“That cliff looks beautiful but are you even taking your vitamins?”
They were Travel bloggers. And they were fucking fascinating.
Jumping off of cliffs. Posting their videos from South America or Norway or wherever they seemingly wanted to be Traveling to. It looked so fun. They made little inspirational speeches about leaving their lives behind for travels. Exotic foods. Schools of fish. Meditating by the beach.
For a short while I bought into that. The fantasy of it all. The endless travel — of freelancing, reading the 4 or 6 or 8 (whatever) hour work week and bam I’d living a more fulfilling life. If only I could attain something just. like. that.
I’m glad I snapped out of it. Not because I like going to a somewhat Uninspiring Job every day. It’s actually the uninspiring job that reminds me why the just jump and figure it out as you go along model of being a 20-something in 2018 isn’t for me. And it’s not just that it doesn’t feel realistic, it actually just seems stupid.
These people that I used to watch, they never talked about money. They didn’t bring up how they were making it most of the time. And even if they did, they never highlighted the steps to get there. They skipped to the good stuff. The stuff that inspired you to click the little “like” button and then watch their next video.
I’m learning (slowly and awkwardly, but surely) that things move pretty slowly. Especially as a mid-20’s weirdo with a limited bank account and not exactly the most work experience yet. I highly value whatever work and money I get. And I stockpile all of that into what will hopefully be my next opportunity.
I’ll be straightforward: I have no clue what it’s like to quit everything and travel the world. Maybe that’s worked for you. Maybe that’s what you want to do more than anything in the world. That’s fine.
But I do know that it’s harder to dig your heels in and put in the work. To make my life less about escaping and more about investing. Not even just in the financial sense. Investing in myself. And that work feels more important than “traveling while I’m young”. I’m not even sure why travel is reserved for the young. We’re all in debt (like a lot of debt y’all) and it sounds like an excuse to sit and rot away the day after we turn 35.
The life I built isn’t wild or brave. And yeah, it’s pretty safe. But it’s also a foundation to something greater.
It’s a simpler today for a fuller tomorrow.
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The Case For Working Instead of Traveling. was originally published in The Ascent on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.