Photo by Gina Collechia
How many people do you think, right at this moment, are sitting in some job they hate and wishing they could just float away to a beach in Florida?
I was there once. I felt trapped by the requirements of keeping myself–and my young son–fed and sheltered, which seemed to outweigh my desire to go and see the world. I knew it was out there, and I knew that people like me, human beings with all or more of the same baggage potentially holding them back, were able to accomplish this dream, but I just couldn’t see far enough into the future to realize that I didn’t need the things I was holding onto for security.
A house, employment, a network of people living in the same neighborhood or town. Indeed, these were the very things holding me back from my goal of seeing the world.
It’s not really anyone’s fault to feel this way. We’re trained from an early age as to what our paths in life should generally resemble: graduate high school, on to college, nab a decent job, get the girl, the house, make the baby, repeat until retirement.
And of course, that’s a completely admirable way to go through life–if that’s the life you want. For me, it wasn’t.
I didn’t see the value in owning land that tied me to a specific place, and drained my wallet as quickly as I could fill it. I realized that the security of a paycheck was actually as vulnerable a position as I could place myself in, relying on someone else to continue to be willing to provide for me. As for friends and family, this was the hardest thing to say I was willing to leave behind, but the longer I’ve been doing this, the more I realize how precious these relationships are. I’ve discovered how much more value I place in the few relationships that have endured the years and what that means for who these people are to me, and who I am to them.
So I made a plan. It took some time. I had to shed the mortgage payment, quit my job, create my own revenue stream, convince those friends and family this was for the best. Before I could do any of that though, I had to convince myself that this was the best thing for me.
Several years later and I can honestly say that, while it hasn’t always been a scene out of Walter Mitty, it’s been a great adventure and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Over the next month, we’ll publish another step in the very same process I used to get myself out of the rat race and into my own personal little amazing race. We’ll cover the heavy hitters like how to choose the right travel lifestyle for yourself and how to make money while you travel, but we’ll also touch on the often overlooked: communicating this all to your friends and family, ditching excess, and even figuring out where you’ll go.
The first step that needs to happen though, above and beyond anything you can physically do to get yourself literally moving, is to make the decision that this is the right move for you, and that you’re okay with not being able to see full-time travel as a fruition today, but that it will be one day.