Last week I wrote this post on forgetting what your friends and relatives think and living the life you want to live. For many, that means traveling more, so that’s the audience I’m usually addressing here on this Cheapest Destinations Blog. But for some it could mean more time to garden or take walks in the woods. For others, more time to do volunteer work or start their own business.
Taking that first step on the path is tough though for one main reason: there’s always at least one good excuse for why you should put it off or forget the crazy idea altogether. Usually the people around you are more than willing to provide a whole long list of reasons—and scowls. Parents, bosses, recruiters, and HR people are especially adept at encouraging the well-worn path rather than the one you really want to take.
In response to that post I linked to earlier (with a shout-out to an interesting new book on the subject), there were detractors of course. A few interesting comments on the blog as expected, but then I got a few less public e-mails from naysayers as to why the non-conformist life is good for some, but not for them. To paraphrase:
- It’s different for attorneys
- It’s so much harder when you have kids
- It’s different for those who aren’t in the creative fields
- It’s so much harder when you’re just starting your career
- It’s different for academics
- It’s so much harder when you’ve just bought a house
You don’t have to look very hard for excuses that give you permission to delay, to cancel, to stick to dreaming only. But I know more than a few attorneys who have traveled around the world for a year and got even better jobs than they had before when they returned. I know academics who have worked out a way to live abroad for a year or more. Many doctors take a sabbatical for a year or two and work in a country that really needs their skills. I know an ambitious computer programmer who talked his employer into letting him set up a field office in Mexico, with him heading it up.
Sure, if you’re saddled with debt you need to climb out of, from college loans or just biting off more than you could chew, you need to get your finances in order the quickest way possible. That doesn’t mean putting off life for a decade or two while you work the treadmill though. Always look for the second right answer, the one that’s not going to come from well-meaning whispers in your ear. Keep your eye on the prize.