Yes, like almost everyone on the planet, I would like to travel around the world forever. I would feel so free, and my life would be meaningful and it would be awesome. I could sell everything I own, pack only a carry-on and hit the road. But that’s not me. And I don’t even want to. Let me explain why I don’t want to quit my job and leave everything for a couple of years to travel around the world.
#1 I want to travel the world. I want to see every single country on the planet, every corner and experience every culture. I love to travel. So why do it for a couple of years and then stop? Or almost stop? I want to keep the fun coming! I want to anticipate the next destination! I want to dream of leaving… because that’s fun too!! For me, traveling is a way of life, not a project to get over with eventually.
#2 Now let’s say I sell everything I own and leave to travel around the world. Tell me: how long do people do that? A year? Two or three? Five? Eventually you have to settle somewhere. Unless you’re a real nomad, but then I feel sad for you because growing roots help facing life’s storms.
So why sell everything if I have to buy them again? I have friends who sold everything they owned, lived in Costa Rica for a couple of years. But then their plans changed, and they came back to Canada. They had to buy lots of new stuff because they had to start from scratch. They told me they wished they had at least stored their furniture and belongings.
I want to be clear here: yes, I like my house, my furniture and the things I own. But that’s not the reason why I don’t want to sell everything. I’m just being practical here. I would come back and want what I have now. So forget the trouble and keep it.
#3 I like my job. No, it’s not a dream job, but it’s a good job. So since I would eventually come back and have to buy new stuff again (because of reason 2), I would need a job! So I’m going to keep the one I have, and my benefits too.
#4 I have a lot of friends, and I love them. I have an amazing family, and I love them even more. Why would I keep myself from seeing them for a year or even more? Those are the people that make my life amazing and worth it. I know I would meet new people, but new friends don’t wake up in the middle of the night to help you. Real old friends do, and family too. Now that I have a baby girl, I want her to know her grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. Skype is fun and useful, but there’s nothing like a real tickling session!
#5 I’m a Canadian, and we have a good health system in Canada. The odds of me or one of my family members getting sick are very high, since everyone one day get sick. And it’s not just getting sick anymore, it’s getting cancer or worse. So I want to keep my health coverage. And I want good health care too.
In my opinion, the only good moment in a lifetime to travel around the world for a year or more is after high school, before college, before marriage, before the first home, before the kids, before everything. When you have almost no strings attached. Or if you lose everything (your family, your friends, your belongings, etc.). Then it would be a chance to redefine who you are and what you want in life, to come back again or to grow roots somewhere else.
Maybe it’s fear that holds me back from leaving everything, or maybe wisdom of the days ahead, but I just don’t feel comfortable doing it. Even if it’s so popular and that everyone fantasize about doing it. I can get out of my comfort zone every time I go on a trip, I don’t have to leave everything! I will keep traveling around the world… a couple destinations at a time… to keep the fun going and going without ever stopping. And I will grow roots too, with the people I love.