So, I’m looking to quit my mundane office job and go travel – maybe you are too? I started this blog to give me a reason to write, which forces me to plan and think about my escape!
Reasons for change in my life
- I work for a global company and like most office jobs it’s pointless; days are filled with monotonous meetings, PowerPoint and email. None of which produce an end product or help the company sell more stuff. Humans need meaning and modern-day work is nothing other than soul-destroying. The dissatisfying nature of work is the main driving force for my life change which wouldn’t be remedied by changing employer; being hunched over a computer screen all day isn’t normal, let alone healthy.
- My friends are mostly interested in drinking and watching football, an exciting weekend may involve going out for lunch/dinner. This isn’t unusual in London/UK where being a “foodie” is now a thing. People’s lives are so void of meaning that they consider eating food an activity. Other popular pastimes include gin drinking, growing a beard (assuming male gender) and binge-watching Netflix.
- Life is disappearing too quickly, whoever said “time flies when you’re having fun” got it the wrong way around. When weeks and months are so similar; weeks turn into months and months into years, quite often events I thought happened a year ago turn out to be 2 or 3 years past. Time slows down when you’re living a varied life with more experiences which would be remedied by travel.
- As much as London has to offer it can be a lonely place. I look around and see people glued to their phones with big headphones on, looking stressed or downright miserable. On the occasions I’ve said “good morning” to neighbours in my apartment building, people look back at you like you’re strange or sheepishly murmur a response while avoiding eye contact. I realise this isn’t unique to London and part of the modern antisocial society many of us now live in.
- What’s considered a normal existence feels flawed. We’re encouraged to consume more and as our consumption increases, we need a “better” job (with more stress) to feed our fix of new devices, clothes and holidays to post on Instagram. Just like any drug, the fix is temporary and this rinse and repeat cycle is expected up until retirement.
- I’ve been dating online for a couple of years and can only describe it as a train wreck. Going out on dates has never been easier, especially in London with such a large dating pool, but there’s the paradox; The Paradox of Choice. With so much choice comes the belief that the perfect soulmate is just around the corner and with so many options comes flakiness. Pre-internet dating when you got someone’s number, you were more likely to go on a few dates with the same person to see if you liked each other, now if there’s not an instant attraction, you go back to swiping – I admit to being part of the problem here. The best way out of this trap is to go out into the real world more and explore.
Reasons it could all go wrong
It can’t all be a bed of roses though, here’s what I think could go wrong:
- Boredom – that might sound crazy, how can you get bored being on holiday? The term in psychology is called “Hedonic adaptation” which is the phenonium of regressing back to your previous state of happiness. As an example, people who win the lottery tend to return to roughly their original level of happiness after the novelty of the win has worn off. Being on a tropical island with clear blue sea may seem wonderful for a couple of weeks but things would be different after several months as this new location becomes the new normal. I’m sure I’d get bored if all I was doing was sightseeing.
- Loneliness – we are social animals after all and I plan to travel alone.
I believe the key ways to counteract these potential issues are to travel with a purpose, exploring a country would be very nice but being able to learn while travelling adds another important dimension IMO. Some ideas I’ve had:
- Muay Thai in Thailand – I’ve done this before and it’s awesome
- Yoga / mindfulness in India
- Jujitsu in Brazil
- Surfing in Peru
- Freediving in the Philippines
There’s something intrinsically special about learning and improving your own abilities. Therefore, having activities to practise and improve while travelling on the open road gives you an opportunity to travel with purpose versus arriving somewhere new and just taking in the sights, moreover, there’s no better way to meet new people.
Anyway, these are my thoughts so far. It would be great to hear your thoughts/advise.