What does life truly mean to you? What is your purpose? How will you choose to live?
Did you know, you can quit your job, you can leave university? You aren’t legally required to have a degree, it’s a social pressure and expectation, not the law, and no one is holding a gun to your head. You can sell your house, you can give up your apartment, you can even sell your vehicle, and your things that are mostly unnecessary. You can see the world on a minimum wage salary, despite the persisting myth, you do not need a high paying job. You can leave your friends (if they’re true friends they’ll forgive you, and you’ll still be friends) and make new ones on the road. You can leave your family. You can depart from your hometown, your country, your culture, and everything you know. You can sacrifice. You can give up your $5.00 a cup of morning coffee, you can give up air conditioning, frequent consumption of new products. You can give up eating out at restaurants and prepare affordable meals at home, and eat the leftovers too, instead of throwing them away. You can give up cable TV, Internet even. This list is endless. You can sacrifice climbing up in the hierarchy of careers. You can buck tradition and others’ expectations of you. You can triumph over your fears, by conquering your mind. You can take risks. And most of all, you can travel. You just don’t want it enough. You want a degree or a well-paying job or to stay in your comfort zone more. This is fine, if it’s what your heart desires most, but please don’t envy me and tell me you can’t travel. You’re not in a famine, in a desert, in a third world country, with five malnourished children to feed. You live in a first world country. You have a roof over your head, and food on your plate. You probably own luxuries like a cellphone and a computer. You can afford the $3.00 a night guest houses of India, the $0.10 fresh baked breakfasts of Morocco, because if you can afford to live in a first world country, you can certainly afford to travel in third world countries, you can probably even afford to travel in a first world country. So please say to me, “I want to travel, but other things are more important to me and I’m putting them first”, not, “I’m dying to travel, but I can’t”, because I have yet to have someone say they can’t, who truly can’t. You can, however, only live once, and for me, the enrichment of the soul that comes from seeing the world is worth more than a degree that could bring me in a bigger paycheck, or material wealth, or pleasing society. Of course, you must choose for yourself, follow your heart’s truest desires, but know that you can travel, you’re only making excuses for why you can’t. And if it makes any difference, I have never met anyone who has quit their job, left school, given up their life at home, to see the world, and regretted it. None. Only people who have grown old and regretted never traveling, who have regretted focusing too much on money and superficial success, who have realized too late that there is so much more to living than what we too often drown our attention in.
All of high school has been a constant journey to finding myself and what I wanted to study in post secondary which would dictate the career I take on in my life. But I’ve been slowly realizing that there is so much more to life than this search for a stable secure source of income. Yes, we strive to reach for something that feeds our passion, but why do we do it? For the money. In order so we can live life because the only way of living life is by having money to do so. But we get by no matter what. Our parents did it, so we can do it too. My parents have never been “rich” and they didn’t spend their whole life getting to where they are now- I am sure they had other plans, other aspirations, other passions that they were not able to get to. But they are still happy, they lived life and they are managing to get by and support four kids at the same time.
I always watch movies, and I see all these exotic places and I always have an immense desire to see all the beauties of the world. But we restrict ourselves from following our passion towards seeing the world because we think it is somehow going to put a toll on our whole lives. Some of the happiest times in my life have come from my visits to places that I am not use to; I visited San Francisco twice, and I fell in love with the city life. Seeing new things and being able to breathe in a different life for even as short as 5 minutes was the best feeling in the world. I have accepted now that there are no limits in the world, and that anything can be attained once a mind has been set to it. The world is limitless. I am limitless.
I will travel, and I will go out an see the world and taste, smell, and feel all the different cultures of the world. And although I say this now- that a degree or what not isn’t necessary, I will admit that I am not one to follow my own words. I still fear a future without an education, even though I know that travel is a gate to learning, I still will follow the route of post-secondary after high school. But I will not dismiss my dream of travel. I have made a promise to myself to go out there and see the world because I do not want to end up as someone who regrets not being able to experience the fullness of life. I don’t ever want to be left guessing what else there is out there for me because if there is something that I need to see, I will go and find it.