My mind raced as I fiddled around with my less-than-peak-performing computer and spotty WiFi for over an hour as the double decker bus breezed through Norwegian and Swedish countryside this morning.
You could only imagine my frustration. Talk about losing patience…
Except I didn’t, and that was a new feeling.
I mean, maybe the WiFi wasn’t working perfectly, but who cared in that moment in time? Anyone who relied on me in real-time was asleep back in the U.S., I had other things to enjoy (a good book – “The Education Of Millionaires” if you were curious), incredible views of foreign territories (may I just say….wow!), and the peace and quiet of knowing that for a few hours, I was unplugged and off any conceivable map. Scary thought for Mom…humbling for myself.
And that’s when three new business ideas, writing topics, and positive thoughts in general hit my system. I could take deep breaths; I was finally on the road (both literally and metaphorically) to designing a life I wanted to live.
And the funny thing is that work-wise, I’ll actually end up becoming more productive over these next 7 weeks traveling abroad given the lack of distractions I will have from previously normal surroundings. I’ll be 6 to 9 hours ahead of most of my partners and clients, and without cell phone service outside of WiFi zones, texts, phone calls, and emails would only be taken and dished out on urgent and important basis.
As for money, I’m currently taking on one of my Gap Year Experiments to attempt to go 7 weeks without paying for a hostel or hotel unless I absolutely want to. And after week one, I’ve been successful. In fact, as I type this, I sit just feet (or meters I should say now…) away from my good friend Magnus who kindly put me up for a few days in Copenhagen and offered to play host.
Gosh I have good friends. Stop reading this article for a second and message a few good friends in your life and just thank them for being awesome. Tell them I say hi as well :).
So, thriftiness in tact, I’ll probably end up saving money while traveling. No $1300 monthly apartment costs. No car to drive. Just me, endless exploration, amazing friends, and general living expenses like food that I’d have to pay for stateside anyways. And being a good friend to others and providing value upfront to as many people as possible has given me the opportunity to do this, have friends all over the world, and begin travel-hacking like a champ.
This first week on the road has been amazing. I’ve taken group selfies, built fires (and catapults…don’t ask), and delivered a speech to Millennial social entrepreneurs from 14 different countries.
And they certainly taught me more than I could ever teach them.
I shook hands with Kailash Satyarthi, a 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and witnessed history and he and Malala Yousafzai accepted their Nobel Peace Prizes just kilometers away from where I watched via live simulcast.
And now, I’m in the next city, after the 9 hour bus ride that both tested my patience and delivered serenity and reflection that few other sights could provide.
I tell you all of this because I want you to know that all of this is totally, 100% feasible, affordable, and easy to access and experience yourself should you want to.
Society will try to tell you different. It will try to force you down the rabbit hole, into the rat race, and through any other animal metaphor for becoming trapped in the “vicious cycle of normalcy” that we can think of.
Mom texted me saying something like, “I’m glad you are having the time of your life.”
And I am…
But I have the time of my life every day!
And I want to challenge you to really question anything you’ve taken for granted to date (your education, your job, what society has told you about X, what the Internet has told you about Y). Most of the time, the people close to you mean well, and your friends mean well, and society doesn’t necessarily mean harm, but without becoming more conscious of your own decisions and taking control of the type of life YOU want to live and not the one others are crafting for you through their unconscious programming of your subconscious, you’re going to miss out.
And I don’t want you to miss out, because I want to catch you in the next city I visit. I want you to become my friend, and I want you to have these similar experiences because they are affordable, because they are doable, and because you can actually make more money, have more fun, and live a more meaningful life this way.
So tonight…just think, like I did during today’s Scandinavian bussing adventures. And when it “hits” you, and those ideas become the seeds for changing your life and those of the people around you for the best, take a deep breath and smile…
You are living one hell of a life.