Being a guide I meet many different kinds of people. Most of them have this one thing in common, they have college degrees and a solid full-time job (almost always in an office).They’ll usually start the first “get to know me” question with,
“So, are you in school or just getting out…?”
Like what I’m doing is something someone does before they get their “real” job. Then I lay out the list of all the things I do, give them my back story. That’s usually met with one of two responses,
“Wow, that’s awesome, you do so many different things. Good for you.”
and then the more common response,
“You’re young, nows the time to do it.”
My lifestyle choice, to them, is comparable to that of the college graduate who goes backpacking across Europe, getting it out of their system before entering the rat race. Like this life I have built is just an in-between time that I’ll soon grow out of.
This isn’t a phase. This is my white picket fence.
I had a client the other day, in his late 30’s early 40’s, and he’s never been outside of the United States. He got his first passport just this year. His idea of traveling is jetting down to Florida; safely within the boarders of the United States staying at resorts with the drinks, the pools, and the room service.
He pulled me aside and said,
“You’re very brave to come down here all by yourself. I was really hesitant to come to Costa Rica. I was scared.”
I’m not sure if he had met anyone like me before. This guy was thrown by all the things that I’ve done and enthralled by my courage. I was just as enthralled by his lifestyle choice, his love of predictability. This may come off a little presumptuous, but I never believed anyone could be genuinely happy with such a life.
There are so many people within the United States with the means to travel but choose not to because they’re afraid. If I let fear control my life I would have a college degree in finance and would most likely be sitting in traffic right now instead of writing this on my jungle porch.
It tears me up thinking about the people ruled by their children, mortgages, and 401k’s; who haven’t taken time to live for themselves first. As Americans we’ve been taught to believe that living our dream life comes with retirement. When we’re too old to be of any use to the system anyway.
Do you think when you’re on your death bed you’ll be thinking about your house? Your bank account? Your desk job? I doubt it.
I believe in the power of experience and the value of discomfort. I don’t believe in excuses and I’ve heard every one in the book. I’ve met many people with all the same excuses you may be telling yourself right now but said ‘Fuck it’ and went anyway.
“Where theres a will theres a way”
We’re all familiar with this saying, this is one of my favorites. It’s not ground breaking but if we apply it to our own lives it can be life-changing. I live by it and it’s given me the life I’ve always dreamed of. My lifestyle choice isn’t for everyone and I don’t want you to want my life. I want you to find the strength that already exists within you to just go! Don’t be the person without a passport, be the person with a passport colored with stamps and a story to tell.
Grab 2016 by the balls!