Originally posted 8/27/2008 (but edited a few times afterwards)
After working in the corporate world for 6 years I decided that if this is what’s in store for me for the next 40 years life’s really going to suck. It’s not that working a 9-5 ( raise your hand if you also put in extra hours and didn’t get paid … join the club) is so bad if that’s what you want, but life will pass you by if you’re content to do the same old routine. I’m sure most of you know it: the alarm clock goes off, you snooze it, rinse and repeat for 5-30 minutes, shower, run off to work without having breakfast or exercising. Next it’s a bombardment of silly emails and office politics or announcements from the CEO, CFO, CIO that have zero impact on you and keep you from doing your actual job. Skip lunch maybe 1 or 2 times a week to get stuff done and then proceed to work late because of all the interruptions that happened. Drive home and it’s at least 8:00 PM if not later giving you only time to grab some dinner on the way back or microwave a TV dinner. Watch and hour of TV, read a book, work out, whatever you do for maybe an hour or two at most, then get ready for bed and sleep. Repeat.
Wow… that sucks. Wait… then there’s the weekend…. you know that time you spend running errands cuz you were too busy at work reading and replying to useless emails, phone calls, etc. Maybe you have time to run off to costco to buy that gallon of peanut butter you’ll never ever finish and throw out before even using half! And then if you’re really lucky maybe you have time to top the weekend off with a movie! A movie! That's it??? Ugh…. this just isn’t cutting it for me.
Hey, it’s fine to work, and I’ll go back to it eventually, but it seems that Americans have this attitude that you need to work your entire life so that you can have many silly material things and eventually retire at 65 only to realize social security is broken, then company you worked for years for had a crappy retirement plan, the market took a dump and you’re much poorer than you realized. Yay, now you can work some more, only doing worse jobs for less pay because you’re old.
This just doesn’t seem right to me, there’s a whole world out there waiting for you to see, to experience and to live. What’s stopping you? That job you love? That job that’s giving you carpel tunnel syndrome, that’s gonna keep you there until you’re 55? That job that’s contributing to your health in a negative way since you’re sitting at a desk all day while coworkers bring in donuts and muffins? That just doesn’t seem to make sense.
I decided enough is enough, I’ve saved up a little, it’s time to see what the world has to offer. I decided I would travel around Asia. How exciting would it be to give up everything and just transplant yourself in a new world, see things you’ve never seen, taste new foods, hear sounds you’ve never heard, experience life outside what you know… see what life’s like from the perspective of other people? Seems good to me, so that’s what I’m going to try. I quit my job, bought a 1 way ticket to Hong Kong, a Japan Rail Pass for later, got rid of my apartment, furniture, etc and started getting ready for this stage of my life as a homeless wanderer.
This blog is where I’ll log my little adventure being a vagabond traveling across asia. I’ve never done anything like this in my life. In fact I’ve hardly traveled at all. Last year I made a trip to Beijing and that’s really what accelerated my desire to see more of the world. All I know is home… California, and it’s a wonderful home, but I want a little more world perspective. So who knows what will happen, I’m not experienced at this, maybe I’ll get homesick after 2 weeks and just fly home. I don’t know, but I’m going to try it. I’m going to see what other parts of the world have to offer.
Whatever it is you want to do, however you want to spend your time, why should you wait until your mind and body are no longer sound to have the freedom to do it? Hey, I’m all for a nice retirement, but work will always be there, experiencing life before you get too old won’t.