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I think there’s a war raging somewhere on the internet between travellers. I’ve seen a few updates appearing in my Facebook feed alluding to it. People are upset with those who preach the “quit your cubicle and travel” lifestyle.
Some people don’t want to quit their job to travel so they feel offended.
There’s a problem with this connected world we live in. People take everything personally and get offended way too easily.
Here’s the problem.
People writing about quitting your job to travel the world are writing to people who want to quit their job and travel the world. Their intended audience are people who detest their jobs, feel lost, and are looking for deeper meaning. They haven’t found it in a job yet.
It’s absolutely not the truth for everyone.
But, they’re not writing for everyone. They’re writing to their tribe who relate to those pains and problems and are offering them a solution. They’re speaking in a language the tribe understands – the cubicle sucks, go leave it.
We seek out tribes of like-minded people in every aspect of our lives. It’s how we feel safe and understood and perhaps a little more courageous to go after the life we yearn for based upon our ideals and values.
I left my teaching job because I woke up every morning to an alarm and said, “Oh fuck.” I greeted every single day that I’ll never experience again in the same way. It was tortuous and soul destroying and impacted everyone around me, including the children I was teaching. If I’m not living a life of travel, I feel as if I’m slowly dying – there’s nothing else, including a job (apart from this blog) that fulfills me.
When I talk from that perspective on this blog, I’m talking to people who feel the same way so they know somebody gets their pain and they too can find a way out.
I’m not talking to people who love their job. I’m not saying that loving a job is bad and the only worthwhile life is one where you leave it all behind.
I’m saying a worthwhile life is one where you follow a path that makes you happy.
Pause. Reflect. Choose.
The internet is a world of no boundaries. Anyone can click a link, or press a stumble button, and come across a post talking about the best life being one where you travel the world, sleep on couches, and work little.
Some connect and subscribe. Some don’t jive with the vibe and click away. Some get offended and start creating memes and posts about how sick of reading this crap they are.
Maybe don’t read it.
Pause. Reflect on the fact you stumbled into the wrong room and choose a different one.
A person who has quit their job, and created a successful and happy life travelling the world, is not being irresponsible by encouraging and teaching others how to do it. If they’ve created something others desire, there’s nothing wrong with helping to light up a path for their fellow tribe members.
Those who are following and considering quitting their job to leap into travel also have to hit the pause button.
Wait. Is this what I really want? Why do I want it? What are the sacrifices? What’s the possible long term ramifications of this? Can I make it work? How can I make it work? What’s my back up plan?
Don’t just blindly jump. Know how deep the waters are.
Pause. Reflect. Research. Due diligence. Responsible choice. Own it.
The old way of tribing
It’s not like the old days when to hear your tribe speak you actually walked into a bookstore and purchase a book or magazine that was your tribe. Or, actually hung out with them on long bike rides!
Now we have multiple tribes arriving into our lives daily. We’ve handed control over to Facebook to manage it all for us and then get the shits when we read things we don’t suit our vibe.
Facebook has not stolen our ability to filter, to pause, to click away, to choose something that better suits.
“Oh, they’re talking about quitting their jobs to travel. Well, it’s not really my thing so I’ll just hop on over to the next blog post and see what they say. Oh look,they’re talking about how to travel with a job you like. Oh cool, this is more like me. I’ll hang out here instead.”
The problem lies in not pausing
Not pressing the pause button. It’s how internet bitch fights happen, wars rage, and 50 people get shot down in a nightclub because they like kissing someone of the same sex.
Who the fuck cares? He loves a boy. She loves a girl. He loves a girl. She loves a boy. It’s all love.
He loves the cubicle. She loves nomadic travel. They love expat travel. He loves resort travel. It’s all love.
Love the different shades of love. How are the choices of somebody else really hurting the person looking from the outside in?
There’s a reason why it’s a good idea for America to tighten their gun laws, not because guns are the problem, but because people have problems hitting the bloody pause button. A gun is the wrong thing to have in the hands of irrational and irate people who don’t have the ability to pause.
The ability to pause is something we all struggle with. Most of us aren’t at that level where the resulting action will be the firing off of an AR15, but not being able to pause can still lead to the destruction of self and others.
Pressing the pause button is something I’m doing my best to practice more each day. I pause when it comes time to writing posts like this. Sometimes it takes me days or weeks before I decide whether there’s a purpose to it other than me just reacting.
I pause when it comes time to purchase a new dress. Perhaps this might not be the best choice, I’ll wait and, after the pause, decide if it’s impulse or value alignment buy.
My business coach recently gave me the pause advice when I reacted to yet another email arriving into my inbox to tell me what a scumbag I am. I retorted with a scathing reply that left me feeling pretty unhappy with myself – once the thrill of revenge had worn off.
“Caroline, next time you receive an email like this (cause let’s face it you will) I want you to pause. Wait 24 hours until you respond.”
Sometimes it means I have to tape my bloody hands the desk because I have something witty to spit back, but the pause gives space for good sense to return. Often times I do write the post or the email, just so I can feel good, and then I hit pause before sending. It’s that pause that saves me from losing face and disconnecting from my values.
We’re all going to read something we don’t agree with or don’t like. We’re so inundated with information it’s easy for things that aren’t relevant to our values to appear in our streams. It’s okay to disagree and dislike, but, it’s up to us to recognize we’re just in the wrong room and to make the choice to leave without comment or taking offence.
Know your vibe and tribe and stick to it
Want to quit your job to travel the world? Go for it. Want to help people leave the cubicle because you believe its the best thing ever? Go for it. There are plenty of people who want you to help them.
Want to find a way to fit travel in with the life and the job you love? Go for it. I love that you have a job you love. I think it’s the ultimate goal for everyone because work is something we all gotta do and we spend a lotta hours doing it, why not love it? Why not lap up the security and benefits of it and use that to create travel experiences you love? The truth is you probably have more scope to travel with a steady paycheck than most quitting their jobs. And let’s face it jobs keep the society evolving and rolling and there’s a lot of good that happens in the world because of them.
Want to travel with your kids full time? Go for it. Want to only do it two times a year because being with your kids full-time for longer lengths of time drives you freaking insane? Do it. There’s no point in the family unit falling apart because 24/7 just does not suit your vibe.
Love what you do and do what you love.
But don’t put your cranky pants on because someone else loves something different and follows that and then writes about it for other people who also love it. People need tribes and those writing about a particular lifestyle are building strong tribes and helping people feel accepted, understood and loved.
Filter and hit the pause button before reaction or retaliation, or before bitching and moaning, because the bitching and moaning might simply be a case of “Oopsie, I think I’ve just walked into the wrong room. I might just back out now and find the right one.”
What’s the point of hanging out with a room full of squirrels if you’re a sloth? All that frantic movement will drive you crazy. Choose to sloth out with your tribe instead.
Let’s ride to the mountain together in our own way
I hate Harley Davidson motorbikes. I know I know. Internet war number 5 now starts raging. Sorry, it’s just my thing. My experience of it, from the outside looking in, is that they cause me a whole lotta noise pollution and angst when one drives past. My insides curl up and I want to stuff a sock in their exhaust and crawl in a quiet hole.
I do, however, find the Harley Davidson tribe fascinating and happy for them to follow their bliss.
But, imagine if I found myself on a Harley Davidson blog and got pissed off because the author was talking about The Independence Pass being the most incredible bike ride in the US. And I was thinking, bullshit, the only way to do it is in a car.
I didn’t hit pause and then created a meme about how offensive Harleys are and then wrote posts about how tired I am of articles saying that cruising around on a Harley is the way to go because I actually LOVE my car. I don’t want to give up my car to ride a Harley.
That’s just so totally INSANE.
I’ll stay in my car, you stay on your Harley, and I’ll race you to the top! First one there pops the champagne because, regardless of how we both got up here, we had a wild ride that suited our vibe, and we get to share the same incredible views at the end.
Now we have different stories to share when we roast smores later that night.
It’s not better or worse, it’s just different.
Pause. Let’s get along with our different stripes. Peace.
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