I recently got chatting to a friend about the expectations society, friends and family place on us as travellers, expats, wanabe explorers or globetrotters. With various age milestones, comes a sense of urgency where we often feel we need to accomplish certain things or revert back to the traditional way of living. But as bloggers, travellers and freelancers we have tasted the freedom of forging our own pathways, careers and lifestyles and now we know better. Here are some travel and lifestyle myths which we have realised are not set in stone and a few people and friends who inspire us to live differently…
1. The ‘Settle Down’ Myth.
Hands up, how many of you travellers have been asked the question, “So when you are going to settle down? As a travel writer, photographer and teacher trainer, I want to answer, “Hopefully never.” According the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to settle down is to “become established in a dwelling place or in a permanent job, profession, or business: begin to live a normal life” or “to become inactive or sluggish”. Whilst I yearn to buy a house in my home city of Cape Town, use it as a base between trips, I most certainly don’t want to live a “normal life”.
What does that even mean? Have a house, an office job, kids, dogs and a mortgage? Since when does children mean giving up your dreams of travel? Kids of missionaries, diplomats, pastors grow up calling many countries home. Travel blogging couples allow their kids to fit in with their lifestyle. Sure, kids need stability, but who says you can’t “settle down in a number of different countries in your lifetime”?
A wonderful example of a travelling family is Family Without Borders. Together with their young children, the decided to live the life they always dreamt about. “For all who believe that ‘want’ means ‘can’. And that having a baby widens your life, not narrows it– like traveling!”
Find them on thefamilywithoutborders.com, Twitter @TheTravelFamily
2. What is a ‘real job’?
We are thankfully way past the era where medicine, law and accountancy are the only careers you are encouraged to pursue at school. We are in the age where location-independent work is the ultimate goal and totally possible. What makes teaching English in Asia for 8 hours a day (prepping for additional hours) or working online from Bali, Brazil or the Bahamas any less of a job if you enjoy it; it pays the bills and fuels the lifestyle you ultimately desire. If a real job means working in an office cubicle from 9-5pm in your own country doing something you are qualified in but don’t enjoy, I want no part of it. I want to design my life according to what I love and live that.
My travel writing mentor, Nellie Huang, is Editor-in-Chief of wildjunketmagazine.com and has worked hard to live a semi-nomadic lifestyle that keeps her and her husband, Aleberto, constantly on the road (and in Spain when we’re not traveling). She says,”we work more hours now than we have ever done in our past lives, and it wasn’t easy to get where we are today, but we’re extremely thankful for this fulfilling life. Here’s to more decades of traveling ahead of us!”
Find their adventures on wildjunketmagazine.com, Twitter @wildjunket
Travel editor, Narina Excelby,and her partner,Mark( freelance photojournalist), are making the nomadic lifestyle work whilst earning money along the road. They work and travel together, and “home is wherever they drop our kitbags.”
Find their work and journey on kitbaggers.com, Twitter @kitbaggers
3. Wandering= lost.
Thank goodness for the wisdom of J.R.R Tolkien, “All that is gold does not glitter: Not all those who wander are lost”. If you’re no longer a student, backpacker or gap year go~getter still ‘wandering’ around this beautiful earth then good for you. I’m pretty sure none of us are lost but exploring with the goals of enriching your mind, discovering what it truly means to be human, earning a living abroad, collecting stories and capturing hidden beauty whilst your house and car all wait for you at home. We have one life, why not live it all around the world?
A wonderful example of a woman travelling with purpose, is Dawn Jorgenson. A natural explorer, story teller and photographer she finds a balance between life in Cape Town, her family and travel. She travels for work and for the love of it and certainly inspires us to live the life we desire.
Find her journey on theincidentaltourist.com, Twitter @DawnJorgensen
4. True love abroad.
Like so many people I’ve heard before, my friend expressed worry at the thought that she may end up travelling so long that she won’t meet ‘the one’ for her. On what planet did we only start looking for our spouse/ soul mate/other half in our home countries? Travelling as a single woman, I always imagined that I would marry anyone else other than a citizen of South Africa (funnily enough I reunited with my South African husband-to-be whilst travelling outside of SA). I know countless numbers of couples who met their match in another country. And it’s often that when you go explore a way of life/college/volunteering opportunity or job you love elsewhere in the world that you may meet someone there with the same passion, goals and heart for life as you have.
Ishay Govender-Ypma is food and travel writer, blogger, cook and explorer who found love outside of her home country’s borders. “We travel as much as we can together, taking the office on the road. I write and photograph, he offers his excellent company at the dinner table. We both love to cook, and eat.”
Find her adventures here www.foodandthefabulous.com, Twitter @Foodandthefab
So the moral of my story is…travel, ‘settle down’ for a little in many countries and find work that you love whereveryou may find yourself. The home, your dream partner, the family and rest will follow or possibly even find you wherever you go. Your home country will always be there, so shake off the expectations of others and go lead an extraordinary life.
Feature Image Credit: familywithoutborders.com
Do any of these stories sounds like yours? Do you long to lead a somewhat different life on and off the road? Have you travelled with kids yet? We would love to hear from you below…