A couple months ago I wrote down all the places I wanted to travel.
My master plan was laid out in six-month chunks. During each six month period I would choose a ‘home base’ country from which I would explore the surrounding areas.
These home base countries included….
8. South Africa
11. A host of other locations in South America and Asia…
I wrote down roughly 20 locations I wanted to live. I was very excited to have what I considered to be a complete list. If lived in each of these locations for six months I would feel like I had ‘seen the world’.
20 countries on my list didn’t seem to daunting; after all, I have my entire life ahead of me. Sure, it’s a lot of travel… but I’ve got time.
When I did the math, however, I discovered that visiting 20 locations for 6 month each would take no less than 10 years to complete!
My daydream, if I chose to live it out, would engulf a massive chunk of the better years of my life.
This was no small excursion. It was a massive investment.
Dedicating 10 years for travel would mean devastating consequences for any ‘conventional’ career I might build in the States. 10 years traveling after college would leave me with no experience relevant to your standard office job and taking a gap 10 years would eliminate any ‘work your way up the ladder’ effort I had put into an organization.
Would traveling mean giving up starting a family until my mid 30’s? Traveling with children could be devastating for their social lives. They would always need to find new friends in new places but they would have nobody they knew all their lives.
If the trip was split up so that I completed one 6 month chunk each year I would be a traveler for 20 years! By the time I finished with my globetrotting I would be 40. I’m not so sure how much sense that makes.
There are a lot of reasons to shelf this desire but I don’I feel that this is the right answer. Can I let myself look back on this post 20 years from now and laugh at my naive desires back when ‘I didn’t know how the world works.’
I’m torn between the ‘safe’ option and the ‘best’ option.
When things are easy it’s simple to say ‘never settle for second best’. When you face the reality that you could be dead wrong, however, the world seems to become a lot more frightening.
So, what should you do when you make those plans for the future that seem a little crazy?
Deferring the dream seems like the say answer, but I’m worried that letting a desire pass you by will only start a habit.
Letting one dream pass me by may only prepare the trail for more to follow.