“Real” Life, Travel, and Work: lessons from 10 years on the Road » Lifestyle Strategies, Travel, Adventures--Todd's Wanderings

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Fork in the road sign "if the road forks take it"

Photo Credit: Brandon Carpenter

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I’m not the type of person who can  separate life, travel and work. I’ve tried hard to fit in with the rest of the US and settle down. No one tells you specifically that you need to separate them but somehow there’s a constant pressure from society, friends, and family to do so.  Work is what you do to sustain your life and fund your temporary escape by traveling. Your not supposed to enjoy work, although everyone agrees there are a few rare individuals that do. But they also agree that you are not destined to be one of them. If you try to make a life out of travel, you are seen as escaping your “real” life and not working hard enough.

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I meet people everyday who work with me in the development world who say: “Someday I’ll have to go back to the real world and settle down.” Or travelers on their year-long break who will go back to “real” life when they return home.

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I used to think this way as well, as if the life I built was somehow temporary, and inferior to the life that those in the “real” world live. You know, the world with a steady job, wife and kids, close to family and friends, a house (with mortgage of course), and lots of things to fill the house with and provide further inspiration for more work. That’s a great life for some people, with a lot of rewards, but its not the only type of “real” life.

It took me a long time of trying to find myself to finally break free of society’s notions of what life is supposed to be like. One thing that helped was my travels. I lived in Japan for five years while I tried to decided what I wanted to do with my life. I traveled constantly in the country and abroad. Then I went to graduate school where half the students where internationals. This exposure to other cultures and ways of life helped me to realize there is no one way to live and that it’s OK to break with convention. Of course lots of fear is released when you break with convention and it’s not just your own. Family, friends, colleagues all start to infect you with their fear. Fear of what might happen to you, fear of living life in an untested way, fear of what it means for them if you succeed. I used to let this fear affect me while I searched for my path in life. I would constantly tell myself that I once I figured out what I wanted to be in life I would settle down back home. As if home was the only place I could live my “real” life.

Todd in Shikoku

A beautiful spot found while hiking the Shikoku Pilgrimage

On one of my trips, while hiking the 900 mile Shikoku Pilgrimage in Japan, I came to a realization that I was already living my life the way I wanted; a life of freedom, choice and responsibility. Freedom to do what I loved, the ability to chose to move on from something when I was no longer happy with it, and the ability to make a difference in the world. The exact nature of my job, life etc didn’t matter as long as it followed these three ideals. It was something that I was unconsciously doing since I left the US at age 21 and started trying to find myself. It turns out I was already myself, I just needed to release what I thought society and everyone else wanted me to be. It also turns out that everyone in my life is very happy for me and my choices. The pull to settle was more my own making than a deliberate US conspiracy.

Todd’s Wanderings has never just been a travel site, or a political site, or a collection of cool (well I think so) stories. Instead it’s a reflection of my life and how I choose to live it. As such I’ve decided to add a new section to it called Lifestyle Strategies. This will be my section where I describe strategies on how I have developed my current life abroad where my work enables my travel and my writing and all aspects form a cohesive part of  my life. Basically its about loving what you do and doing what you love.

At first I thought about calling this section Unconventional Life Strategies, but that would have played right back to the idea that one way is better or more accepted than the other. Instead I want to offer a counter perspective to life, one where you are not so much attached to a place as you are to a set of principles.

I know that this will not be for everyone, and that’s fine. But for those of you who are interested in a nomadic existence, unhooking yourself from the demands of society or even just ways to gain more freedom I hope you will enjoy the support and knowledge that it’s possible. I will also try to introduce you to other people who have taken similar leaps in life, from professional development workers-with and without blogs :) , to writers, to artists to whoever happens to cross my path. This is not meant to belittle those who decide to stay in one place, or love the simple pleasure of being with their families. I’m often jealous of what you have, I’ve just realized that it’s not me at this point in my life, or at least it’s me but without the hometown safety net.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on unhooking from societies tenacious fingers? What would you like to read in this new section?

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62 Responses to ““Real” Life, Travel, and Work: lessons from 10 years on the Road”

  1. KyleNo Gravatar says:

    I really think that while the corporate culture and high paying jobs are closely linked in our minds, there needs to be a shift in the way we think about this. 9-5 or 8-10 or whatever ridiculous schedule you’re on is not your only path to success. Many say, yes, a life of traveling would be a success, it would perfect except i’ll never be financially secure like I would be at my 9-5. The internet effectively shatters this notion. We don’t NEED to be tied down to a place, you have proved this with your approach. But I still think that many people are still intimidated with what you do as well – the “fear” you talked about. If you are capable of running a business from online, you are always connected and can pursue the location independence that you consider to be success without worrying about money all the time.
    Kyle´s recent [type] ..Why Traveling Makes You Do Crazy Things You Never Would’ve Otherwise

    • I absolutely agree with you that the typical way of thinking about work and what work is needs to go. It may work for some, but it seems like it no longer works for most. Why shouldn’t we crave and take flexibility, so long as we meet our obligations? And yes, there are some people who do not feel work is an obligation. I am very blessed to have quit my job as an environmental investigator there months ago to pursue my writing and blogging full-time. Work will never be the same!
      Amanda L Grossman´s recent [type] ..Creating an Inexpensive Family Heirloom: Our Hungarian Genealogy Recipe Scrapbook

  2. JordanNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you so much for this blog post. Traveling after college does have those moments when I think maybe it is time to join “the rat race” but reading this reconfirms my idea that its ok to play another year or so before starting “real life.”
    Jordan´s recent [type] ..Cable View Online

  3. Asa GislasonNo Gravatar says:

    Inspirational reading. We did our RTW few years ago and have been having problem settling back into “real life”. Actually, we do not want to! Our aim now is to combine earning a living with living… does that make sense!

  4. treavioliNo Gravatar says:

    …every return. But I’m going to switch to freelance and enjoy a worldwide freedom.

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Good luck with the transition. I really believe if you do things that give you energy rather than drain your energy you will find success. Please love to be associated with passion (of course you also have to be good at it :)

  5. treavioliNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for writing this. I’m 24, working at a corporate job and I have seen it kill my creative spirit tier by tier. I’ve been traveling on weekends to keep up passion and inspiration and avoid ruts. But it’s super exhausting fighting that drain on

  6. flipNo Gravatar says:

    nice narration on how you ended up doing what you are doing right now… love the title too, life strategies… would love to read more about things that you tried that worked and didnt work out… thanks man for sharing your story…
    flip´s recent [type] ..Meet the Nomads- Johnny Ward

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Happy to share more on what worked and what didn’t. But to be honest, there is not much that didn’t work. There were times when I was stalled but always making a plan got me out of it.

  7. DavidNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, Great post Todd.
    While I already knew your “philosophy” but I had never read this post.
    (finally, in my response to your survey scratch the “more travels” and add more of those. ;-)
    David´s recent [type] ..Karato Streets

  8. JasonNo Gravatar says:

    Nice post Todd.

    I just wanted to tack on to your thoughtful post a reminder that even if you succumb to a “Real World” of kids, mortgage and career…it isn’t over. My kids have been to 24 countries thus far and we got to go with them.

    Jason
    Jason´s recent [type] ..Harvest Time In Perus Sacred Valley

  9. Jeremy BNo Gravatar says:

    Todd, you’re just wrong! Live a normal life would you? JK!

    You have found that works for you and that’s great. I think all of us are different in terms of how we travel and live. If all of us were the same (or better, like me), the world would be much better off but a little boring. :) I definitely have fears you don’t have because I was raised differently than you. However, I love to travel as well and experience some of the same things you do.

    I live more of the normal life but feel more and more of a pull towards travel and writing. However, with a wife and 2 kids, I need to maintain the normal life right now to provide for them. I am not sure what the future holds but I can honestly say that I am glad you have found your place, peace, and direction in life. It’s a great place to be where you enjoy living life the way you want!
    Jeremy B´s recent [type] ..3 vacations I won’t take

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Thanks for words Jeremy. I think my parents would have been “happier” if I had staying in the US but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. Same thing for my wife. Thankfully we found each other! I can however, totally relate to providing for your family. And everyone has their own way of doing things. As long as people are happy, I’m happy for them. Being happy is all that matters in life…and helping others be happy.
      Todd Wassel´s recent [type] ..“Jersey Shore” Hits Japan as the “Macaroni Rascals”…seriously

  10. MichaelNo Gravatar says:

    Todd,
    I’m now in that period of my life when I can say I have it all – a loving supportive wife, a good son (22) and enough (not millions) savings to continue doing what I love to do – writing and travelling. I’ve had jobs that had paid a lot but I left them without a heavy heart (yes, even when my family was young) because I left them to pursue what I enjoy doing. I make it a point to instill in my son the attitude that a big salary is not necessarily the best thing unless he enjoys what he is doing. I can see that you are doing what you love doing. That is always good. Keep it up!
    Michael´s recent [type] ..Oldest Hiking Trail – Rennsteig for your short hikes in Germany

  11. Well said Todd.
    Escaping the box society tries to constrain us with is not an easy task. However, those of us that have successfully accomplished this and redefined what life is are certainly far richer for making the leap. I’m sure you’ve heard the same thing we have often heard from others – “I wish I could do that.” Our answer is, “You can, but is it what you really want.” It’s not necessarily hard, at least if it’s what drives you, but it does take a certain amount of bravery to take the leap of faith and ignore everything ‘society’ has tried to constrain us with…mostly fear.
    Once you realize it is possible to live life by your own rules, possibilities open before you. Most, or at least many, are not necessary opportunities that will make you wealthy, but throwing out societies dream of the big house (or two) a few cars and 2.4 kids is usually the first to go in the path to discovering this freedom. For us, that went out the window during our 4 years of backpacking around Asia. At that time we realized we could wonder the world for as long as it made us happy. After a few years vback home with the goal of setting up a nomadic, professional existence, we hit the road in 2006 and haven’t looked back since.
    We look forward to seeing what the new ‘Lifestyle Strategies’ section brings

  12. kimbaNo Gravatar says:

    I always thought that I’d live my life like that – making art and traveling, being a nomad. It started out ok in my 20s – jumping on a greyhound and going across the US with a rucksack and 10 bucks in my pocket. Now I go through periods of having to work, and then traveling. Funding has always been an issue for me. But I totally get where you are coming from. Totally.
    kimba´s recent [type] ..Survey 7- Why The Yucatan

  13. AndiNo Gravatar says:

    Fantastic post!!!!! It really touched me, as I’m constantly dealing with people who don’t get or appreciate the semi-nomadic life that I live. It’s really comforting (though sad as well) to know that others struggle with this issue as well.
    Andi´s recent [type] ..India- Day 5 Part 5

  14. What a great idea for a new section Todd, I can’t wait for the rest of it! It’s nice to read what seem to be the thoughts of many of us put into such articulate words. My immediate family have never been anything but supportive of my decisions, but the extended family and many friends tend to look at me slightly quizzically when I visit wondering when, exactly, I plan to settle down and “be responsible”. I happen to feel that I’m incredibly responsible – I just have a different idea of what that means!
    Camden Luxford´s recent [type] ..Expat Interview 4- Denis Pulis in Switzerland

  15. Hi Todd,

    Love the Lifestyle Strategies idea–lots to say to lots of people about what it really means (less scary than you think) and what it really takes (more sacrifice than you think) to live life on the road. After more than three years on the road with the Trans-Americas Journey I think a good place to start is to really take a look at the short-term travel phrase “going back,” as in “When are you going back?” I get asked this a lot and it always raises two questions: Going back to what? And….Why?

    For me, the point of combining life, travel and work is to NEVER go back but ALWAYS go forward. Once you can get comfortable with that distinction between a “trip” and a “travel lifestyle” the rest (having no home, leaving jobs and friends, embracing the unconventional) becomes a lot easier.

    Look forward to your further thoughts on the subject in your new Lifestyle Strategies section!

  16. Shoot, I forgot to click the “notify me via e-mail” follow up, so am doing so now. I read a lot of sites, so i don’t want to forget!

    thnx, Sam
    Financial Samurai´s recent [type] ..Only The Poor or Super Rich Say- “Money Can’t Buy Happiness”

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Financial Samurai, please feel free to contact me through my contact button in my Navigation Bar above and I would be happy to discuss how I support myself.

  17. Howdie Todd! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As I’m new here from Wandering Earl, do you mind sharing with me how you make your money to survive living abroad?

    I’m starting a new site called Yakezie.com, which is the home base of around 100 personal finance bloggers. But, one of the key additions to the site is “Yakezie Lifestyle” which y’all fit right in. I’d love to learn more and more before we launch on August 15th!

    Thnx mate!

    Sam
    Financial Samurai´s recent [type] ..Only The Poor or Super Rich Say- “Money Can’t Buy Happiness”

  18. The DameNo Gravatar says:

    I was in my mid 20′s, having been working since I was 15, when I realized that being desk bound and having someone telling me what to do everyday inside a specific time frame that resulted in just 10% of my time and money being my own, was not how we are meant to exist. Sure, some people feel safe with the conventional lifestyle and well, yes, it does feel safer because there is an infrastructure built to support the people who buy into it, but for me, I was just never happy. I tried for a number of years, always complaining to my friends how much I hated working and they would always just tell me that its a necessary evil, that I should just learn to make the best of it, thats inevitable, that “thats just how life is” and “no one likes their job”. Still, I was not happy. The more the tried to convince me to fit the mold, the more uncomfortable I was. Back then, it was the mid 2000′s and I had no idea there was any other choice. That didnt stop me from finally walking out of my last ever conventional job. I had dreamed of just walking out in the middle of a work day and thats exactly what I did. Ive never looked back. Sure its not been easy, its not easy doing whatever you want, whenever when there is no definite infrastructure for free thinkers. But its free thinkers who shaped this world, for better or for worse.

    So at the end of the day. We are the creative directors of our lives. We paint our own pictures. And THAT, is how I think we are meant to live.
    The Dame´s recent [type] ..Volunteering at The Gibbon Project in Phuket, Thailand

  19. SuzyNo Gravatar says:

    What a great idea for a new section here. I can completely relate to how you choose to live, combining all areas of life, working, living, and traveling. That is exactly what I am doing and have been doing since I graduated from college. Many peers saw me as a deadbeat or something for not getting a standard 9 to 5 and just trying it as a location independent freelance writer, but in the end, I don’t really consider those judgments. I am completely happy doing what I do, and most wish they could do the same. With that said, I think a segment like that on your site would be incredibly popular with people wanting to do the same. I’ll read it at least! Lovely honest words here.
    Suzy´s recent [type] ..Always More To See

  20. EarlNo Gravatar says:

    Todd, that was an amazing post. And it so closely mirrored the discoveries and realizations I made about my own life at a very similar age.

    I think it takes a lot of courage to realize that despite the general consensus, there are in fact infinite ways to live your life. As you said, we’re often told we’re escaping (not to mention avoiding, running away, hiding, etc.) from the real world and in the beginning, that certainly kept me questioning my decisions.

    For me, it was during my second trip to India, when I realized that I felt more comfortable and alive walking along the chaotic streets of Old Delhi than I did back home. At that point, I knew that my life, my ‘real’ world, would have to involve constant travel and that my travels were not just a phase, or an attempt to put my real life on hold. And there was no way I would give up the happiness I feel when traveling just to return home and follow a set of rules that don’t appeal to me at all.
    Earl´s recent [type] ..Do I Need A Floating Camera Strap?

  21. I hope some day in the future I am able to reflect on my life, like you have done, and decide what I want. At the moment I’m with on the nomadic existence and travelling the world indefinitely, but also there’s a lot of pressure from family and friends to stop messing around and ‘get on with life’. I’ve just started a RTW indefinite trip and don’t want to succumb to conventional society yet or ever.
    Thanks for this inspirational post, Todd.
    .-= Globetrooper Lauren´s recent blog ..Laundromats, Vegemite, and a week of Clean Panties =-.

  22. EricaNo Gravatar says:

    The biggest hurdle for Shaun and I was to overcome our parents expectations on how to live our lives. Our families are VERY devout in their religion and while we had already disappointed them with living together before we were married, they are even more baffled on how we can just leave “everything” behind to go and travel on a “whim”.

    To me the whim IS life and I want to make sure to experience it. While our parents are getting used to the idea that we want to meet like minded people and experience what the world has to offer, its actually cutting the cord when it comes to our departure day that is scary to me. <3

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
    .-= Erica´s recent blog ..Travel Photography June 17 =-.

  23. Renee KingNo Gravatar says:

    One of the hallmarks in becoming a fully grown human being is realizing that your life is ultimately your own. Well-meaning loved ones often transfer their own fears to you when expressing the wisdom of your life choices. Their opinions do matter, but ultimately, yours has more weight because you are the one who has to live it. It’s funny how many think we are running ‘from’ instead of ‘to’ something…which is how I choose to perceive my wanderlust. But what if we were running from something? Is that necessarily a ‘bad’ thing? Sometimes, in order to keep your sanity, distance may just be what the doctor ordered. ;-D
    .-= Renee King´s recent blog ..Pictures of Honolulu, Hawaii =-.

  24. DevinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Todd,

    I couldn’t agree more. Travel is life. For me, it is impossible to separate the two and even harder not to reflect on them.
    devin
    .-= Devin´s recent blog ..Free Stuff: All Four of Lonely Planet’s National Park Guides =-.

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Funny how some people can separate their lives. I don’t ask them not to, so why should they feel that I need to be like them. I’m happy for there to be a pleasant diversity in life.

  25. Wow Todd, talk about hitting the bail on the head! I let society dictate for me what was normal for so many years. I was miserable and eventually got very sick from denying my innermost passions. Like you, I have had to fight family and friends who all told me I couldn’t make myself into a travel writer/photographer. The fear from them was, and still is, palpable. Even now, after nearly four years of travel, writing, and photography, they do not see what I do as a career. But today I know that is their problem, not mine. Above all, I must be true to myself. Thanks so much for this heartfelt and though-provoking post.
    .-= Barbara Weibel´s recent blog ..Mexicans Are Serious About Their Speed Bumps =-.

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Good for you Barbara :) Eventually I assume things settle down with family and friends, it has for me and I am lucky that so many people close to me a very supportive.

  26. Great post Todd. Yes, it’s difficult to live our own lives and not let others make us feel bad or not quite adult because of the choices we make. My Dad was 76 when I left Canada. Luckily, I can say he’s now 86 and still going strong. Many people have judged me harshly because I choose not to live close to him. However, the person who matters the most, my father, has no issues with me choosing to live in another country. I’m sure he’d rather I lived closer, but he accepts that I don’t. We have a great relationship.

    There are a lot of what I call “joy killers” in this world. These are people who will always find something wrong with what you’re wearing or what you’re doing. I’ve made the choice to just let what these people say “roll off my back.”
    .-= Nancie (Ladyexpat)´s recent blog ..Wanderfood Wednesday — Comfort Food in Seoul =-.

  27. CandiceNo Gravatar says:

    Todd, today is one of those days where I’ve been sitting at my office desk fighting back tears all morning. Totally needed to read this post.
    .-= Candice´s recent blog ..New York City, Here I Come =-.

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Glad I could help Candice. Visit us in Kosovo, that will wipe away the tears ;)

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

  28. KahanNo Gravatar says:

    Great article my friend! Even if I joined this travelling kind of lifestyle only recently, I enjoy it a lot. The special thing about it, is to meet interesting people like you. And as you say, I also envy sometimes friends who are living at “home”.
    And even if this sounds like a declaration of love, it is! Sorry Kay!

  29. TenzinNo Gravatar says:

    I really admire your work, your actions and bravery to look at societal structure in the eye and challenge it’s ideological normalities. I have dreamt of doing things you have done but keep getting caught in the net of social pressure from both the Tibetan society– because I’m Tibetan and Tibetans nowadays are tightly knit together– and family. Being a Tibetan I feel it’s much more difficult to go off into life free without the worry of your parents and family being able to survive on their own– it has very much to do with my people being very new to America and having all the troubles of communication, reading, understanding the new culture etc. Because of their lack of education of how to sustain themselves efficiently in this almost new world, this burden gets laid down to me. I have to carry this on my shoulders and I would undoubtably but my dreams and curiousity of what lies beyond this city, region, state, or country, I sacrifice. I am still very young and in college so many opportunities present themselves but I sort of brush them aside. It’s hard to imagine if I had followed your footsteps, my family and the Tibetan society would understand and be happy for me. I have a feeling I would be labelled more a deserter and though I really give a rat’s arse what others think, to consciously know my parents will suffer more is hard to overlook. I may be seeing my life through a lens that’s been fogged and obscured by embedded beliefs and thoughts of what could happen, and so in my rush to stop it from actualizing I hinder my own dreams. I don’t really know. I want to be in your shoes but those are your shoes, not mine and my shoes seems to be a size too small. If I made no sense, thanks for reading and if you have some words of wisdom, please let me know. Thank you

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tenzin, I’m sure you will be able to find the right balance in life. It took me until age 28 to come to my point of balance, but even now I am still searching for my next step in life. I have pretty small shoes as well, so I don’t think they would fit you :)

  30. BretNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Todd…fantastic post. I just have to get over my own fears and be comfortable with what I want and how I want it. Live life to the fullest and make a difference…I hope I can.
    I look forward to reading and learning about more counter perspectives.
    .-= Bret´s recent blog ..Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC =-.

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Bret, thank for the kind words. Being comfortable takes some time and seems to be constantly challenged by new people who aren’t used to it.

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

  31. OMG. Seems like I’m reading my own thoughts. It’s great to see how there are other people out there who think the same as me. And I’m not the only “crazy” one!
    I love this line: “loving what you do and doing what you love.” This is exactly what I want to do in my life! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, believe it or not this makes me feel so much better.
    It’s true that people who live “normal life” try to infect you with fear. But fear is also excitement and what are we “crazy ones” looking for, afterall?
    It took me ages to understand that MY real life is travel, and I’m never gonna miss the chance anymore. Maybe I’ll settle down some day but first I want to see everything! Who said the place to settle down is the place where we come from?

    Thank you again. One of the best posts I’ve ever read. :)
    .-= giuliadventures´s recent blog ..Climbing Mount Sinai (Jabal Moussa) =-.

  32. GrayNo Gravatar says:

    I love your philosophy, Todd. I am struggling with how to create a lifestyle for myself that fits more with my ideals, as you have. I particularly loved this bit: “Your not supposed to enjoy work, although everyone agrees there are a few rare individuals that do. But they also agree that you are not destined to be one of them.” LOL, so true.
    .-= Gray´s recent blog ..Perspectives on Long-Term Solo Female Travel =-.

  33. mikeNo Gravatar says:

    Well spoken, Todd. There truly is no such thing as the “real” world. I know that personally I’ve created a life I’m happy with that suits me well, as have you, and in the end that’s all that matters. There will always be snags, there will always be someone else you might envy or someone whose position you’re glad you’re not in, but if you’re content then it doesn’t really matter what you do.

    I remember ages ago when you returned home from Japan for the first time to find yourself living with your parents and unsure of your next step. We had a pretty good talk that resulted in you coming up with a list of things you love: travel, helping/teaching others, and the ability to see your friends and family were at the top of the list. You reorganized your priorities, got your Masters in conflict negotiation, and you’ve been doing exactly everything on your list since you made your mind up that day. If anything your decision to lead your life the way you have has inspired those around you to take stock of what’s important to them. And honestly, your lifestyle and travels make a lot of people jealous. So whether it’s a perception of an abnormal life or reality (I highly doubt that), know that if someone’s judging you it’s because you’re holding up a mirror to everything they wish they’d done.

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Thanks Mike, I forgot about the list! it is really amazing that we can forget some defining moments in our lives as we get swept along by the forces of life. And to anyone who thinks my lifestyle is glamorous (which it totally is if you ignore the poverty, pollution, and war that is often surrounding me…): yes, I used to live in my parent’s attic at the age of 24!

  34. Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Adam, thanks for such a long post and the encouragment. I am about to step on a plane bound for the US for a 2 week vacation (yes I take my “Vacations in the US now” ;) but i’ll respond more when I touch down. Cheers.

  35. AdamNo Gravatar says:

    Great post. My wife and I are currently trying to figure out how to make a more nomadic lifestyle possible. We returned a little over 8 months ago from a year long RTW, and before going we always thought that we’d go on the trip and take advantage of our situation, come home, settle down, and have the “normal” life that everyone else had. At the end of our year, we were definitely ready to come home and have a routine and some sort of normalcy again. We were very excited to see all our family and friends again. But after about a month, that honeymoon feeling was over, we were back to work, and life seemed pretty much the same as before we left.

    But as it turns out, we were much different people than the ones who left over a year prior. We loved being home and around everyone again, but the 9-5, Monday through Friday, 2 weeks of vacation thing just isn’t going to work for us. Luckily my wife is awesome and is working her a** off in a high pressure (and high paying) job right now as I pursue a writing career. If that takes off, great, then I will be able to be location independent. But she is just kind of lost. As someone who is in the corporate world, her current job just doesn’t allow for her to live that kind of lifestyle. And because of our societal norms, it’s difficult to give that all up, especially with all the schooling and work she’s put in. And she just doesn’t know what her options are and how she could make something else work.

    I’d just love to see more stories of people around our age (early 30′s) who were entrenched in their careers but not tied down (don’t own a home or have kids yet) and decided to chuck it all for a different lifestyle. I just love hearing first hand accounts of how others did it. We know it’s possible, and I’m not going to lie, we’re a bit scared to pull the trigger. We want to be able to travel a lot and not be tied down to one place and one job, but we also want the freedom to return home at times. We love home, just not all the time.

    Thanks for this though. I love the idea and I certainly envy your lifestyle. Good for you for standing up and realizing there’s another way to live, another way to do things, and that one particular lifestyle doesn’t have to be for everyone.
    .-= Adam´s recent blog ..One Month In-The Roller Coaster Ride Continues =-.

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Adam, great that you get to explore your writing career while you wife is so understanding. I really hope that it does take off so that she can also start doing what she loves. To be honest, despite the broad decisions to live abroad and pursue a career in development, writing etc, there is always a struggle to maintain a good balance between paying the bills and doing what you love. I’m a big fan of always working towards where you want to be. If your not happy, make a plan, start working at changing things, and eventually you will get there. But once you do get there you will have to keep working at it so that you don’t slip back into complacency and thus the easy paycheck to take care of the bills. Doing what you love is definitely not Taking it Slow, and in fact can be more work…just more energizing and rewarding.
      .-= Todd Wassel´s recent blog ..“Real” Life, Travel, and Work: lessons from 10 years on the Road =-.

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