LOL! This Is Gold.

My feelings (by that I mean pure jealousy) towards hot-shot bloggers who “travel”. Yeah yeah, they worked hard for it, too. Whatever.

WHY I QUIT MY JOB TO TRAVEL THE WORLD

On paper, my life seemed great. I had a dream job, a swanky apartment, and a loving girlfriend. But something was off. I couldn’t bear being chained to my desk in a stuffy office any longer. So I decided to quit and travel the world, bringing only my passport, a small backpack, and my enormous trust fund.

My co-workers were shocked. How could I so casually throw away everything I fought so hard to achieve? But I don’t expect everyone to “get” me. I’m a free spirit, whose father owns a South American rubber empire.

I set to work packing my bag and throwing out most of my possessions. Whatever didn’t bring me joy went straight in the trash. You don’t need to own a lot of “stuff” to be happy, especially when you can buy whatever you later realize that you need with your massive inheritance.

Then I reserved a business-class seat, sent a quick text message to my girlfriend telling her that I was leaving the country forever, and was off.

My first few months roaming the world were life-changing. Every day, I updated my Instagram with photos of my favorite sights: cones filled with scoops of glistening gelato; my hand lightly resting on a café table, near an early edition of “On the Road”; selfies of me hugging depressed tigers too stoned on sedatives to drown themselves. Still, I needed to see more. My wanderlust had turned me into a wanderslut.

As a citizen of the world, I rarely get lonely. Everywhere I go, I meet such diverse groups of people. In hostels, I’ve shared beers with friendly British and Australian twenty-somethings. In hotels, I’ve sipped wine with friendly British and Australian forty-somethings. We all became lifelong friends, despite the language barriers.

Once, outside the train station of a small fishing village, I met a humble man named Greebo who sold flowers and various cheap trinkets for a living. Unburdened by the trappings of modern life, his hospitality was unlike anything I’ve ever encountered in the States. Greebo was happy to open up to me about his life, as long as I kept buying roses. Intrigued by our easy chatter, some of his friends wandered over to join the conversation. All of our superficial differences soon melted away. Inside, we are just human beings, after all, exchanging a powerful global currency.

As I left town, I cast one final glance back at Greebo. One of his friends playfully tossed him to the ground and thumbed his eyes as the others snatched all the money I had given him. I couldn’t help but smile. It felt good to make a difference in the lives of these simple people.

Of course, this “no reservations” life style isn’t for everyone. In many ways, it’s harder than the old corporate grind. Many stores don’t accept my Centurion card. Sometimes it’s difficult to get even one bar of cell service, which makes Instagramming more gelato a real struggle.

But don’t worry about me! Whenever I start to get homesick, I remember the old rat race and shudder. All those bleary-eyed suckers packed into the subway, going to their lousy jobs, wasting their whole lives to afford useless things like “rent” and “health insurance” and “student-loan payments.”

That life style isn’t for me. Maybe I’m just a crazy dreamer who also gets a monthly no-strings-attached sixty thousand dollars deposited into my checking account, but I won’t be tied down so easily.

21 comments

  1. There’s nothing I hate more than a 9-5 job, living in stagnancy and paying bills and bills until death. But as much as I credit these ambitious people for dedicating their lives to travel the world, it’s something that not everybody can do. The majority of people aren’t privileged enough to do that. I think you need to find something that you’re passionate about and find where that fits into society before choosing to not work and travel. You can also find plenty of jobs that require a lot of traveling and incorporate both at the same time! :)

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    1. Of course, I agree. But the reason I find this humorous is because there are many Instagram famous travel bloggers who claim their travelling has been a life-changing experience when really, they’re just staying in hotels and doing cliche touristy things. As apposed to living and working with the people and learning their true and real ways. I guess for me, every-time I have traveled, it has been a real struggle. Because it’s not easy turning your entire life around and adapting to new culture, weather, food, people etc. etc. and some of these travel bloggers make it seem really easy and shallow. But life isn’t so black and white, there’s a lot of gray, too.

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  2. I don’t know. There’s something to be said for being a small-town yokel who has never visited the next state, let alone many miles outside to the nearest town. Blissful ignorance and naivete have a wonderful place of sometimes keeping people happy who might never know from wanderlust which never satisfies… Then again, see if I’d stick to a dreary job if I had never-ending daddybucks…

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  3. I would love to quit my job and roam around the world. If I was given the opportunity, I would do it. The problem is the debt that get accrued. Who can save up tons of money, but if you have nothing coming in, then who is paying for it? Traveling the world is great. Debt is not.

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      1. They tell me, “Hey! I traveled the world.” What they never figure out is how much the bill will be. I know many who are in extreme debt for doing exactly that. Your job may stink, but having no income is much worse.

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  4. Wonderful post.
    I don’t get how apparently so many people can become full-time travel bloggers, when even (non-blogging) freelance photographers struggle to make ends meet. Are there really that many people reading about the bloggers’ mundane adventures on the tourist path, the only difference being that they stay on it for years in different countries? If you have the time and means for long-term travel, why not at least veer off the beaten path (and no, visiting Arashiyama when in Kyoto does NOT count) or, better even, learn the language, volunteer, show us something about everyday life of the people, instead of tourist’s daily fare? And isn’t the main source of income the invariable product placements for backpacks and quick-drying underwear?
    However, I don’t quite agree on the “most people don’t have the money for that kind of thing”-part. My partner and I are full-time students, I work part-time for my old employer. During the past 3 years, we did 3 big trips (35-70 days) and are planning another one this summer.
    If I travelled alone – choosing Couchsurfing over cheap-ish double rooms, not trying to give my partner (and me) opportunities like trying kaiseki, onsen ryokan, Chinese National park entrance fees, hiring a car… – the money I saved would have lasted me at least 2 years on the road, judging from rtw blogs. Now, we don’t have any student loans, but we manage to live off 30% of my net income. Two people with full-time jobs should be able to save at least as much, regardless of other duties. So the slightly unnerving insistence of travel bloggers that “you can do it too!” might help people become aware of their unneccessary spending and at least save towards that lifelong goal of a spectacular second honeymoon trip -if one indeed harbours such dreams. I’m sure many people don’t even want to travel that much, even if they won the lottery they’d rather buy a house or something. Not sure why the gelato-posting crowd needs to tell them what’s lacking in their lives ;)

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  5. I wonder if folk who get to live off a ‘fund’ and don’t have to work to pay for things are ever really truly happy. YES! How could anyone not love being secure and not having to worry about the future. For the rest of us it’s s case do what you can. Take the little pleasures from what you have. Take pride in reaching the goals you set yourself, but don’t beat yourself up about them. Love long and, erm, perspire?

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    1. Yeah, I agree! I just don’t like how travel blogs who get paid shit loads of money to spend 2-3 days in a touristy place claim they’ve connected with the people or life-style because unless you actually live and work with them, you haven’t – well, you haven’t to the extent that some of them claim they have. Also, they make travelling seem so easy and care-free but it’s not easy. Like everything in life, it has its good and it has its bad. The latter of which they hardly talk about. So then people see their pictures and wish they were in their shoes or could travel there too but it’s not as easy as that. Ah, I’m just bitter lol

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