Life is short. Very short. Even if I life to 100, more than a quarter of it is already over, and as far as we know (unless Buddha is right) this is the only time we get on the bizarre, fascinating rock in space that we call home. It is weird. It is exciting. But unfortunately, in modern society, it is frequently taken for granted.
Far too often, we're lulled into a false sense of comfort, and settle into a monotonous routine, thinking we'll always have tomorrow. We prefer not to consider that we are all temporary and neglect that the world is a huge place with so much to experience. Instead we set out on a linear path that involves working the same job for years, saving up (ideally), settling down and ultimately retiring, all the while our number of tomorrows continually shrinks. This is the standard way of life in the western world, and looking at it for what its worth, it seemed absolutely absurd.
I never really had a sudden 'Ah-ha' moment that made me think this way. Like many in the northeast part of the US, I was on a trajectory that went from high school to college to New York City for a series of jobs that ultimately put me behind a desk. I was 23 at the time, working a nine to five, was (somewhat) on a career path, and rented an apartment. In short, this is what I had been told to strive for, but something was off. This couldn't be it. It was so regimented, void of any spontaneity or unexpected excitement. I thought back to when I was a kid and all the things I wanted to be while growing up. And while many of my dreams were odd and in some cases impossible (i.e. living with a community of gorillas), they were all interesting and out uniquely my own. None of them involved being crammed into a subway twice a day with angry, sweaty businessmen. I needed a change.
After a year and a half I left New York, got a TEFL (teach English as a foreign language) certification, and set out to experience whatever else was there. As crazy as it sounds, I even started shifting my focus towards enjoying and making the most out of life. (Yes! Believe it or not, we as people have the ability to be joyful!) I decided to disregard everything I was told about fearing the world outside my comfort zone, and disregard the 'dangers' of uncertainty, and it has been an amazing ride so far. That is why I have created The Global Hobo blog. I want to connect with people, share my experiences, and hear the tales of others, whatever they may be.
I'm not claiming to have all the answers or to even know better than anyone else. The last thing I want to do is be a pretentious blogger that goes 'travel changed my life and I'm so much better than you.' Who cares about 'better.' It's a judgmental and subjective word. I just enjoy what I'm doing and hope to share the stories of ridiculous things that happen along the way with anyone willing to listen. And I also fully understand that this isn't going to bring in the money to afford a giant house in the suburbs, sports cars, or regular haircuts. I don't want any of that. It's just more unnecessary things to worry about.
What I have instead are these ridiculous stories from far off places, all the while neglecting financial stability and the comfort of a planned tomorrow. Essentially, it's what we're always told (whether by the news or power hungry politicians) to be afraid of. And sure, I admit there is always the chance it could all crash and burn one day. Maybe I won't be so lucky on the next mountain thunderstorm, but so what. These past couple years have been amazing and I've done more than I could have imagined in a lifetime (for less than my NYC rent). I made this blog to replace fear of the unknown with fun and bring anyone else who wants into this strange yet amazing world.
So enjoy my stories and share your own! Go out and make a friend from somewhere abroad. Embrace the excitement of going somewhere new, strike up a conversation with someone you otherwise never would have, and do something bizarre, outlandish and extraordinary that you never could have imagined. Life can be an amazing ride. Be present and enjoy it as much as you can. Don't just wait for it to be over. Be open to the world and live the life you always wanted because you can!