I’ve set a date for myself – next March, where I will quit my work one month before, and travel the world til my passport expires, which is about 19 months later. I’ve been dreaming of this for a long time, and there were a few nagging doubts that stopped me from acting, namely:
1. Am I doing this to run away from real life?
2. What the fuck am I going to do once I finish traveling? I will have a gaping hole in my resume and with whatever limited work experience I have, I’ll probably be down the career path to nowhere, if I am able to even find a job.
3. How do I tell my parents that I want to do this?
4. Do I have the money to do this? What will I do when the money runs out?
5. Do I really want to travel long term for a few years? I’ve only been on relatively short trips, but I know that long term traveling is a totally different game.
The push factor for me was how unhappy I’ve become since I quit my previous job at PG in June. I thought that by going to AA for a new role, I’d be rejuvenated. On hindsight now, I know that I was lying to myself. Yes, I recognised that I needed a change, as I was deviating further and further from what I wanted to achieve career-wise. However, I just grabbed the very first opportunity I could find, while knowing fully that it would be a case of same shit different place. It’s gotten increasingly difficult to stay sane over the last few months, and I’ve come up with a rebuttal for every of the above points.
1. I don’t think I’m running away from real life. Right now, I don’t have any motivation driving me to do my best at work, and I feel sorry for my colleagues who have to put up with this sub-par version of me because I just cannot bring myself to try hard. Maybe it’s a matter of willpower, but work is really sapping the life out of me right now. I’m running towards something that inspires me, and I don’t think that work defines real life.
2. Honestly, I have no idea what is going to happen once I embark on this journey. It might end after a few months if I don’t like it, it might last longer if I fall in love with this lifestyle. All I know is that by continuing on my current path, I’m headed to a life of non-achievement and unhappiness. But if I choose to live my dream, there is hope that I might stumble on something I am passionate about and can make a living from. As cliche as it is, nothing happens within your comfort zone. I’m at a very comfortable position right now but it is messing with my mind because I know it is leading to nowhere.3. I know that my parents won’t say no. They might be worried, but once again, as cliche as it is, this is my one and only life. I know that they can well support themselves and am fortunate enough to not have to worry about them.
4. Logically speaking, with my current savings, I have enough to travel for 8 to 10 years, on a decent budget. No money is not an excuse. And if I were to continue working at jobs like my current role, I am in no way going to get rich, or even earn enough to buy a house. And I know I’ll deeply regret not living this dream, and no amount of money can make up for it or buy the time/opportunity to do it once I get older and saddled with more responsibilities.
5. Once again, it is a big I don’t know if I really want to do it. I know I do want to see the world, and it actually makes a lot more sense to do it all at one shot, both in terms of budget and time, when I’m young and have the energy. Might get a little comfortable, might not “find myself” but that is not what I’m out for. One of the reasons I need to get out of this rut is that it is making me binge out of boredom and lack of stimulation. Based on my past experience, my bad habits only go away when I’m traveling, because I feel like I’m constantly stimulated or learning something, either about myself or my surroundings. I also would like to learn how to live life in the slow lane, and probably can learn it while traveling long term.
So now that I have this down, I should probably put my heart and soul into planning this trip. Work has sucked so much life out of me that I can’t even get excited about this, and this jadedness/ numbness scares me. I have a vague idea of the countries I’d like to see in this first round of traveling, but the inner obsessive planner in me would like to sketch the details out a little more than just “countries I’d like to see”.