Editor’s note: BootsnAll is kicking off a new community event today called 30 Days of Indie Art Project. For the entire month of April we’ll put a new prompt out each day, and we want you to participate! As editor of BootsnAll, I’m going to play along, too. Below is my response to the day 1 prompt, “How has travel changed your view of the world?”
That’s honestly the first thing that came to mind when I read the day 1 prompt of how travel has changed my view of the world.
It looks ridiculous at first glance. Travel has impacted me, my life, my relationships, and my “view of the world” in literally millions of different ways.
And that’s my first thought?
I know what you’re probably thinking, “Seriously? Be selfish? Isn’t that the opposite of how travel should change your world view?”
Why yes, yes it is. Travel has changed my view of the world in that way, too. I look at everything differently now. I don’t put a priority on stuff and money and defining myself by my career like so many others who live in a western, consumerist society.
But it kind of depends on how you define selfishness. Some might say that working 70-80 hours a week and never seeing your family is selfish. Some might say that accumulating stuff and spending all of your hard-earned money on even more stuff that you don’t really need is selfish.
What I mean by “Be selfish” is that travel has changed how I view life – the big picture of what life is all about.
Travel, and long-term travel in particular, completely changed the vision of how my life would turn out.
Like many in America, I always just assumed I would go the way of 99% of the populace – go to college, begin a career, get married, buy a house, have kids, watch them grow, then retire – then maybe I could travel and live the good life.
Then that fateful dog walk happened, my wife and I planned and went on a year-long trip, and my view of life changed forever.
While I’m not going to lie and say career and income is not important – it is, especially now since I am a father and have another life I’m responsible for. BUT my job and accumulating money is not the most important thing in my life.
The most important thing in my life is spending as much time as possible with those I love. It’s not getting that next promotion. It’s not getting that next raise. It’s not buying that new car. It’s not filling my house with new toys. Don’t get me wrong – I like all of those things – new job titles, more money, a nice car, fun toys.
But that isn’t what drives me in life.
What drives me is figuring out a way to spend more time with my wife and my son.
And travel is what taught me that.
Taking that year off in my early 30’s and spending it traveling the world with the person I love most was the best year of my life. And how we have lived since our trip is all about that – not necessarily traveling the world again (though that will certainly happen at some point) – but moving towards a lifestyle that is going to afford us the chance to spend as much time together as possible.
What does that look like?
Honestly, we’re still trying to figure that part out.
- It may just be that we both work from home and have more flexibility in our daily lives.
- It may be that we save our asses off, quit our jobs, and take this show on the road again, this time with kids in tow.
- It may mean we move to another country and culture where the pace of life is slower and the priority is spending time with family.
How has my view of the world changed because of travel?
It’s simple really. Travel has taught me that it’s okay to go after your dreams. It’s okay to “be selfish” and live the life you truly want to live, no matter what that life looks like. You don’t have to do what society tells you to do. You don’t have to live a certain life just because that’s what you’re supposed to do.
We only get one life here on Earth, and I think it’s perfectly okay to be selfish with that life.
Travel has taught me that you should go after those dreams, whatever those dreams may be.