Don’t let the killjoys kill your travel buzz

Ride off into the sunset Ride off into the sunset - photo credit: hottestpictures.wordpress.com

There’s something I don’t understand, and if someone could explain it to me I’d really appreciate it. Whenever I read travel blogs, which is often, there’s always a story about a so-called friend or family member criticising them about their decision. What’s all that about? Sorry for going on the adventure of a lifetime…jealous much! And there’s always one particular theme in the criticisms from these shortsighted killjoys that confuses me:

“What are you trying to escape from?”, “Why are you running away?”, “You should get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids, blah, blah, blah?”.

If you ask me these questions are from people who clearly haven’t thought things through. After all, who the hell do these people think they are to presume they know the definition of reality. If some of the great thinkers of ancient and modern times such as Aristotle, Plato, Frege, Wittgenstein, and Russell can’t come up with a common definition of ‘reality’, ‘existence’ and ‘truth’, then where the hell do these people get off having a crack at travellers about these exact topics.

At this point I’d like to come clean with this disclaimer – I have not had one person be anything less than supportive of what we’re doing. In fact, when we tell family, friends and anyone else who will listen that we’re off on the nomadic adventure of a lifetime with no end date in sight, all of a sudden they get excited and admit how they wished they’d done the same thing, or how much they want to do something similar in the future. Sure we’ve been told a few horror stories along the way, but even then it’s simply people showing concern for our wellbeing, and in the next breath telling us how great they think our decision is.

For what it’s worth, I think reality is anything that’s actually going on anywhere in the world, at any time, whether we’re there or not. It seems to me that our shortsighted killjoys think reality is only what happens in their own tiny worlds. And given what common societal norms suggests our tiny worlds should be (graduate from uni, dive head long into a career in a cubicle somewhere, get married, have kids, buy a house, go on a packaged up two-week holiday once a year, blah, blah, blah), then who wouldn’t want to escape!!! Here’s the weekly schedule of what my life used to be:

MONDAY-FRIDAY

7-8.30am: Get up, breakfast, shower, dressed, in the car for the 45 minute journey in traffic to get to the office

8.30am-5.30pm: Sit at my desk, escape for an hour sometime during the day to grab a bite to eat at a nearby cafe or in the staff common area

5.30-10.30pm: Drive 45 minutes home in traffic, cook dinner, sit in front of the TV, surf the net, go to bed

SATURDAY

Daytime: Get up, breakfast, shower, dressed, go somewhere and play soccer for my club, come home, dinner

Nighttime: Go out, get drunk, stumble home

SUNDAY

Daytime: Wake up, feel like crap all day, watch a movie, eat crappy food, have an afternoon nap

Nighttime: Watch crappy TV, go to bed

Of course you can add in a few sessions in the gym, maybe a movie, a visit to a restaurant, walk the dog, you get my drift. The point is, while it’s not the worst life in the world, it’s not particularly exciting either is it? First world problems sure, but it’s all relative!

If you ask me, that schedule is NOT reality. That is an insular world where every week is pretty much the same, oblivious to what’s going on in the big wide world. Reality is going out and exploring this big beautiful world of ours, learning about different new cultures, meeting new people, discovering who you are and what makes you tick as a person.

I had, and still have some, of those societal norms. I got a degree, started a career, got married, bought a house, had a child, but it wasn’t enough. I’m still happily married, still got a great kid, still have a degree and still have my house, but I didn’t need the career right now. I can always get a job if and when I return to Melbourne some time down the track. And I think that’s what most people are afraid of when it comes to making the decision to travel…”I can’t walk away from my career, I’ve worked so hard to get to this point, what if I can’t get a job when I come back?”.

My answer to that…we just don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, so go out and live life to the fullest now. Don’t wait for retirement, the reality is a lot of us won’t actually make it that far! Ignore the shortsighted killjoys, they really have no idea what they’re talking about. You do what feels right for you, because only that way will you be truly happy with your life.

4 Comments on Don’t let the killjoys kill your travel buzz

  1. We only went for 5 months. And people still thought we were crazy, I even turned down an extended contract, my boss just did not get it. Best thing we have ever done. The next one will be an extended trip with no end date in sight. In the meantime, we downshifted careers to do jobs we love that help others, and have lots of short trips to feed the travel bug.

    • We’ve only been on the road a week and it’s firmed in our minds what a great decision we’ve made. I also think we’ll return whenever knowing exactly how we want to live the rest of our days.

  2. I agree in principle, but warn that it gets taken too much the other way too. I’ve seen too many travel posts that smack of “glad I’m not one of those poor saps drugging away 9-5.” Somebody has to design and make the iPhones, boats, cars we use, grow the food, etc. There’s nothing ignoble about raising a family in the burbs. It’s really all about personal choice. However we choose, there will be sacrifices–some we realize and some we don’t. (Yet).

    • Absolutely 100% agree with everything you said. It’s just not for us right now. But who knows what we may want to do upon our return, this is part of the reason why we’re doing this, to work out exactly how we want to spend the rest of our days.

1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. It's ok to be selfish - Travelling Apples

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: