The guy that “should” know better
“Craig, travelling for a year is awesome. 18 months is getting close to not being cool though. Once you’re at 2 years travelling and at your age, it kinda gets…well you know…and you should stop..” – a good friend of mine telling me “how it is”.
So it’s been 700 days since I left on a one-way ticket to Thailand and 2 years since I left my job. Apparently, by now I should be homesick. I should have figured out my life. I should have seen everything I wanted to see. I should be in my ideal job by now. I should be climbing up that joyous career ladder. I should have got tired of seeing so many incredible things. I should be settling down. I should be buying a house soon. I should be putting a ring on a lady’s finger. We should be considering getting a dog if we’re not sure on kids yet. I should be putting something into my retirement fund. I should be buying the latest games console with some stupid fucking frame rate as 3D died on its ass. I should be unlocking my phone with my face as that’s the new “in thing”. I should be happy with 14 days a year abroad. I know for a fact I should have purchased some bloody Bitcoin and not spent them like I did. I should also definitely buy some more boxer shorts as I’ve only had 3 pairs for the last 700 days of travelling. It turns out I should probably do a lot of things in life if you listen to people.
But then I look back to the last 700 days and just laugh at how I can quite happily know that this is what I should be doing. I’m living what was my dream for so long. To see the world and experience what it has to offer. How many people can say that? That they are doing what they actually want to be doing? Why should it end just because some people say it should?
Some of those think I’m all about travelling and that’s all I recommend to people and preach. No, I’m a firm believer in enjoying life, making the most of it and being happy. Life is too short to be doing something you truly hate. After nearly 2 years around the world, I still haven’t met someone who regretted travelling, so yes I think there is something in that and everyone should at least travel at some point in their lives. However, I just want people to make changes to their lives if they’re not happy. You should see my inbox, I get messages from people saying “I hate my job but should stick with it as the pay is good” and “I don’t want to be with my boyfriend/girlfriend anymore and feel trapped but it should hopefully get better”. Don’t be afraid to change things in your life, just because it against what “should” be done.
I was told by some I should have stopped after a few months of travel, that if I didn’t then I’d get bored of it. If I had listened I would have just purchased a house back in England and been miserable knowing that I stopped way too early and missed out on Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan and many other amazing countries and experiences. I was then told I should stop at a year as “that’s enough, that’s quite long enough”. But then I would have been back at square one, not knowing what I want to do career-wise and just taking a job my heart really wasn’t in, for what reason? Because I should. I would have missed out on Vietnam, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and others. Not to mention all the incredible people I have met in that time; some I’m sure are now friends for life. So when should I stop? When should I come back to England and “sort my life out”? Please send answers on a postcard addressed to the guy “who apparently should know better”.
In the meantime, I’m just going to sound out the “shoulds” and do what I think I should. Carry on living the way I want to live; experiencing new things, having this crazy adventure that will stay with me for the rest of my life (well until the Alzheimers kicks in), and yes working out many things on this crazy journey of mine as to what I’ll do career-wise. I’m sure I’ll end up eventually where I should, and if I don’t, then I’ve had a bloody good time getting there. If I retire when I’m 75, then that’s still roughly 16,000 days away. I’m sure a few more hundred days doing the things I “shouldn’t” be doing won’t hurt. The one thing I do know for sure though, I should probably buy some more boxer shorts.