I’m off to Guatemala. This marks the start of something I’ve been thinking about for the better part of my 20s, the Millennial dream to travel the world. For the next few months I’ll be in Central America and if I end up enjoying this lifestyle I’m planning on continuing for some time (haven’t thought of a firm end date).
I would be lying if I said that all I feel is pure awesomeness, right now I feel a mixture of fear & excitement mixed in with thoughts of what the heck am I doing with my life. Surprising even to me, my main motivation to do this is because of the fear & discomfort, as opposed to wanting to see the world.
My brain is trying so hard to justify this travel. My mind is saying that this travel will allow me to focus on skill sets I want to develop, or will give me time and space to understand my interests/passions, or will give me an interesting story to tell others if I decide to go back to the job market and get back into the dating scene. The logic I’ve acted on for the better part of my life is being turned upside down. The idea that the only way to live well is to follow the track of school to job to family etc.
From the time I left my job, to leaving San Francisco, to now on a flight for Guatemala my mind has been oscillating from being freaked out to enjoying this moment. I’ve gained a new appreciation for the craziness of the wandering mind. I thought that due to my introspective nature I would be prepared for what was to come, but I was completely unaware and taken aback by the level I identified who I am by my job, the city I lived in, and the friends around me.
Given all of this, why am I doing this? I’m doing this because despite the craziness happening in my head there is a deeper wisdom that I’m tapping into which says that life isn’t meant to be played as a game of achievements and expectations. This wisdom says that life flows no matter where I am, what I do, and what my net worth is. There is a universality to living that is completely free of identity and ego. The best way to really understand this is to experience it, which means to let go of everything that I hold to be true and just see what happens. Let go of expectations, logic, and rationality to experience the joy of just being.
There is this side of me that is screaming at the top of his lungs to stay in the states get a stable job, get into a relationship, and settle down for that is what I’ve grown up to believe is the truth. That is what I associate with living happily. And I actually don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to do that. The only thing that bothers me is the idea that the ONLY way to live happily is predicated on this singular path or any path for the matter of this discussion. Something is amiss if we believe the beauty of life can come neatly packaged into a formula to follow.
Something in me believes that the only way to freely follow a path (even the conventional one) is to know that the path by its nature is irrelevant. The path just provides a mechanism to experience the world, to expose yourself to new things, to meet people, to develop. The path provides a mechanism for interacting with the world. The only way to pursue a path is to know that no matter what happens on the journey, joy & happiness is not predicated on following a specific way to live.
With this understanding it is possible to pursue anything in life without fear knowing that whatever circumstances come up, whatever curve balls are thrown none of it really matters, for the very nature of life is fluid.