Countless people seem to have this dream to, one day, quit their job, leave everything behind and see the World. I also want to see the World, travel to exotic places and experience life to its fullest but I don’t want to quit my life for this. Instead I want my life to be crafted around my wanderlust.
The most common reasons people don’t travel are fear based: The World is dangerous and bad things might happen in those foreign countries where people speak weird languages. Anyway, I can’t leave my job, I might not find another one.
Other common excuse to not travel is that it costs too much money. A big house, a big plasma tv, a big car… all those iDictions also do, but who’s counting?
And of course, travelling the World is for hippies! Normal people settle down, have kids, buy a house the can’t afford, have a job they hate to buy the iStuff the don’t really need…. and take occasional vacation. And it’s so great to be normal… maybe…
Well this is not me!
- I’m not scared, I already had my fare share of adventures and I have no intention to stop there.
- I don’t have debt to pay, no mortgage, no student debt, no loan to repay, none, zero, nada! I even have savings which would last me a pretty good amount of time if I wanted to move to Asia.
- I’m not making excuses, I’m not thinking: I’ll do that later, I’ll wait to be retired.
Let’s back up for a minute because it wasn’t always like that.
I did pack my suitcases and left everything behind more than once. My first big move was when I was a 21 years old math major and I left France to be an au pair in the US. I crossed the Atlantic ocean for the first time, and this experience was as exciting and fulfilling as it was difficult and painful. I packed everything again 3 years later to come back to France, and although it should have felt like coming home, I never felt as much as a stranger than back then, when I returned in my own country.
That’s just one example, but looking back I had a clear tendency to pack my suitcase and leave, everytime things weren’t going the way I wanted them to. The escape forward was my way to deal with issues. It worked wonders really! And I now recall more good times than bad.
After a few years in Paris where I caught up with my studies and with my Master degree from one of the biggest Business School in my pocket, I moved to Luxembourg to have a nice job with big responsibilities. When I moved to London a few years later, I recall cycling to work, crossing Tower Bridge and arriving in the City and thinking “Whao, how far you’ve come! You now work in one of the World’s biggest bank, in the City of London! So cool!!”.
If you are a full time traveller, you may think at this point: “well ok, you just don’t know what life is supposed to be. You got a big corporate job, earned lot’s of money and gave up your dreams to have a conventional life“. You are allowed to have this point of view, and I am allowed to disagree….
Fast-forward a bit, I now live in Luxembourg where I have the same type of job I used to have in London but as a consultant. I still love my job but I now have it, without the parts I didn’t like in the past, i.e. the long hours, the politics and so forth. As a consequence, I now enjoy a well balanced life where I have a fairly regular and confortable paycheck, with a good amount of free time which I use to travel of course but also to do all the other things I enjoy.
Because you see, I like to spend time at home.
Hang me for saying this on a a travel blog!! (Oh wait! Please actually don’t do that!)
Yes, I like to have a place to call home. I like to have a place where I can do all the other things I enjoy doing like drawing, painting, creating things, repairing things… I also like to read, walk in nature, learn new things, new skills, cook, have dinner with my family and friends, go shopping, go to museums, expositions and so many other things.
When travelling to some new places, I want to soak it all in. I want to see it all. It’s not the right time for me to start a new artistic projet. I’m not going to travel with my tools anyway although my Dremel or my watercolor, could technically fit in my suitcase, I don’t see the point.
When travelling, I’m focused on the experience. When I’m back home, I focus on the other things.
I now love leaving as much as I love coming back home. I love the unexpected as much as I love my routine at home. I love discovering new places as much as I love sitting on my sofa writing about them. And yes, in case, you wonder, I sleep much better in my own bed!
What I want and what I now have is a fulfilling life crafted around my passions which include travelling but are not limited to this.
What’s important to me is to enjoy every moment to its fullest.
And if you only remember one thing from this post it should be that the most important thing you can do for yourself, is to craft the life you really want. Not what others think it should be.
So maybe having a corporate job is right for you. Maybe having a house, kids and a conventional life is what you really, truly want. On the other end, maybe being a full time traveller is for you. Travelling is awesome, and I think everybody should travel. But no matter what path you chose, don’t just dream it, make it happen. It’s never too early, or too late. What’s important is to custom make your life to suit your needs, your dreams, your passions… which hopefully includes travelling 😉
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