When I finished university lots of people were asking me what my next move was. Masters degree? Get a ‘professional job’? Figure out what I’m going to do for the next 50 years of my life? No thank you. I applaude people who know exactly what job they want to get and what they want to achieve from their career. I’ve just never been like that.
My family and friends were excited for me when I told them I wanted to travel. My older relatives thought I was brave and adventurous, I guess because people rarely did the backpacking thing when they were young so it seems like a big deal to them. However for my generation it’s a big step but the technology and transport that’s available to us makes it a million times easier.
I received confused responses more than negative. To fund my travels I worked in a coffee shop and got to know lots of our customers quite well. Many of them couldn’t understand why I wanted to ‘live’ out of my backpack and not just go away for a couple of weeks and come back to work. They didn’t grasp that going to work at the same place everyday, seeing the same people and same places would eventually drive me insaaaane. And I don’t need what I can’t fit in my bag. Some people love that life though. Everyone’s different.
For me it wasn’t just that I didn’t want to get stuck in a frustratingly dull daily routine for the rest of my life. I wanted to explore other people’s cultures, open my eyes and learn. I didn’t want to be that kind of person that lives in a small town for my whole life and ends up being arrogant and closed-minded through no fault of their own.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness” -Mark Twain
So am I running away from life just because I won’t be in one place for a length of time or have a long term job? No. Mine and lots of other people’s lives are just different. Doesn’t mean we are avoiding anything.
What I have realised recently is that when I do decide it’s time to stay in one place and have a long term job, I know that I will have to be doing something worthwhile, something that helps others. Any suggestions would be very welcome. But for now I’m happy just plodding along at my own pace going in whatever direction I want to.
Explore. Dream. Discover.