I live a very simple life. I have very few needs, in fact the lap top I’m currently typing this on marks the single most significant purchase of my entire life. And while I do not regret the purchase, the money it cost to acquire it is directly linked to hours of my life that I will never get back. That is always such an interesting thought to me. Ive equated roughly 90 hours of my life to be worth a lap top. Which doesn’t sound nearly as bad as the price tag did. I stop and think about the things I’ve spent my time on, and how rarely I have anything to show for it. A lap top doesn’t sound like such a bad end result.
But this lap top represents something bigger than that for me. I accomplished a goal. I did the research, determined what I wanted, put in the time, saved what I needed to in order to reach my goal and ultimately achieved what I set out to. The reality is my life was becoming void of goals. Disappearing in the every day monotony was the spontaneity that makes each day unique. Every day was fixed, and while routine is not necessarily a bad thing. Far too often for me it leads to complacency, a restlessness that won’t subside until I incorporate some challenge into my every day routine.
Most days I settle for that challenge being the internal battle I face each morning as I walk past the donut shop on my way to work. I can feel those sugar glazed pastries tugging at my heart strings with each passing step. Beaconing for my embrace. Most days I garner enough will power to withstand the full frontal assault those fluffy bastards confront me with. However, today was not one of those days. On this morning those cylindrical diabetes machines were met with meager resistance, as I found myself on the ass end of a maple Long John before I even exited the building.
But this wasn’t going to be enough, not even close. I don’t need to bore you with too much of the past. Not right up front anyway. We all spend too much time looking that direction anyway. This is about the future. And it all started with a simple question. But before I hit you with that I feel obliged to set the stage for you. I’m 26 years old, and I’m the manager of a pet nutrition store. I thoroughly enjoy my job. I get to educate people about nutrition for their four legged family members. And play with dogs all day. So the following is in no way an indictment on my work. But a yearning that won’t be satisfied unless I accomplish my goal.
For as long as I can remember I have loved to travel. The uncertainty that comes along with moving somewhere new is exhilarating. And a little frightening. But doing things that scare you is good for the soul. I have no science to support that statement, its simply what I believe. My moves, and travel have never been very structured. On multiple occasions I lived in one city on Monday and a different city on Tuesday with absolutely no planning in-between. And while it can be fun, it is not the most effective manner of relocation.
So lets bring all this aimless rambling to a head. What happened to that simple question I spoke of earlier? Well I choose to believe its best told in story form…. Or maybe it’s just more fun to tell in story form… Or maybe I’m just an egotistical maniac and choose to believe that my stories are worth telling, and more so worth hearing. And there we have it. The cold hard truth. Whatever the reason. The story begins.
The day started much like any other. Alarm 5:00 AM, followed by misguided anger at my phone as if it chose what time it would sound. The eyes open begrudgingly, and as much as I choose to believe I’m pleasant in the morning my dog may say otherwise. But like most dogs, he lacks the ability to construct coherent sentences, so his opinion is what I say it is. But nonetheless we go on our morning walk, the crisp early morning air is rather refreshing. The quiet at this hour provides a sense of peace rarely felt with the speed at which the rest of the world moves. So I embrace each of these mornings. Finding solace in the stillness. A short jog to the gym where I attempt to reverse the affects of the previous days lack of will power. Jog back home, and then its off to work. Like so many days before, this had been the routine for over a year now. But today would be different. Not in the outcome or the routine, but in my perspective.
My Assistant Manager and I have a healthy working relationship. Excellent compared to some of the places I have worked. In fact everyone I work with is unusually pleasant to be around. Which in a customer driven service industry is a good problem to have. It was an average Thursday for us. When the question arose that changed this entire day, and set in motion the plan of action that currently guides me. She straightened up a shelf wiped down the counter and asked “So, are you going to be leaving us soon, or is this what you want to do?” The audacity to ask me such an invasive question. Who did she think she was? To think I had answers to such questions. I didn’t. I had absolutely no idea how to answer that question. And as is the case with most people faced with a question with such an elusive answer. The only thing to do is get introspective.
The common theme for a lot of “I’ve got to get out and see the world” is an essence of malcontent. But I don’t have that. I thoroughly enjoy life. And while it may not be incredibly exciting. I have been blessed with things a lot of people could only dream of. So the decision I ultimately arrived at was born out of simple desire, nothing more.
There are things in life we regret doing, as well as things in life we regret not doing. My decision was ultimately to not let this become something I regretted not doing. So what was the decision. How was I going to satisfy my burning desire to see other parts of the world. One of my best friends has spent a lot of time abroad. Her ability to turn a dream into reality is nothing short of spectacular. And so the answer was simply don’t give up. Don’t take no for an answer. And so I have dedicated my time and resources entirely to the pursuit of spending at least one year living in another part of the world.
On September 8th, 2017 I began a 14 month lease at my current residence, giving myself exactly 13 more months to prepare. Unlike my previous ventures to different locales. This one is going to be planned, and organized in such a manner as to give myself the best opportunity to make the most of this journey.
We all have a story to tell. We all have a destination that one way or another we are going to arrive at. I made this blog to share my journey, to share my excitement in attempting to accomplish something that so many people have a passion for. Because theres a level of accountability that comes along with putting words on paper. And things feel more real when they’re shared with more than just yourself.
So I’ll share pieces of myself as we take this journey together. And hopefully, every once in awhile I will say something worth reading. Every day is a journey, with different twists and turns. Our ability to navigate those turns is what determines our success or failure. So welcome, to my story.