You made reference to "feeling trapped much like a hamster on the tread mill" I getting the impression my very dear friend is continuing her voyage on the thread mill, the difference being is that the thread mill is in different parts of the world ie my profession calls this "a geographical cure"
These words from one of my customer from Canada who became a good friend lately. He often visited me in the club and we were talking hours about psychological issues in relationships. He was a friend, a supervisor and tutor All in One. I studied psychology on the University, and I'm telling you this job is the best psychological work experience. (I specialised working with special needs and sometimes I feel I'm on the best place to practise.)
The tread mill I meant is more complicated. The Life is a roller coaster. Ups and downs. We have to accept the rain and the sunshine. But so many people live in the fog. Their days are grey. They wake up in the morning, coffee, traffic, work, problems, traffic, home, dinner, family, more problems, bed, morning, coffee, work.... like robots. Until someone unplug them. They read the book Power of Now, they discuss about it, but they don't change anything.
I have enough people around me that they are only complain about their lives and even if they have every tools to change it, it's easier to complain and wait for the miracle. They live in a fear of losing their jobs, financial insecurity and in the shadow of banks and credits. But they still want bigger house, faster cars, and they able to queue days to get the new iPhone S64... Those people sooner or later will get a big punch from Life. I have a good example in my family how I don't want to live my life. My dad always dreamed about travels and to see the sea. He was always dreaming about it but never done anything for that, even these days when you can go to Italy or Croatia on a low budget, he just finds excuses not to go. And it's sad but probably he will die without fulfill his dream.
My tread mill was in the restaurant. I woke up, get to work, then home and sleep. Next day I started again. Long working hours and no time for friends, no private life. But luckily I quickly realised it's not what I want. So I quit. I had the power to change what I don't like. And during travelling I've been changed.
What do I gain from my travel?
Power and Self-confidence
Not physical power but mental power. I can hold myself and stand up for myself if it's necessary. If I want something, I don't wait for others to do it for me. I'm brave enough to do the first steps. I don't have a rich family behind me (although my family is very supportive emotionally) so what I have, what I reached, I did it myself. I'm my own boss.
Patience and Empathy
I've heard so many times that I'm so quiet. Yes, because I watch and listen. That's the way how I learn about surroundings. And I've learned a lot. Now I know how to handle an arrogant (man), a drunk (man), a childish (man), a crying (MAN!), a man with money or a man with issues. And I'm learning not to judge them.
Actually dancing wasn't my first “night” job. I did hostessing in a London club where I worked only on commission. That was the way I learned English. I was always shy to speak up because I wasn't sure and I wanted to speak correctly. So I pushed my boundaries and started that job saying if I don't start to speak – doesn't matter correct or not –, I will have no money to eat. I'm still alive! :)
And I learned how to communicate with different people from different background and/or culture.
..and lots of joyful moments!
This is my favourite! Cage diving with the Great White sharks and crocodiles, going on a safari, seeing the Niagara Falls, climb up the CN Tower and walk on the glass floor, swimming in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, Chinese Moon Festival, eating delicious local food and taste something different, palm trees and beautiful beaches, Octoberfest, bungy jumping.. and the list is not full!
I understand what my friend wanted to say with his words above. Maybe I'm a bit of adrenalin junky. And if this is my new tread mill, I will enjoy it! But I would rather call myself a free spirit and this tread mill simply Life. And for me, it definitely works!