A few days ago I was lying in bed and it suddenly hit me: I'm living my dream! After years of planning and waiting, I am finally living a lifestyle that makes me happy. I get to go to sleep and wake up when I want, travel where I want, and eat whatever I want. I can play and listen to all the music I want, read and write all I want, and soak in all of my surroundings. No more alarm clocks and deadlines. So far, I've met people from 40 different countries, and have made several new friends and connections.
Many people follow a routine their entire lives, and rely on retirement or Heaven to finally relax. They become slaves to desks, beliefs, and public opinion. There is no shame in doing the things you love now, and no need to punish yourself for having a good time. If for whatever reason (money, family, school, etc) you cannot do what you love at the moment, set a time and/or savings goal. C'mon folks, "30 years from now, when you are a millionaire" is not a reasonable goal! I'm not saying there is anything wrong with having a job. Just remember, nobody feels bad on his/her deathbed for not putting in overtime at the corporation. They may, however, regret not following their passions.
Have I accomplished everything I ever want to? Certainly not! However, I understand that each goal can be completed. What cannot happen, is completing something I NEVER TRIED to do! Sure, I could be worrying about what will happen when I return to the United States. Money doesn't last forever, and some day I may be back New Jersey, working a day job to pay rent. For now, though, I'm having the time of my life. If you spend all your time worrying about what could go wrong, you will never actually DO anything.
It doesn't matter if your passion is travel, music, archeology, or all the above. Don't hold back for convenience's sake. Delving into your passion is the most rewarding thing you'll ever do; it means being honest with yourself. Ask whether or not you feel good about your life's current path. If the answer is yes, keep going! If not, take a moment to think about what you are doing with yourself, and what you'd like to accomplish. Admitting your feelings should not be uncomfortable; it should be a celebration!
My name is Yonah Paley. I quit my job in the United States to travel. I also write music and do photography. As I backpack across the world, I share stories, philosophy, and travel tips.