There’s always a post or an article or an e-book about how to live a life filled with travel, but I think it may come down to why some people have lives more peppered with travel than others do.
Because, here’s the thing, how to live a life of travel—while not necessarily easy—can be fairly straightforward: be rich, be a travel blogger that gets really popular, get a degree in journalism (or something else where you can hone your writing craft) and become a freelance travel writer who gets to travel the world and tell stories about it, work in a business role that requires you to travel or work in travel public relations. There are more, I’m sure, but these are the ones most of the people I know who travel all the time do.
But whether one line of work or the other, most of these people put travel high enough on the priority list that they designed their life to support that priority. For me, I’d rather be a travel writer making less money than be a merchandiser or buyer (my former career path) with much more money and loads more misery.
Sure sometimes it simply comes down to funds and whether they’re available or not, but people who travel aren’t always born into money or opportunity, sometimes they just make different types of sacrifices. For me, I’d rather skip weekly dinners and drinks and pocket that money for the next adventure. I’d rather do freelance work for travel money than while away my evening hours staring at Netflix. I’d rather be seeing the world right now than tied to a home with a white picket fence that I’m indebted to.
And those types of priorities are part of the reason some people travel as much as they do, part of why they are traipsing the globe and maybe don’t have all of the ducks society deems necessary in a row quite yet.
Some people think travelers who keep chasing countries are lost, looking for something they haven’t found yet, or that wanderlust means you’re unstable (or other non-positive adjectives). But not all of us are. Some of us are very much found in this life we have created to look just the way we like it.
I came across this piece of writing that speaks to this sentiment and to women who may have chosen a path that’s a little outside the “norm.” And because these are her words and not mine, they aren’t all for me, or for everyone, but the writing does well to capture why some of us do live a life of travel.
I will never be a well-behaved woman. —Janne Robinson
“I would rather pass my days lying in the middle of dirt roads, staring at the full moon with a bottle of summer red in my palms.
I would rather have kids when it suits me, not when society expects or throws shoulds.
I would rather live in a hammock on a beach for six months, and write like my soul means it.
I would rather be horribly broke at times, than married to a job because a mortgage payment has my ass on a hook.
I would rather own moments, than investments.
I would rather eat alone, than sit with women who bore me at “Wives’ Night.”
I would rather swim naked with bioluminescence, have it fall like fireflies from my hair, my breasts, my back.
I would rather do handstands naked in the moonlight when no one’s watching than pick bridesmaid dresses.
I would rather drink seven year old rum from a sandy bottle, smell of smoke and ash than sit in church.
I would rather learn from life than rack up debt, in a desk.
I would rather drink the ocean, again and again—celebrate being madly alive.
I would rather my love be defined by love itself, and nothing more or less.
I don’t need a ring on my finger to prove that I am in love.
I would rather take the chicken bus, than spend useless money in safe gated communities. Sit beside a goat, listen to reggaeton and eat green mango with sugar in a plastic bag sold from the woman who harasses the bus each time it stops.
I do not need a degree to prove that I am intelligent.
I do not need to own a piece of earth with some wood on top of it—to feel successful. No one truly owns the land, anyway—we just think we do.
My savings account has diddly to do with my richness.
I would rather sprawl my single ass out like a lioness each morning and enjoy each corner of my empty bed.
I will take a job I love and freedom over a pension, any day.
I will not work and work and work to live when my body is old and I am tired.
Stocks are for people who get boners from money.
Not everyone should have kids, and my eggs aren’t expiring.
I will not drink the societal Kool-Aid on a bus, nor will I drink it on a train.
Not on a plane, with a goat, in the rain, in the dark, in a tree, with a fox, in a box!
I will not jump through societies’ hoops and red tape, the treasure hunt in the rat race we chase.
If we must have milestones—mine will be measured by how much joy I have collected at the end of each day and how often in this life I have truly, deeply, opened.
Seek, see, love, do.”