I’m thinking that to those looking in from the outside, the decision to pack up life into a 4×4 and head cross-country with no return ticket may seem slightly reckless and counterproductive against most peoples’ gauge of normality.
This is exactly the journey that my partner Kim and I have been on for the last nearly two years. I’ve simply got a burning desire to be on the move, to breathe new air and meet new people. We both do.
Walking away from a good job, closing down a profitable business, packing up a lovely house, giving away belongings and venturing far away from family and friends. These seem like the actions of the deranged or litigated, not that of two healthy young folk of sound mind. It suits us, however, and a change is as good as a holiday, they say.
Other than excitement, the most common response that I have encountered from people who learn about this new direction of ours, has been that of worry. People seem to worry that we haven’t considered the implications of what they perceived to be our ‘giving up’ or ‘losing out’ on a stable life. They seem to worry that if we jumped off the ‘building a future’ treadmill now, how would we ever get ‘ahead’ again.
Stability, routine and a secure future. For me, these ideas are fluid – things that are fundamentally important but aren’t necessarily limited to a time and place. They develop and evolve depending on what chapter of your story you happen to be living in. Each is a part of the bigger picture, and to me, it is the colourful nature of the people and places evolving before your eyes that makes life such a thrilling ride.
“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon – John Krakauer”
So many people desire to diversify their life experience, to change things up and learn to do something new that thrills them. The stumbling block is having the confidence to throw caution to the wind and know that all the dots will join up farther down the road. Even if they join up into a picture which is not what you thought it would be, not the future you were told you needed, remember that it will still be one of your own design based on your decisions and choices. Tailored to your strengths, needs, and passions. A real-life ‘Choose your own adventure’.
I’ve always been thrilled by new momentum, constantly darting around trying my hand at various jobs, lifestyles, cities, towns, modes of transports and countless other adventurous pursuits.
Doing the same thing year in year out suits some folks, but for me, the idea is anything but attractive. Some folks are made to stick to one thing and perfect it, but some of have potential and energy for a multitude of pursuits, and I believe in embracing this. Don’t force a rectangular peg into a round hole man, and don’t bother trying to fence me in.
Diversity makes life the adventure that it is – a diversity of ideas, of experiences and knowledge. Not that of university scholars, not specialist knowledge – this has its place also – but I am speaking of a broad and learned approach to the human race, born through tolerance and being able to walk in the shoes of others.
If you want to learn about a place and its culture, take the time to meet its people and actively listen, letting them show you what life looks like on their home turf. Experiences like this will always have a grounding effect on your own outlook on life, especially when you head home. It has been said that life is like a book, and those that don’t travel have only read the first page.
Now, if this sounds like the kind of adventure that would work for you, ask yourself what’s stopping you from having a crack? Throw off the ropes and let the fresh air fill your sails!
If you are curious about any of the planning and logistics of a trip like the one we have been on, feel free to drop me a line at Matt@lastxplorer.com and I’ll see if I can help answer any questions.