The Shameless Traveler: Why I do what I do.
This blog is about me, it’s about my life from a certain point onward. You will notice on the top of every page on this site the words “Shameless Traveler.” It seems like a pretty straightforward concept, but I wanted to explain it a little more. For me being shameless doesn’t mean being a degenerate scumbag that drinks and parties all the time, even though I do that occasionally.
Being shameless for me was a choice to live the life that I wanted for myself. There is a lot of pressure in this world to have the right car, the right job, the right tv, to be married, to conform to norms, etc. But I always wanted different things, travel, adventure, and it’s not always easy being an individual in a tribe. Being the youngest of five in a family of overachievers I always felt a lot of guilt, a lot of shame to not live up to the standards others set before me.
Yet, I gave it a shot, I had an office job, I had my own apartment and car, and at one point I even had the miniscule resemblance of a retirement fund. I attained all these things that were supposed to be tops and I was completely miserable. I did nothing of interest and lived vicariously through the adventures of others longing for the things they’d seen and done.
I read furiously from books written by Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson, and other lovers of adventure, of the road, and of travel. I came to the realization that life is about right now; you can sit on the bench or get in the game. It’s like the old cliché, if your life were a book, would anyone want to read it? Was anyone even going to have anything interesting to say at my funeral?
After thinking about it for far too long during many sleepless nights and lost years a decision was made, that with no guilt, I would shamelessly change everything set before me. I would live.
Ayn Rand once wrote, “Ask yourself whether the dream of Heaven and greatness should be left waiting for us in our graves- or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.”
I grabbed hold of the adventurer in my heart, I sold all my things, saved up money, put the rest of my junk in storage, found a month long English camp in Korea, got a one way ticket, and the rest is history. So now, instead of writing an article like this from a cubicle in an office under artificial light, I’m writing it on a train heading into Mongolia beginning a Trans-Siberian adventure. I found out that your greatest moment in life is when it is yours.
The author Hugh Macleod wrote, “The best way to get approval is not to need it. This is equally true in art and business. And love. And sex. And just about everything else worth having.” That is shamelessly beautiful Hugh. Words to LIVE LIFE by. This is the Shameless Traveler, until next time….