Why... my first post

Jun 28, 2013


This is my first blog post and I have a truck load of topics to write about but the one that needs to come out first is “Why.” Specifically, “why the hell am I quitting my career where I make a good living and selling all of my possessions to travel the world?” The answer is pretty simple but how I got to it is a long story which I’ll go into some other time.

 The short answer is that I’m doing this because I don’t want to waste my youth. I’m sure we could all argue about what wasting your youth really means, but to me wasting youth means never taking the time to do the things you really want to while you’re young. I suppose the best way for me to describe this is to ask this question, “If you were lying on your death-bed at some ripe old age, what would you wish you had done more of?” The idea is to highlight the things you really want to do and what really brings fulfillment and happiness to your life. It’s hard to answer this question early in life because the whole premise is that you’ll have hind-sight but I guarantee that the last thing on my list will be “I wish I would have worked more” or “I wish I had played it safer.”  A woman named Bronnie Ware wrote a book titled “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departed” in which she outlines the top 5 regrets of people who are literally on their death-bed. Those regrets were as follows: 

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier.

None of these have anything to do with more work or more disciplined retirement planning or making fewer mistakes. I really like the first one the most. Too often people are living the life that they were taught was the life for them rather than the life that they really want. In other words, we are dutifully doing the things that we have been told will lead to happiness and success without considering what really makes us happy and enriches our lives. I spent a fair amount of time on that path and in my opinion, it’s not worth following or at least not worth following without a few detours.

I heard a great example of this mentality when a close friend said “I’m buying a house because it’s the next step in my life plan.” In other words, I’m buying a house because I’ve got the degree, I’ve got the job, and I was told the house comes next so… I bought one.  To me, this sounds absurd but I did the same thing. I got the degree, then the job, then the house and was settling in for a nice life of working hard and spending my weekends in the burbs. It took a big shock to the system but I quickly realized that I was doing what I thought people were supposed to do instead of what I wanted to do.  I was feeling content with the fact that I’d reached this point but I wasn’t truly happy and I constantly day dreamed about travels I’d had when I was younger (a mere 3 years earlier).

At some point I started to make a conscious change and once I got the ball rolling, I immediately felt more alive. Instead of following the “life plan” I had been sold on for so long, I was now headed into the unknown where that script didn’t exist. I felt as if I had been awoken from some sort of trance. I quickly realized that not knowing the twists and turns that life had in store is far better than having a map and following it to the end.

Anyway, the reason that I’m doing this is to live while I’m alive (thanks Bon Jovi) and I feel the most alive and happy when I’m traveling and seeing the world. Encountering the unexpected and taking a few chances are the things that make life the most fun. I can only hope that when I’m lying on my death bed I’ll have nothing to wish I had done more of because I’ve decided to start doing those things now.


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