My first every blog post, but why?
The early days…
Since as early as I could remember I always wanted to have my own business. I remember being around 6 when my parents ran a hotel and restaurant and I decided to set up a small table at the front of the restaurant with all of my Pokemon cards laid out. I ranked them in rarity and in popularity with different prices based on what I felt were the ‘going rate’. My parents joke about it now at family gathers but looking back, even then I knew what I wanted.
I knew back then the aim was to be successful. Sean, a boy at school, had managed to sell half of the cards he wasn’t using to a load of kids at the local farmers market and had gained legendary status at school for this reason! I wasn’t interested in the money, more the respect and admiration of the people around me.
So… finished school, then what?
Jump forward 20 years and not much has changed. I left school with no ambition for universities and enrolled in a practical BTEC Course for Business (for those of you not familiar with BTEC’s which are 100% coursework with no exams; they are widely regarded as the ‘Posh Spice / Victoria Beckham’ of college education). Whilst studying in my first year I also started working in my first full time job at a local computer firm doing mostly retail sales that later evolved into taking charge of advertising, social media marketing, point of sale design and influencing all the sales team whilst still completing my college course on my day off (all for minimum wage I might add!).
After completing college and working my butt off for 3 years with not much reward at said computer firm I was recruited for the company I now presently work for, and with a starting salary of 2.5 x times more than what I was earning before; what wasn’t to like? So I worked my way up the corporate ladder securing a promotion in the 1st year as the youngest salesperson to achieve the companies ‘Level of Excellence’ and continued this pursuit of career fuelled progression, continuously working overtime unpaid, pushing myself, putting myself out for my boss, offering to cover different stores, putting my friends behind my work life and missing out on important events due to work commitments.
And all the time telling myself… it’s for your career; it will all be worth it in the end when you get that big promotion. Which takes me to this time last year. You see, I’ve always been working towards this goal of being ‘successful in life’. The problem was, what I’d been told success was (i.e. earning loads of money and paying off your mortgage and having a fancy car) wasn’t really making me that happy.
It all changed for me when I discovered
Don’t get me wrong, in the past, I’ve been abroad on holidays with family, past girlfriends etc but I’d never really been interested in culture and different countries. I’d always just been interested in a free bar, (this does still capture my interest now I must admit) getting a tan and delaying the inevitable return to work. What was different now was for the first time I was visiting these different countries by myself and it allowed me to see beyond the rat race I had been programmed into believing, and what I needed to strive for to be ‘successful’ in life.
Any of you that have travelled and experienced hostels will know exactly what I mean when I say there’s a sense of companionship and friendship like none I have ever experienced. When you meet genuine strangers who within less than an hour can seem like friends you’ve known for years, who can be so cuttingly honest about life as a whole that it warps your view of your whole life. When you get a whole bunch of people together who have all got like minded views it’s amazing how your feelings can change, and this is what happened to me.
I looked at all of the gadgets and gizmos and flashy clothes and expensive things I had in my life and initially thought of doing a ‘Fight Club’ and blowing the whole of it up, luckily saner minds prevailed.
What travelling had taught me was I wasn’t living my life; I was working towards this ever changing goal of progression within my career to earn a set amount of money so that when I was older I could buy expensive things that wouldn’t make me happy. Travelling has shown me I don’t need lots of money to live my life and be happy, I need to see the world to live.
Rundown of my first ‘travel’ experience
The first time I went away by myself I experienced the urban beauty of Berlin where I stayed in a hostel for one night and befriended two amazing Australians (shout out to Ash & Andrew) before getting an early morning train across to Prague for 3 nights. Then meeting a group of Americans studying abroad and experiencing Praha and all its inner workings for the whole summer. Whilst then planning to head back to Berlin I was contacted by said amazing Australians to let me know they’d got a spare bed in Munich at the Oktoberfest Festival and they wanted me to have it. In this spare room that I’d been gifted, I met another group of Australians who gave me a spare ticket for the Bayern Munich game they were going to see (the date was September 22nd, 2015. If you’re not a football fan Robert Lewandowski scored 5 goals in under 10 minutes, setting a new Bundesliga record) all of which I was goal side for when he completed that wonderful feat. As well, I enjoyed the Oktoberfest, meeting lots of amazing people and getting rather tipsy on German beer.
I’ll blog in more detail about my other trips away but what I learned was I needed to experience more of the world and meet more of these wonderful people. It turns out surrounding myself and meeting extraordinary and kind people makes me so much happier than any shiny new car or posh TV ever could. Since that first time going away by myself I’ve been away 8-9 times on mini-breaks, little trips and holidays trying to capture more of what I experienced that first time away and all have been amazing successes but it has made me realise that what I want out of life is to travel and live my life every day like these small breaks.
And that, dear readers, is a little bit about myself. In my next post, I’ll give you all a little more information on how I plan to ‘Get Jobless’. To read the next post on ‘My Game Plan on How to get Jobless’ click here.
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