It hit me as I descended into Bali. For anyone who has embarked on an adventure with no end date, you know the feeling I’m talking about. A combination of relief, excitement, lightness and complete freedom. Holy cow, I’m actually doing this. I guess to most people ditching the 9-5 to go and live on a tropical island is a hopeful and somewhat fleeting thought, especially as we get older. But since my first independent travels around the world over 10 years ago, I knew it was inevitable.
4 weeks ago, I was offered a yoga teaching/digital marketing position on the beautiful island of Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand. 5 hours a day, 5 days a week doing something that I live and breathe. Who would say no to that? To me it seemed like a no brainer, and it was only when a dear friend said “you are really brave” did it dawn on me that what I was doing was outside of the ‘norm’. My mother cemented this with a concerned “Are you really going to drop everything and have to start all over again when you get back?”. In my mind I answered “HELL YES! Wait, she thinks I’m coming back?” But as much as much as we like to think our society promotes freedom – it doesn’t.
So we use our 20 days annual leave and think we’re being clever when we add in a couple of cheeky ‘sick days’ to travel and trick ourselves into thinking that we’re free. We travel to disrupt our routine, to find ourselves again and some people even travel to ‘one-up’ others. But no matter what your reasons are for travelling, one thing holds true – we look forward to our next holiday and as soon as it arrives we dread its ending. The travel in itself seems to take place in its own island of time, outside the scope of our ‘real’ lives.
Now I’m not saying that what I’m doing is ‘right’ and working 9-5 is ‘wrong’. Just like I’m not saying there is a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ reason to travel. If I’ve learnt anything these past couple of years its that life is fluid – its not rigid. Some of us swim with the stream, some of us swim against the tide thinking that we’re moving when really we’re just fighting the flow of life. All I am hoping to do with this post is to touch a few people’s lives and perhaps even inspire a few to question the social construct that we all feel bounded by.
So as I sit here in Ubud, Bali looking out from the top level of my villa down to the tropical greenery and infinity pool, after been woken up by gang of roosters rather than a garbage truck -all I can say is that it is totally worth it. Life can be a dream.