I’ve been reading a lot from people recently who are all going after their career dreams with a crazy amount of ambition and motivation. It’s inspiring to see people chasing after the thing they feel they are meant to do but it also got me thinking about the rest of us, the ones that have never had a passion like that. There seems to be an often voiced opinion in the travel community that if you have a “normal” job, own a home, car etc then there is something wrong with you. It’s thought of as a terrible waste of your life if you spend your working hours in an office and people who work in cubicles are seen as prisoners that need liberating. If someone is unhappy about their working life or longs for something else then of course do something about it, but for most people (me included) taking home a regular paycheck and working a steady job will be enough.
I had no idea what would become of me when travelling but for all of the many changes it has brought there are some fundamentals that have stayed exactly the same. Paul and I have realised that we are the type of people that still need to earn a salary, I am nowhere near brave enough to go through life without a regular income. We quit our jobs in our 30s to travel the world because taking a punt on being healthy, financially sound and able bodied by the time we retired wasn’t a good enough bet for me. Despite this we still worry about the future and how we will cope when we don’t have a steady income. Part of me wishes I was someone who didn’t need the security of having my own home and the knowledge that I have a pension for later years but no matter how much we’ve let go along the way we are still those people and that’s fine with me.
It’s a wonderful thing to know exactly what you want to do with your life and I applaud people who have that drive but for the vast majority of people you end up going to work for the primary reason of earning money. In my last job I knew people that were crazy passionate about the technology we were selling, I never felt that way but admired them for being so dedicated to the product. There were others that clearly hated every minute they were at work and looked forward to that one day per month when they got paid and where weekends were the holy grail. Then there were the people who I now aspire to be like, those who go to work and are good at what they do, feeling like they’ve actually achieved something for whomever they are working for. They’re also the people that run marathons, cycle to France for charity, climb mountains or explore the world and truly enjoy their lives outside of the 9-5. Our aim when we return home is to achieve a balance between the 9-5 and pursuing the interests we’ve found and developed during this break.
We are looking forward to the feeling of home again. We miss our house and its comforts, our family and friends and the knowledge of familiarity. We know it’s going to be a tough transition but we honestly don’t think we could do the nomad thing for much longer, certainly not indefinitely. It’s no secret that I’d had a dream of travelling for many years but now we’ve actually done it I feel this great satisfaction with my life, it’s wonderful not be longing desperately for something. Travel is still our main joy in life and we’re already planning holidays for next year but I want to feel the immense compulsion to travel again, like I used to feel on holidays. I want to be excited by every new place I visit and I’m getting the feeling at the moment that I’m just a little too jaded with it all, we need a break to appreciate it again. I was sat reading my Kindle on a boat along an Amazonian river the other day and I spotted a holiday tourist running up and down the boat snapping photos, that used to be me and I’d like to get that feeling back.
I heard from someone recently who had just started their round the world trip and I’d just like to say that I genuinely hope your round the world adventure brings you some new meaning or direction to your life but if it doesn’t don’t stress about it, that’s ok too. Don’t get too caught up in it being some life defining experience, I was guilty of this before we set off and it took a while to learn to just enjoy it. I go home a completely changed person in so many ways but what I take away most from the experience is a whole lot of fun and really getting to understand this world we live in. That had nothing to do with whatever I will end up doing for work and whatever I do for work won’t change this lust I have for exploring the globe.
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