Somewhere on the internet, there is a gif about millennials that shows them yelling I QUIT at their boss and picking up their backpack to spend the rest of their lives as a “digital nomad” working their way from continent to continent. Well, it all does sound quite grand, doesn’t it: the idea of never being chained to an office desk again, free of responsibilities for mortgages or car loans, the hyperbolic announcement that you are your own boss, never to be at the mercy and authority of a lifeless middle-aged specimen again.
I have had my share of thoughts along these lines, times when I just wasn’t sure what my life was really about and I was plagued by this constant thought: there has to be more to life than this. That inevitable millennial crisis; a luxury my parents didn’t enjoy in their pursuit to provide a safe, secure future for their family. But my unassailable state of dissatisfaction with life’s travails hasn’t quite led to throwing in the towel and committing to a life living out a backpack on a beach and it’s been a conscious decision.
Read my article published on Matador Network to find the 4 reasons why I haven’t quit my job to travel the world. I detail why as seductive as the idea is, I haven’t succumbed yet and I believe it’s important to challenge the prevailing assumptions about travel as the cure for anything and everything.
I believe traveling is still crucial as life experience, but it is not THE only travel experience. I am saying that as someone who has grown up in 5 countries and has seen almost 50 countries. Traveling has been open-eyeing for me, and I truly believe it is possible to integrate it into your life in a more sustainable way without viewing a life on the road as the only antidote to your life’s troubles. It is so important to do the hard work of getting to the root of your troubles. Sometimes, lifting yourself out of your routines can help with that and Bali is as good a place to do that as anywhere else. But the lessons you learn out there are only as good as how they integrate back into the messy reality of your life.
You might be in that place in your life where you are just fed up with the way things are and are enticed by the 149th picture on your Instagram feed of someone humble-bragging about working on the beach. People will convince you that the courageous thing to do is to quit your job and take the leap. I have no doubt that takes courage but that is not the only thing that takes courage. It is equally courageous to stay, stop, reflect, fail, try again, improve, learn, invest, commit just where you are.
It doesn’t matter where or how far you go – the farther commonly the worse – the important thing is how alive you are.