The Great Escape

March 2, 2015

I didn’t expect to cry. I’m pretty sensitive, but I tend to keep my feelings tucked away nice and neatly, bringing them out only on special occasions like weddings and reruns of the Best Man Holiday.

But this morning, those feelings that rarely find their way to the edges of my eyelids caught me by surprise. I had just turned on some music and was packing my suitcase, when my thoughts drifted to this new season of freedom I’ve been introduced to for the very first time. With 10 years in the ad industry, I’ve have witnessed more layoffs than I can even count, and have gotten used to the wild ride of agency life. But nothing prepares you for the train wreck of emotion that takes over when it’s your turn to say goodbye.

For the past week my mind has felt like a packed subway car at rush hour: A million different voices all yelling over each other, pulling my attention in unnecessary directions and distracting me from where I’m supposed to be going.  All the while, The Conductor has been trying to provide directions about the next stop on my ride, but I could barely hear him over all the noise.

But as I watched the sun rise outside my apartment window this morning, it was like everybody got off the train at the same time, and I could hear The Conductor more clearly. The flood of voices that had been shouting in my head all week finally stopped, and tears of joy spilled slowly down my cheeks as I was overwhelmed with clarity and gratitude, quietly uttering two words:

“Thank you.”

For the past few months I’ve been striving for a more purpose-driven approach to my life, and have questioned if writing, traveling and other personal interests are even an important part of it. While I’ve been lucky enough to be passionate about the work I’m paid to do, I’ve seen the undeniable favor that people experience when they begin working with purpose. My hope is that I can ultimately find a situation that can marry the two, grounding my work in passions that trancend a paycheck.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to turn this season of uncertainty into one of opportunity. To get off the hamster wheel of familiarity, and harness the unique adrenaline of the unknown. I may never have a time like this again, so I plan to spend each day purposefully – embarking on new adventures, bringing passion projects to life, making a difference wherever I can, and spending quality time with people who matter most.

Wherever you are on your journey, I encourage you to do the same!


Below is a sneak peek of where I’m headed over the next month! Travel with me at @bktraveladdict #BkEscape on Instagram and Twitter.

abudhabiABU DHABI, UAE

  • The Grand Mosque
  • Emirates Palace
  • Evening Desert Safari

holifestivalJAIPUR, INDIA

  • Taj Mahal
  • Indian Cooking Classes
  • Ayurvedic Spa Treatments
  • Holi Festival of Colors


  • Gorge Swing
  • Helicopter Ride
  • First stay in a hostel!


  • Door of Hope Children’s Mission
  • Markets in Maboneng
  • Apartheid Museum


  • South African Cooking Classes with Mama Lindy
  • Vineyard Tour (Because wine is life. Right next to bacon)
  • Cape Point


Visiting friends and family, figuring out what’s next, and indulging the finest biscuits Bojangles has to offer!

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  • Reply Christina Haywood March 2, 2015 at 3:39 am

    LOVE this! Best of luck in all your travels!! Looking forward to following along! Be Safe! XO

    • Reply Tracey March 14, 2015 at 5:50 am

      Thanks Christina!

  • Reply Idunnu Tomori March 2, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Beautiful! Have a safe trip and soak up as much as you can. My father has always said “there is no time, only opportunity!” Make sure to also visit Table Mountain and Robben Island while in Cape Town. Enjoy!!!

    • Reply Tracey March 14, 2015 at 5:50 am

      Thanks so much Idunnu! Both are on my list!

  • Reply Rhonda Washington March 2, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Looking forward to viewing the pictures and reading the experiences I’m sure you will have. All the best to you.

    • Reply Tracey March 14, 2015 at 5:51 am

      Thanks so much Rhonda!

  • Reply Priscilla Williams March 2, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    I applaud you!! I know that my spirit and well wishes are with you. Cannot wait to hear your thoughts upon your return!

  • Reply Jaci Quincy March 2, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    I wish I had the big Kahunas to do this…. Maybe one day… Until then, safe travels! Looking forward to the pics!

    • Reply Tracey March 14, 2015 at 5:56 am

      Ha! I discovered Kahunas I didn’t know I had LOL! It’s been awesome though and I only hope to be able to remember each moment so I can share it here. Thanks so much!

  • Reply Kay Morgan March 2, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Tracey!!!!! I got goosebumps reading this post!!! Thank you soooo much for sharing your journey! I can relate to all of the above…I was laid off from my cushy client side advertising job two weeks ago…I’ve gone through a range of emotions, but I’m mostly optimistic and excited about the opportunities to travel and get back to ME! Ideally, I too, would like to match my professional background with my passion for travel…fingers, toes an eyes crossed! For now, I’ll keep the faith and be open to what’s to come 😉 Safe travels…can’t wait to read about your upcoming adventures!


    • Reply Tracey March 14, 2015 at 5:55 am

      So glad you feel where I’m coming from! It’s kind of exciting right? Or maybe I’m just still on a travel high LOL. And client-side is SUPER cushy girl! However I’m more excited about your time off and hearing about what you do with it! Cheers!

  • Reply Titilope Akinyosoye March 2, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    love reading your travels. I especially love UAE please if you do have time experience the luxury brunch in dubai the art of brunch at the Mina Al salam where the gold souk is located across from the burj al alarb

    • Reply Tracey March 14, 2015 at 5:52 am

      Girl we didn’t even have time to hit Dubai! Which means I have to go back! Thanks for the tips!

  • Reply Nadeen March 2, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    amazing journey and travels ahead!! Enjoy!!

  • Reply Kawana March 3, 2015 at 2:42 am

    INSPIRING!!! Enjoy your journey!

    • Reply Tracey March 14, 2015 at 5:53 am

      Thanks Kawana! So far it’s awesome!

  • Reply Monica March 3, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I think what you are doing is AWESOME. Enjoy your journey.

    • Reply Tracey March 14, 2015 at 5:55 am

      Thanks Monica!

  • Reply Holly March 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I love your travel plans! I just got back from the UAE and enjoyed it! Holi is high on my list. I would love to experience that in the near future.

    • Reply Tracey March 14, 2015 at 5:53 am

      Thank you Holly! Holi was absolutely amazing and you should totally do it next year if you can! I’ll be sharing a story on that experience as well.

  • Reply Eve March 3, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Congratulations!!!!! Live. Dream. Celebrate. Love

    • Reply Tracey March 14, 2015 at 5:52 am

      YESSSS to all of that! Thank you!

  • Reply Danah March 4, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Best of luck in all your travels! You’ve definitely been an inspiration to me and I’m sure many others.

    • Reply Tracey March 14, 2015 at 5:51 am

      Awww thank you so much!

  • Reply Pennie Penz March 5, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Kudos to you Tracey! We’re in the same boat Brooklynite. I too was laid off in January and am trying to figure things out while vehemently searching for a purpose driven life. Best of luck on your travels. I hope to cross paths soon.

    • Reply Tracey March 14, 2015 at 5:51 am

      Yes! And best wishes in whatever is next for you!

  • Reply Dear India: Thank You - Brooklyn Travel Addict March 10, 2015 at 11:20 am

    […] a country that now has a special place in my heart. Thank you to the Universe for the little push (ahem, dropkick) I needed to break away from the rat race and take this experience to the next level. Thank you to […]

  • Reply Tia March 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    When you get back I may need to borrow your itinerary from Africa, your pictures were amazing so I cannot wait to hear the stories.

  • Reply Joymarie March 25, 2015 at 1:51 am

    Best of luck to you on your new journey towards a more purposeful life. And thank you for sharing your experiences along the way with us. You have a powerful way with words that moves and inspires.

    • Reply Tracey March 25, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      Awww thank you so much!

  • Reply Ahkita May 1, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Very inspirational!
    Best of blessings to you on your journey!

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