Getting the most out of life has always been my priority. In order to appreciate every person I meet and every second I’m alive, I choose to eschew the consumerist lifestyle. Rather than spend my money on things, I’ve been spending it on experiences instead.
Greece, Senegal, Australia, you name it — I’ve traveled the world, learning a superficial amount about different cultures and talking with extraordinary people who happened to speak English. It isn’t about what I have, it’s about what large rock I was climbing in 2009, or what food was too spicy for my palette over the years.
Now that my travel funds have run out I can say with certainty, I’ve seen a lot of sunsets but don’t own any forks.
Friends regularly come over to my house excited to hear about my many adventures. They sit down on my single chair and look up at me eagerly, anxious to be regaled with the stories I have gained throughout my travels. Their faces are always full of hope as they wait for the life-changing wisdom gleaned from my minimalist attitude.
And there I stand, a nomadic guru, eating a bunch of pasta with my bare hands saying, “Yeah, I saw a ton of sunsets.”
This may be disappointing for some, but it’s the reality that comes with living in the now. People hoping to escape the 9-5 world don’t want to believe there are downsides to following your bliss, but experiences won’t keep you warm during the winter or dry during a rainstorm.
And yes, it’s true that seeing the sunset in over twenty countries was interesting in a repetitive kind of way, and it is also true that last night I ate fried rice by sticking my face into the bowl and licking it up like a cat.
Don’t be discouraged by my plight. Just because my desire to post pictures of myself in front of recognizable global landmarks led me to severe debt doesn’t mean you will face the same fate. If you want to witness the daily illusion created by the Earth turning on its axis in over 20 countries, then make that a priority.
Just save enough money to buy household necessities like utensils. Or prepare to eat a lot of sandwiches, which are a great option for non-fork-havers.