It’s inspiring to me as a person deciding to actively set another path for myself, how many others have taken this step. They come from all walks of life and as reassuring to know, they weren’t all Indiana Jones cool, charismatic and collected, at least not to start with. Part of what defines you is how you deal with everyday life. I find when I am on familiar ground so too come familiar patterns and routines. Even when you try to shake things up on your home turf its like reading the same book over and over, you might notice new words but the over all story ends the same.
The accepted norm is do your OE young get it out of your system, come back and build career. Instead of the OE, I built a career, which built someone else’s dream. Problem was after taking a short trip in Italy, the person that went there didn’t get it out of his system and the one that came back felt a longing that defies people or belongings. It was the hearing the wolf’s howl of the traveler.
Where I worked the company’s CEO handed in his notice after spending 20 years building a multi Billion dollar dream. He left to go do whatever floated his and boat and climb more mountains, about the same time I decided after 8 years in different areas of management, it really wasn’t going to get any better, status quo was the best I could hope for. Somewhere amongst the working for a living I forgot about the living part. I was tempted to step straight into a similar familiar role to the one I just left with an even larger multi national.
I realized, just another job, building someone else’s dream, to hoard more money, to buy more things, all this again was again leading to stagnation. In nature if things aren’t growing, they are dying.
Even checking Facebook was a connection to people back home I cared about, not an ongoing reminder of contribution to a society obsessed with itself and its paper-thin appearance.
I wanted to be doing things that resonated with me on a personal level, not just doing things I feel “I should” or “am expected” to be doing. More often than most of us like to admit we continue in situations that aren’t fulfilling because we either haven’t got a better idea of what to do, or we are in too deep into our commitments in sustaining a lifestyle that in turn becomes its own hollow cycle. It was clear I needed a life lived with passion rather than safe and familiar. But being more introvert than extrovert, more bookish than outdoorsy and more relaxed than driven I have a pretty tough road ahead.
I had to change my life by making life change me.
Will it work? I hope so but who can say, when your survival or at least your sustenance and accommodation for the day is akin to being from another planet and telling the locals “We are here to serve man” when you actually mean for dinner. (50’s B movies represent) You learn how to be resourceful, you learn how to relax, you learn how to be present, you learn how notice the beauty around you, things just seem so vibrant and taste so good!
It felt like the rest of my life was a dream and the only time I was awake while I was traveling. Rather than sleepwalking through another day and another week, I was inspired with every step, getting a cup of coffee was an adventure rather than a reflex. Even the fail was part of the adventure, actually especially the fail!
It remains to be seen, will I grow jaded of travel?
Time will tell, but it will be a life lived.