Stepping Into The Unknown: A Lesson in Facing Your Fears

In ten days, our family of four is moving from Toronto, Canada to Puerto Escondido, Mexico.

When people learn of our plans to take a four month family sabbatical, the common response is "Wow! You’re so lucky!".

The truth is that it was not luck that got us here. It was perseverance.

This sojourn did not come easily. It was not presented to us on a silver platter as a pre-planned vacation package.

We designed it.

We created a vision and problem-solved a way into making it happen.

As a couple, we asked ourselves tough questions about our life, got super real with each other, and took action.

Stepping into the unknown forces you to face your fears and get comfortable with discomfort.

There were many tears,  moments of frustration, and obstacles to overcome.

Would our family support our decision?

Would we find tenants for our home? Would they be able to work with our dates?

Would our home insurance have to change?

Would Arjan get the time off?

Would my clients want to continue working with me, virtually?

Would our daughter’s school accept this life experience in lieu of traditional education?

Would we find affordable accommodations in Mexico?

Would we find airfare within our budget?

The list goes on and on.

These were all unknown factors that could have prevented us from even considering a four month family adventure.

But we persevered.

When things did not go according to plan, we shifted and went with the flow.

I am grateful that Arjan and I are aligned on our purpose and core values. Our connection is truly the glue that has kept this vision from crumbling at every obstacle (and believe me, there have been MANY!).

This whole experience has been like a puzzle. Pieces have appeared randomly, in no particular order, and over time, the picture has gradually come into focus. A wild, masterpiece, of our very own creation.

For a classic Type A personality (me!), the moving pieces and dis-order of the planning experience was super uncomfortable. There were (and still are!) many unknowns.

I did not have control and, let me tell you, that was really, really hard. But I knew it was part of the process and sucked it up.

I had to let go and trust.

And yet, through the perseverance and trusting the process, there is another truth.


I am afraid of the UNKNOWN.

We are intentionally choosing to uproot our family from our comfortable home, predictable schedule, and safe, loving community of family and friends.

We are choosing to enter into a place where we have minimal grasp of the language, no idea where the local supermarket is, and no community.

It will be uncomfortable.

It will be challenging.

It will be life-changing.

And all of that is scary.

Really, really scary.

But we are still going to do it.

We will jump into that uncertainty and face the unknown.


I have learned over the years that the greatest lessons are born from discomfort, for from discomfort, comes growth.

I want to grow.

And learn.

And ask the tough questions.

And, mostly, I want to LIVE MY TRUTH.

I want to model this for our children, so that they, in turn, can live their own truth.

I don’t want them to live the life that they think we want for them. I want them to live their own life.

If we look closely, every day is an “unknown”.

Though we find ways to feel secure; staying in the job with benefits, shopping at that all-organic grocery store (guilty!), and getting insurance for our homes, cars, and lives.

It all creates a false sense of security.

Believe me, I love feeling secure. I crave it in my home, in my relationships, in my schedule.

But I have gotten trapped in it, so much so, that I had to break free.

We could wake up tomorrow and lose that job, or worse, discover a health issue that prevents us from living the life we had imagined.

Time will continue to pass, that we know for certain.

I look at our kids and see how much they grow every year and am reminded that time is the most precious gift of all.

Get clear on what brings you joy, and choose to live life from a place of intention and purpose.

If it’s all unknown, then why the heck not?

GO LIVE YOUR LIFE. I dare you.

If it scares the shit of out you, that's a good sign.

Take it from this Type A mama.

Getting to the other side is scary, but the view is beautiful once you get there.


Now it’s your turn…

What will you do with your time? How do you want to design your life?

What scares you? Excites you? 

Tell us in the comments below.

I know this is a big one, but I guarantee that you are not alone in whatever you are feeling. Let’s get this important conversation going!

If you are new to our community, be sure to grab your free Step-by-Step Intentional Living Workbook and get started on creating your very own adventure. We can’t wait to hear about where life takes YOU.

Big Love,

Allison (& Arjan!)

P.S. - If you are new to the blog - welcome! Check out the reason behind our move to Mexico here, and the realities of packing here. Keeping it real, every step of the way. ;)

P.S.S. - Don't forget to grab your free Intentional Living Workbook here!


Written by: Allison Villa