Traveling is a funny thing. Once you get the bug its hard not to come home from a trip and start researching your next destination. Like most Americans or just any person caught up in their busy daily lives, traveling is far fetched dream. A picture of somewhere tropical on your computer screensavor or a picture in your cubicle of an overwater hut that most will never see in person. Busting out of the norm and going on a longer holiday than a couple weeks or a big weekend is the too much for the so called average person to save for or even fathom.
Times are slowly changing and the mentality of a traveler is as well. I’ve seen the progression especially in the last five years and it seems like a lot more people are fed up with the status quo. Tired of sitting in a desk slaving away for a paycheck that eventually goes to paying bills and purchasing things we feel are important to fill the void. We try to make excuses like I need this for the house or I need that new car because the neighbors got one or just trying to make ends meet because you are constantly rent poor, etc. The mentality of keeping up with the Jones’s and the competitive spirit that fuels the needs and wants is what keeps us from truly living out our dreams.
It’s in the very attachment to things that we fail to truly live in the moment and really appreciate our lives as a unique beautiful human that we are. Instead, we are being told we don’t have enough and constantly in search of outside sources of happiness which is according to most psychologists only a short term gain anyhow. Once we buy the new item the feeling is gone and lack of interest forms until the next shiny thing or toy grabs our attention. Western business cultures thrive on this mentality because it ensures they will always have customers if they can sell us on the fact that we need that new seasonal thing, color, new design that will make it better etc. In the USA we are constantly bombarded with TV sales, online ads, and billboards constantly telling us what they think we want based on some algorithm or marketing team that doesn’t ever have your best interest in mind but a sales quota or margin to meet.
I have been a part of this just like the rest of us and been caught up with the new new mentality at times especially not growing up in middle class America. Having to sell people on things they don’t need because the business mentality is you either do it or you will be replaced by someone who will. Never was this more evident than working as a banker for over a decade. The pure greed and lack of true caring for the human on the other side of the phone, fueled by the more is better mentality, led to the bubble bursting in 2008 and peoples lives being torn apart. I have gotten let go because I actually told someone they had a good deal and they should just keep what they got.
You see, I was taught the old school business etiquette to make a friend for life, actually care about them and knowing them better, was able to help in what they really need. To do good business with my clients was priority number one and because of this I was able to maintain a steady clientele even after the crash. In todays business culture it’s all about what have you done for me lately. Quantity over quality. Somewhere along the lines society bought into this bigger is better and we have progressively gotten worse. The banks got the bailout and the Americans got the middle finger.
I’m not a victim or even playing one but I thought I was living the American dream. Making six figures, buying my first home in Aliso Viejo a prominent neighborhood behind Laguna Beach, California. Driving a fancy new SUV paying way too much thinking it will last forever and that I had finally made it. Life has a funny way of showing you that you are not in control and other powers are in play that even if you do all the so called right moves like saving money getting that perfect loan, and trying to be a good member of society, you can lose it all in an instant!
Slowly burning through $50,000 savings trying to save a property I put so much time into until I had nothing, zero, zilch. So attached to the idea that this property represented who I was and the feeling of losing myself and all the hours and hard work I put in was at times just too much to bear. I was depressed, black balled from finding other work because people blamed bankers like myself when the real decisions were made by the CEO’s, VP’s and board members of the big banks and federal government. Everyone was in on it except us who were for the most part just trying to keep our jobs. I was ashamed of my situation often not letting on how bad it really was. Only my close family understood what was going on and if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have ate or kept the lights on during this time.
Ten years has now past and a lot of lessons were learned along the way. One of the biggest things was how to survive with less. What can I do to improve my life without spending money. Fitness became an instant inspiration and was something I could utilize my time that didn’t cost anything. So I worked hard training for the fight of my life and thankfully came out stronger in the end. It was a long hard struggle though balancing between knowing I was going to lose my home and everything I had worked for and the positive feeling I would get when I put all my energies into my life, my health, and myself. Those days are thankfully behind me and now my path is blessed by those past lessons that things don’t matter nor do they make up who we are and happiness is the only goal.
We are the creator of our own experience and it’s within that shift that I transformed my journey to living a life that I love NOW and not to wait for some retirement dream that may or may not come. To live in the now, today, and to understand their is no need to compete. Life is a gift, one that we should be grateful for and within that subtle shift everything becomes possible. Options are truly limitless when you let go of the resistance we are conditioned to set for ourselves based on others opinions wether it be family, society or just our own brains playing tricks on ourselves.
This is not a new concept but one that has been taught by our elders and ancient civilizations that revered the power that lies within. They understood that we are truly special beings and have everything we need to create a life filled with Joy and happiness as we are intended. Of course just as the Yin and Yang sign suggests everything comes in balance and not attaching ourselves to heavily to one thing or another is key. The balance between what we put on ourselves and what is actual reality is sometimes a fine line. Letting go and realizing you do not have to control everything but just to be you as nature intended. We as humans often separate ourselves from nature thinking we are better because of our diet or needs but we are not separate from nature but one in the same.
When you realize this simple concept and flow with nature, life just becomes easy. The things you so attached yourself to before become meaningless, and priorities change. Traveling the world has also helped giving me new perspectives. How other people and cultures live their lives and that we all on a basic level have the same concerns for humanity, our families, and the basic need to live a happy life. Letting go of conditioned concepts of old has been a blessing in disguise for me. Seeking truth and seeing others as one helps to maintain a positive flow to my life. I am truly blessed and feel especially lucky that I had this crazy experience of losing everything to gain all that I have today…Myself!
Thanks for sticking with this blog, I truly feel grateful for each and every one of you that take the time to read and connect on a personal level. Stay tuned in and add your email to get updates on new blogs more focused on travel information and my full time travel journeys!
Blessings and safe travels!