The question I get asked most often, from old and new friends, family, and other travelers, is "What are you doing with your life?"
So I thought this would be a good place to start.
If you know me at all, you know that I can't keep a plan to save my life... especially when it comes to deciding on what to do as a career. The idea of settling on one interest for the rest of my life never really suit me. So instead of trying to make a 'plan to success', I decided to simply head in a direction that interests me and makes me happy in the moment.
Here is where permaculture comes in (if you don't know what permaculture is, don't fret little lamb... you can find a brief intro HERE). As permaculture is a holistic approach of thinking, I don't have to decide on just one "career path". I can explore anything that I find interesting and want to learn more about (e.g. urban garden design, drawing, soap making, cooking...) keeping in mind an intentional direction towards sustainability, human and environmental health, education, and building networks. Some ways I'm going about exploring this is by utilizing fair work exchanges - working in exchange for food and living accommodation. It's an easy, cheap, and fun way to learn and travel.
Websites like HelpX, Workaway, and WWOOF are the most commonly used links and offer indefinite opportunities to gain practical experience in whatever you find interesting while discovering new interests. Types of work vary from organic and non-organic farms, education centers, musicians, building projects, web design, eco-villages, teaching, baby sitting, pet/house sitting, animal training... the opportunities are endless. I'll post more details about work exchanges, what it's like, and how they differ later. But for now, you get the gist of what I'm up to.
It seems like the older we get, the more we have to remind ourselves that what we do in life should make us happy. Too often we get stuck in the race to become 'successful' in the quickest way possible. We forget to take our eyes off the path and look up at the beauty of the world that surrounds us. We let go of opportunities to explore the world and trust our hearts in the kindness of strangers because we are afraid of the uncertainty. There's the timeless saying that we all know so well, that "money doesn't bring us happiness", yet we still make it a first priority. If making money is your motivation to work, or simply meeting societal expectations, then happiness isn't going to be easy to find. Of course there will always be hard times, but if you enjoy what you do and you are grateful for what you have, then happiness comes naturally.
The second question I get most is "when are you going home?". And I think most people mean when this 'trip' will end, and not just when I'll be back visit. Compared to other travelers - going for 1, 3, 10+ years at a time - I haven't been on the road for long. I think I find it difficult to say when I'm coming home, because I don't see this as just a trip. Traveling is not my way of letting go of reponsibilities and escaping reality... it simply is my reality. When the day comes that I feel this nomadic lifestyle doesn't make me happy anymore, and the option to go home does, then I'll do just that. It could be a year from now, or never... but what I do know is that this year is the start of a new chapter in my life.
Now the big question is... "What will I be doing next?"
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Come wander with me...