I’d like to add a bit about my philosophy towards life. I grew up in the UK as an army child. Early on in my childhood while my father had a good job it didn’t pay as much as you would think. Ordering Dominoes pizza for the family or going out to a restaurant was a special occasion. In the summer we would go to Canada to see my mother’s side of the family. Those were the highlights of my childhood; seeing my grandparents in Canada, going up north to their trailer, swimming in the lake, waking up early to fishing with my papa. Simple pleasures.
It was from these humble beginnings that I realized in university that I didn’t need lots of things to be happy. I found that I valued experiences. Summers in Canada, family holidays, nights out with friends in university. These experiences, memories, would stay with me for the rest of my life and no one could take them from me. I’ve read that our generation is the first ‘post-materialist’ generation in that we are seeing there is more to life than the accumulation of possessions and wealth. I agree with this. I truly think people are beginning to awaken from the Matrix so to speak. More and more people are beginning to explore beyond the mainstream way of life, breaking free from the conformity that is the 20th Century expectation that once you have finished education you should pick a career and stick to it until you retire or die trying.
I don’t want to sound judgmental because I realise the lifestyle myself and others have chosen is not for everyone. Still, does owning a nice car, fancy clothes, a big house, and other materialist trappings make you a better person? I think most people can agree the answer is no. But does traveling the world, experiencing what life has to offer beyond your average daily existence, meeting new people from all kinds of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, and through these things develop a better understanding of yourself and where you fit into the grand scheme of things? I’d say the answer is more likely yes.
People generally spend too much time working. The proof of this is that when people are asked on their deathbeds what is their biggest regret in life, it is often that they didn’t spend enough time with their loved ones and friends, that they played it safe, they didn’t travel enough, or they never followed their dreams or fulfilled their ambitions. Truly heartbreaking.
So I’ve explained what the thinking is behind my philosophy and now let me state it explicitly: I value the time I spend doing new things in places I’ve never been, learning from people and new experiences, deepening my own understanding of myself and others, and generally living a life beyond the daily 9-5 through my travel and teaching abroad.