Sorry for being such an inconsistent blogger lately! I find it difficult to write engaging posts for you when I’m home, spending most of my time working and saving for the next adventure (and it’s a big adventure). But being home and surrounded by family and friends brings with it a little bit of enlightenment, so I’ll likely be sharing some of that with you lately with more reflection posts rather than actual travel posts.
It’s a funny moment when you realize how differently you view the progression of your life compared to those around you. It’s exciting to think of all the different directions your life can take. It’s an overwhelming feeling when you realize that the whole world, in all its entirety, is just at the edge of your fingertips.
I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine who just could not understand how I could be content not knowing where my life would take me.
Don’t I worry about my future? She asked me.
What do you mean, you don’t know where you want to live? Don’t you want to be here, with the people you grew up with, where you were born?
Just last evening as I was discussing with my dad about why I was considering getting a third job – to simultaneously pay off student loans and save up for travel – he stopped, saying I made him think. About what? Oh, just about your future, he said. I’m not sure whether his thoughts were of worry or of excitement for me in all that I hope to accomplish with this life. Either way, he was uncertain.
All of these wonderful, supportive people in my life seem to worry silently about what I’m doing with my life and here I am, completely unperturbed. I used to worry, to stress over when I should start focusing on my career, when I would figure out where in the world I was meant to live but over the last year, that worry stopped. It was replaced with an absolute contentment and an insatiable excitement for my future.
I realized that many people make their life goals and decisions about career and home based on where they were born, where their family is, the profession that generations before them have been doing, the career that makes the big money. Here, we call it “the Alberta lifestyle” – big money from oil, big house close to family and friends, fancy car and big toys. It’s the Albertan dream and many of my friends and family desire that.
There’s nothing wrong with that desire, either. In fact, I envy them for their certainty, for their happiness in checking off the boxes: degree, career, house, family, money, 7-10 day vacation time each year. I started to explore that with myself even, to wonder whether I wanted that as well and just hadn’t stopped long enough to realize it. But the more I think about it and share my thoughts, the more I realize that that lifestyle couldn’t be farther away from what I want.
Traveling opens a whole new world of possibilities.
That one week vacation you can’t wait to take each year to that hot, tropical destination doesn’t have to be a once a year place. Who is telling us that that is all we deserve? Why can’t it be your norm? Why can’t you wake up to the sea at your toes every morning?
The answer is, it can. All of those things become more realistic the farther you get from the average.
What once seemed like nothing but a dream becomes a real option after experiencing it first hand. A lifetime living on an island sounds like a fantasy to those who have never had the chance to try it out but it can be a clear reality to those who have been able to live that, even for just a few months.
It’s not all sunshine and daisies though, it takes hard work. It takes courage to explain to people that this lifestyle just isn’t what you want for yourself. It’s even harder when you have to be careful not to offend them because the lifestyle you don’t want is the lifestyle they have and will have for the rest of their life.
But when you take the chance to travel – if you haven’t already – you’ll catch a glimpse of what I’m talking about. You’ll notice your idea of reality begin to change and you will realize that the whole world and all of the possibilities that it brings is truly right at your fingertips.
You just need to grab it.