How often haven’t I heard “Well, it’s right now you should do it” when I tell someone that Morten and I have quit our jobs and housing to move into a camper and travel around the world..?
Meaning: “Cause once you’ve settled down, bought a house and have children, you can’t just travel like that.”
It’s been MANY times I’ve heard that – so many times I can’t count it anymore, it’s certainly one of the standard comments when we tell about our lifestyle.
Reading time: Approx. 6 min.
Even though people only begin by saying the phrase “well, it’s right now you should do it”, the second sentence about permanent housing and children aren’t just something I’m guessing that people are thinking, when they say it. That’s the answer I get when I ask, “What do you mean? Why do you say it’s right now we should do it?”.
And here the answer is almost identical from time to time: that once we’ve “settled down”, it’s not just so easy to get away.
I can feel that this thinking provokes me a bit (though I myself also do it sometime and as late as a year ago said something similar to my cousin’s girlfriend when she wanted to work abroad for a few months).
But provocation is very good – it means that something in this context is important to me and it makes me sit down and reflect on what it is that’s important and why I’m being provoked of these comments.
And there are several reasons:
1. I’m annoyed by the thoughtfulness and limiting approach to life that I experience there is the basis for such comments (note that I’m saying “experiencing” – there may be some other reason for your comment if you’re one of those who’ve said it to me – I only tell you my own reaction to these sentences): if SOMEONE have a stable home and children, apparantly it’s no longer possible to travel the way, we do.
2. I’m probably also a little provoked by people just assuming that I’m interested in buying a house, having children and having a permanent job. So, therefore, I have to travel NOW before I get there. But what if those elements are not part of my dream of a good life – if I don’t dream of a permanent stable family life in a detached house or a farm in the countryside, but my dream is to travel the world and have shifting jobs the rest of my life where I travel because it’s a bigger dream for me to meet many different cultures than to create a single base ..?
In this post, I don’t want to go into details about what’s my dream: whether it’s traveling the world and have shifting jobs for the rest of my life or whether it’s buying a house, get children and a permanent job – or if in one way or another I see opportunities and dreams in both directions.
Both because it’s not my point of this blog post and maybe because I don’t really know because I don’t look so far into the future at the moment but just do, what feels right at the moment.
What I WOULD like to emphasize in this blog post is that, of course, you don’t have to stop traveling – even for long periods of time – even if you get children (or IF you get children).
And Lars and Suzi are some of the best examples I know, to prove this.
Lars and Suzi, whom we visited in their house in Southern Funen (DK) last year and immediately got along with as they are also two adventurous souls – with two adventurous children too.
Lars and Suzi, who have sailed for several months in a canoe on the Yukon River in Alaska, traveled four months through South America by train, bus and on the go, and not least sailed for 1.5 years in kayak from Copenhagen to Istanbul – and all these experiences together with their two children!
And Lars and Suzi, whom, by a coincidence, appeared in the magazine, I was reading yesterday, while I was laying under the quilt at my mom and dads place (and made me start thinking about this blog post).
As I said, Lars and Suzi are some of the best examples I know that you can EASILY travel with children – also for a long time. They have in no way restrained their travel and adventures because they got children – on the contrary. In fact, they have never traveled as much as after they had children. For ‘the children were just an excuse to travel even more, because we must show them the whole world’, as Lars says in the article in the magazine.
And that approach speaks directly to my heart: to stay curious all life, to explore and go on adventures and dare to follow your dreams. No matter what the rest of the world thinks.
I guess my nature is a bit similar to Lars and Suzi’s by: there’s NOTHING about travel life (neither new unknown experiences, strange cultures, or insecurity by not knowing where to sleep tonight or where the money will come from next month) that is more scary than the idea of sitting there at the end of life with the feeling of not having lived fully. That’s the biggest fear for me – I want to live fully while I’m here! And that means that sometimes I have to be brave enough to throw me into something that scares me or makes me insecure – cause there I’ll develop and find adventures.
By the way, right now in this moment, Lars is in the middle of a newadventure, where he has thrown himself into something new and unknown: to be the first ever to swim all the way around Denmark. You can follow him and his travel and efforts at www.lifeisgoodfollowus.com.
If you choose to move in a house and have children and a permanent job and preferably stay home in the garden during your holidays or if you travel around the world and constantly go on new adventures (with or without children) or if you do something completely third, maybe somewhere in the middle of the two outer poles, I’ll let you decide on your own. We all have dreams, but they are not necessarily the same as our neighbors.
I just feel that it’s important for me not to limit myself because of what other people think is the good life or what other people think can be done or not. I have to find the way that feels right in MY life – and phrases that provoke me help me to figure out even better, what my values are.
So finally, don’t be afraid to say something that provokes me next time you talk to me. It’s only good to hear other people’s perceptions, even though I don’t necessarily share these perceptions – so I can be even more sure of my own values.
So thank you to all of you who said, “Well, it’s right now you should do it.” 🙂