For years and years, I found myself struggling with the future, not having any idea of what I wanted to do with my life.
But soon enough, I figured out what it was that I wanted. I wanted to travel. I wanted to live a life true to myself.
I was tired of being told what I can and can’t do. I went against the norms and went after what I wanted. I have to say that I’m glad I failed school. It gave me the perfect opportunity to go and experience something that I ended up truly loving, which was travelling around the world on a tight budget and backpack, interacting with the many locals and travellers and seeing how I fit among them, which is in and of itself a wonderful, enriching experience that I can never be more grateful for. I found my share of freedom. Though to this day, my task still remains unfinished. I still have a lot of the world left to cover, and despite that, I’ve also come to understand that travelling should not be the only goal. While it has helped open my heart and mind to new cultures and customs, and has awakened me to much more of what is out there, it has been an essential prerequisite in carrying out further, more important goals, such as helping people find their own fulfilment when it comes to travel. When I see and speak to many faces, those of who travel alongside me and those who don’t, but struggle with poverty, homelessness or even people who have many expensive material possessions but have always felt like they had something missing from their lives, I have learnt that down to the core, we are all incredibly alike when it comes to the things that matter the most. As human beings, we want nothing more than to be loved, to be accepted, and to be truly and deeply fulfilled.
I used to believe that my dream was impossible, thanks to the influence of society and those who believe said dream is unrealistic. Of course the most “realistic” life goal nowadays is getting yourself a degree, a good career with solid income, a nice fancy car and a house with a wife and four kids. The truth is this lifestyle is not for everyone. What some people find fulfilling, others do not, and I have learnt this by being part of both paradigms. Sure, these things are wonderful to have, especially a family, but some people do not find true fulfilment in the traditional way of life. People feel pressured into this lifestyle out of fear of not having a stable life, which is drilled into us from our early ages. For the record, stability in life is something that is never guaranteed, so living in fear of this is not only pointless, it takes away your desire to fulfil yourself.
I am of the opinion that it is best to pursue your ultimate dreams while you are still young, happy and healthy. There is plenty of time to figure out how you’re going to settle if you want to. In some cases, people never settle. Your life is what you make it; you’re not required to live by anyone else’s standards. But until that time comes to settle, regardless of whether it’ll be in ten years or fifty years, take the journey slow and don’t rush. Enjoy the present moment. It’s all we have. Personally, I think I will end up settling at some point, but not at any time soon. I know I will settle when I’m ready and when it feels right.
I got to travel because that’s exactly what I chose to pursue with the money I had saved instead of putting it towards things that I considered unnecessary. The less stuff you own and the less bills you have to pay, the more free you are to live the life you want. There are many ways to support yourself while travelling, and such a lifestyle can often be cheaper than what you would pay living a settled life. I’m perfectly content as is, and I’m not going to spend any unnecessary time worrying about a traditional future that might not even guarantee me my stability. My parents lost their home to the bank because we couldn’t afford to pay it off (and because of a few other circumstances), and as an unfortunate result, they are now divorced. Anything can be taken away from you, but when you have nothing to begin with, you have nothing to lose.
Live in the now, and go after what you want, because you may not get another chance to do it. With proper dedication, you will achieve the life of your dreams and learn many things of value while you’re at it. The possibilities are endless.