.
I’ve realised that I’m 27 and I have no excuse to keep putting things off. I’ve learned that many things I’m supposed to enjoy are actually unpleasant, such as travelling the world.
And yet, I still keep going abroad. What I get out of this experience is widening my perspective of history and different cultures, but I prefer being a passive observer rather than an active participant.
Sometimes doing something crazy is rewarding because it inspires other people to tell you their crazy dreams – which aren’t really so crazy. I feel a lot closer to my friends and family, and I actually know what their aspirations are now.
Freelancing is something you need to do with a stable base so you can develop the routines and processes necessary to make your business a success. You can find stability in chaos, from a mixture of going to the library, buying your favourite coffee from the hipster café and continually staring at your bank account in panic.
I wouldn’t say I have any proper regrets but in the middle of my trip, I got this vomiting virus and couldn’t eat for three days. You feel pretty lonely being ill in a foreign country and it puts things in perspective.
Even after all these complaints and dissatisfactions, I’m still going to do it again in a few months. I’m hoping Budapest in February will be a more suitable destination for me.
I hope you enjoyed this second post about my travels in Berlin. You can also read the first one if you missed it. As always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about freelancing.
Catherine is a content writer and community builder for creative and ethical companies. She's a blogging sensei — you'll often find her writing case studies, help documentation, and articles about customer support. Her writing has helped businesses to attract curious audiences and transform them into loyal advocates.
View all posts by Catherine Heath