In this blog post I would just like to address my personal experiences and circumstances which have led me to go full time with travelling and travel writing. All of which I write here is personal to me and are the thoughts which I embrace so judge this as you please. I hope it can inspire people to do what they really desire in life and not just fall into a ‘rat race’ type scenario which engulfs the Western world all too prominently.
For as long as I can remember I have never really been out of work and I have always turned my hand to something to bring in the pennies. Even through my school days and university education I still held down a job to make my life more comfortable on its way to better prospects. These better prospects would come in the form of a better paid job in an industry I have dedicated many years of my life to through Art College and university. Well as it happened I went to the end of my university course and had the time of my life. Parties, lie-ins, like-minded people, more parties, trips abroad and of course my studies in textiles and fashion itself. After my graduation (which I didn’t attend because I went to visit my brother in Oz) I was offered a couple of fashion jobs in London and New York which in all honesty I didn’t really ‘umm and ahhh’ too much about. The wage I was offered as a post graduate was almost an insult to the amount of years I had given to education. This led me down a different career avenue altogether. As a very hands on person and a huge fan of being outdoors as opposed to being bound by four walls in an office environment, I decided to turn my hand to property developing around Loughborough where I studied at university. I felt I knew the area very well and it was a prime place to develop houses and let them out to people like my former self – students. It was my intention to use these houses as a personal pension scheme for my later life as from my research leading up to this career change I knew that to have stakes in property was much better than relying on a flimsy variable rate private or work pension. I now have property in the UK and I’m satisfied that each year these will bring in a modest yield on top of the mortgages being paid off by the tenants. I am not the greedy type so I know with their current market values and projected values (about 18/19 years left on the mortgages)I will have more than enough money by 50 years old to live comfortably. Now with my way of thinking I don’t see any reason why now is not as good a time as any to be out here travelling and experiencing what the world has to offer. Why would I want to bash out the hours in an unpredictable economy competing with the stresses that westernized living brings? Stress can be detrimental and too many of us live with it on a daily basis. We are taught via clever advertising that money will bring us happiness so earn more to lead a fuller richer life. If you, like me, are not interested in gloating about a pay rise, how much you earn, how much your car is worth and how much you have in the bank then why not opt to travel indefinitely? You can work whilst travelling just like I am doing now in short spells and acquire more than enough money to be free from stress for 3-4 months afterwards and be able to boast of fantastic new sights and wonderful stories.
Even the work you do in another country is stress free because you know it is only short term and the means to an end. There are considerations which people obviously do have to face with regards to dependents, financial ties back home, friends, family etc but if you have the ability to ‘up and leave’ you should definitely do it regardless of your age. Of course you will have people telling you about YOUR future and how you should gain stability either personally or financially but to these people I would say ‘thanks for your concern but my life is more than stable’. I don’t believe you need to have a 40 hour a week job in the slightest to be considered a success and financially sound, neither do I believe you need fancy material possessions. I think you need to constantly challenge your mind and have enough money to eat good food find shelter and fund your travels. Experiences are what I’m investing my money in as they can never be lost or forgotten, and can even be documented via websites, journals etc. No one is going to care about your latest flat screen Samsung LED TV a couple of months down the line and it will also probably be ‘adequately’ replaced by its newer more stylish model in a year’s time as well. If you really enjoy the TV then fair enough but to me it seems like a tragic waste of money and a shoddy investment in time and money, why not actually go and visit the places which you see on that TV screen ;).
I fully understand that travel is not for everybody but I hope from this post I can encourage the people who wish to travel that it is possible and you should not be swayed by other people’s viewpoints too much. If you can put your hand up and honestly say you’re happy in your current lifestyle choice then fair play to you but if you can’t then surely it’s time to address a different point and do something that YOU actually want to do. I can honestly say that writing/blogging makes me happy and that my new life of travel which I embarked on back in June 2012 is tons better than the stressful and at times uncertain life I was adopting back in the UK prior to this. I don’t think much would have changed if I was still back in the UK now.
Life really is what you make of it so take a risk and choose a lifestyle which is truly most suited to you. Art is one of my main passions and travel has led me to enjoy photography as well so it is my new ambition for the foreseeable future to do as much with these two desires as possible. I don’t know if I’ll ever return to live in the UK and for all I know I could be settling down in any of the countries I have visited later on in life. This is what I like, the uncertainty of the next day, next week and even the next year. I love the spontaneity which travel brings and firmly believe that everything happens for a reason in some way, shape or form.
As I’m writing this I have skived off work today because I decided to go out and discover Oxford Street in Sydney and had probably one too many drinks and not enough sleep…And if everything happens for a reason then I wonder whether I will have a job tomorrow, haha. If not I suppose it will be Gumtree time to pursue another job for one week before charging up the coast to Brisbane and Cairns. Either way I’m more than happy to be sitting in the sun writing this post with a sneaky beer in 28 degrees of sun. Why not!?