Guest Spot is a recurring post on the Natetheworld. For the topic, we provide a guest author a video, story or article. They then write a response. This month, we are featuring a friend of mine from my UCO days, Wes Warner.
To read the article Wes responded to, click here.
I’ve done a lot of traveling over the last month, Nepal, Bangladesh, and most recently, San Diego, California. I do not consider myself old but I do have some miles on the chassis and so as I think about where I’ve lived, how I’ve lived, and where I’m going to live, there are some constraints to those decisions.
I would love to say I’m packing up tomorrow and moving to Kathmandu. But as a single parent that’s not a possibility at this point. The author in the article talks of the responsibilities of adulthood. I believe that it is not adulthood that necessarily secures us to a set of constraints, it is parenthood. That being said, I love being a father, and a single dad at that, so let’s not think I’m against parenthood, it just constrains the freedom of adulthood. If you’re a parent reading this and you feel insulted, stop for a minute and think about it, you know I’m right.
Other than taking care of the children, what keeps you in a boring, stuffy, stressful, ohmygodIneedatherapist job? Your things? Material, sell them, all of them if you want, and leave. A car, house, boat, RV payment? That was a choice and one you can easily change, children not so much, so if you want or need a change, make it!
You don’t even have to immediately learn a new language, stay in your home country, just find a new place to, as George Carlin would say, “Keep your stuff.” But to pack up and find a whole new country for an adventure, there is the salt of life!
How to work this journey? It’s simple and the author is right, start young before the children, before the bills, start with higher education. I’m not advocating six figure debt to an institution, but I believe building a network in college or trade school is essential to learning new culture, potential, and seeing how small the world truly is once you’re in it.
To explore your unknown as an adult whether totally alone or with another adult is exciting. But you need to be patient and able to relax in the moment. Not everything will go according to your plan, so if you’re overly obsessive toward controlling your environment, perhaps you should stay in the safety and comfort of home. But one thing, all of the dreamers and successful entrepreneurs I know, did not stay home, they wandered.
Build a network, know people outside of your hometown and live outside of your box. I did and I wouldn’t change anything about where I lived to this point in my life. I think it would have been different and I would have gone many more places, but I had children to care for and that changes the dynamic. I will say though, my oldest was five when we live in South Korea and she was just shy of seven when we left. She had a marvelous time and we lived in the economy, our neighbors spoke no English, but we survived and had a great time.
As I said before, I am a single parent. My daughter is a special needs child and so my thoughts of swiftly moving to Kathmandu will stay thoughts, at least for the time being. But if I had no children, what would I do? I would leave and find a great adventure in Nepal, Bangladesh, or perhaps Dubai. Three excellent places I visited recently. I liked San Diego well enough so don’t get me wrong, but it’s the grand foreign adventure that would sweep me away. Life on the edge and by the seat of your pants.
As a young person how do you see the world and live anywhere? Educate yourself on skills that transcend cultures, IT, welding, flight attendant (Emirates and Qatar hire all nationalities), if you master their language waiting tables can help get you by in a pinch. Join AmeriCore or some other non-profit that will afford you the opportunity to see many different places and work closely with the population. Research online and see where you would like to live. Be young and see the world.
It’s the thrill of freedom. The knowledge that you and you alone are your responsibility. Backpacking into an unknown city, finding a place to lay your head, eat, work, maybe put down some roots, however permanent they may turn out to be, that is the thrill.
I’ve taken advantage of those times where I could adventure in a foreign city, whether still in the states or in a land far away, I’ve always taken that step. One basic premise is listen to the locals, they’ll tell you how to get along and get around. If you’re courteous you’ll make friends just about anywhere.
I’m happy where I am in life right now but I do often wish that I had taken more of the roads less traveled to see more of what was on the other side of the mountain, over the rainbow, around the bend, or down that left hand turn at Albuquerque, are we sure that it’s Pismo Beach?