Does this life story sound familiar? In grade school we are often asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and most of us respond with jobs that are easy to grasp at the age of 7 or 8, doctor, fireman, lawyer, police man. Then by grade 10 you are already deciding your program for university or college. After high school you went directly into a 3 or 4 year program, graduated, and went straight into a job in your field, with maybe a few weeks off in between. From there you started saving for a condo/nice car/electronics/new furniture etc. started planning the wedding and picking out the names for your kids. Don’t get me wrong, this picture isn’t all bad but it certainly doesn’t leave much room for adventure and exploration outside the box. For most of us from the time we are born, we are following a “set” path that includes getting a good education, so we can get good jobs, buy nice homes and raise good families ourselves. Deviation from this path is usually met with scepticism from others and self induced guilt. Who was it that decided long ago that we must make all of these responsible life choices? What if we decide to not decide our lives until the moment is right, and take time to discover what is truly important to us?
On one of my days off last week, I spent the day on island not far from Hayman, tanning, snorkeling, and watching the sea turtles float by. I thought to myself, where would I rather be? Sitting behind a desk for 8 to 10 hours a day, or here? I think it goes without saying. The decision to travel gets easier each passing day. When you break out of your comfort zone and start meeting other people who have also chosen a different path, you realize you are not alone, and there are options out there. You can live outside the box, even if it is only for a short period of time. By re-evaluating some of your life choices, and setting personal goals, you may even discover a talent or ambition that has never had time to shine. As it says in the “Sunscreen” graduation song, “Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what to do with your life, the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.”