“Not all those who wander are lost”
…We trot the world with purpose. But before all the heart-stopping adventures, the unforgettable moments, the witnessing of hundreds and thousands of beautiful sunsets, the conquering of the most challenging of mountains, the endless bathing under the sun, the incomparable laughter, the awestruck faces after seeing something amazing, the long hours spent in a bus or a plane or a ship – Before all that, a decision had to be made. A choice had to be taken. The kind that would make or break us. A choice that would define who we are. A choice that would change our lives forever.
For some it was just easy to pack up and leave everything behind – their jobs, their families or their pets. In just a snap they are already boarded on a plane to Europe with no plans of going back anytime soon. But for others, it can really be a pain in the ass. A lot of things have to be considered. Too many nights have to be spent wondering, asking “What If?” Days could really become a challenge weighing every option there is. It could really be mindblowing to find answers to never ending questions. And just when you thought you’ve got it all figured out, another one would come up that could use up all the energy, leaving you limp and helpless.
And that’s where I’m at right now…
Within me is a battle. I’m stuck not just with questions but that curiosity that consumes me ever slowly. Why does it seem so easy for them, like a walk in the park while it seems like a jump in an abyss for me. Is it because they’ve got more resources and mine is limited? Or are they just brave to take that leap forward and I have cold feet? This and a whole lot of other things is taking up so much space in my brain. I know it’s kinda hard to understand so why don’t I give you a glimpse of my dilemma.
If I choose to travel…
I WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE MY JOB. That’s the first thing I will need to do. I don’t know for some but for me this probably is the most difficult. It takes years of hardwork to build a strong career and I would be insane to throw it out of the window just like that. It’s not like I can be gone for several months and then get my job back and get the same amount of paycheck – If.I.ever.go.back… The thing with traveling is that when it bit you, there is no turning back, there’s no stopping and your life would be a series of roadtrips. And if ever I decide to go back, would I be able to start over from scratch? Would I be able to stomach a meager salary? Heck No!
WOULD I BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN MY TRAVELING EXPENSES? How long do I have to spend preparing myself financially? A month. A year. It’s not like I can save all my money up in the bank. I got bills. I have needs. My parents can sometimes use a little hand… And how much do I need to get started? A hundred thousand perhaps. How far will it take me? Could I roam all of Asia with that amount of money? And when it’s all gone, what do I do next?
HOW WOULD I BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN MY LIFE ON THE ROAD? Should I take up parttime jobs overseas or other provinces? What kind of job will I do? I’ve read an article which listed jobs that travelers could do while on the road but none of those suit me. Should I go on further studies to acquire those skills? Puff. This is getting exasperating. Some say I could make money blogging but this too is not easy. It takes years to build an audience and it’s not like I would get paid enough to fuel my next adventure instantly. If I would choose to leave everything behind and make traveling my life, I would have to find a way to fend for myself while away from the comforts of the four walls of my apartment.
HOW MANY YEARS OF MY LIFE WILL BE SPENT TRAVELING? A year or two perhaps. Will that be enough? Will I ever learn to stop. When? I am 27 and I am not getting any younger. As much as I love to travel, I am just a normal person who also dreams to settle down and have a family one day. But when will that be? Traveling makes it hard for me to foresee myself ever having a family. It’s not a matter of where, how or to whom but a profoundly impossible when.
If I choose to give up traveling…
WHAT’S GONNA BE MY PURPOSE in this hopeless world? If my empty brain gets nothing other than what’s on that idiot box, what is there for me to write about? How can I make a difference if I got nothing special up my sleeves? If just like anybody else, I am totally trapped in an endless mundane of being an average human, afraid to make herself count, what good could come from it? Besides, would I be able to sleep at night until my dying days knowing I’ve given up and let go of the only thing I wanted in life? I don’t wanna live in regret so no this is absolutely not an option for me.
If I choose to keep my career while I travel…
I HAVE MY JOB. I have the money to provide food on the table and pay the rent to keep the roof over my head. I can always provide my family assistance. I need not worry about anything except how and when do I travel and where and how much money should be spent and how long can I be gone? The thing about keeping my job is that I can’t always travel. I have to settle for 3-4 major travels in a year. And when I say major, I can only be gone for a week. Or if I want it often, I have to settle for the weekends and then prepare my body physically and mentally for another week’s work. Everything has to be carefully planned like plotting an assassination of the president. Every detail has to be on point cause one mishap could ruin it all. I can’t book flights right away if there are seat sales cause I have to file for a leave first. And what if it does not get approved? I have to spend days to get me rid of frustrations and disappointment which could sometimes affect my performance at work, worse be that monster nobody wants to work with. And if ever good heavens is on my side and my vacation leave gets approved, that’s when I wait for seat sales but what if none comes along? Then I will have to settle for a more expensive airfare or go for an alternative destination which doesn’t require flying, both are obviously not in my favor but will have to do. I probably have to become a master planner in order to survive this kind of life. If I choose to keep both my career and travel, will I ever be satisfied with being on the road only on weekends? Will it be enough to scratch away the itch.. Or will it instead unleash the beast in me who is ever thirsty for adventures and discovering something new?
As people often say “If there is a will, there is always a way.” I might have been just making excuses cause I am afraid to get out of my comfort zone. Perhaps I’m too much of a coward to completely let go and venture into the unknown. Part of me still aches for that familiarity I have known all my life while I’m embarked into unfamiliar journeys, just like my comfy bed that I look forward to after spending days sleeping in tents or hammocks or in moving buses. One day I will get this all figured out for good and maybe, just maybe, I need not to choose or choosing one would not mean a great sacrifice.
***I know many people can relate to this or is in the same exact boat as me. You can shoot me a message to share your insights. I might learn from them and eventually, I will figure out what to do. Please don’t forget to share this awesome people.