So far everything on this blog has been written by myself or Andrea. But sometimes others have already stolen the words from your own keyboard.
The piece this is quoted from was written by Nomadic Matt and posted on his blog in 2009. Though I only read it years later (at the prompting of my mom – thanks again for showing me!), it’s one of the reaffirming statements I often turn to when in doubt about a life spent abroad. It’s not an easy enough choice as it is – leaving behind the idea of a conventional career, a house, financial security, friends, and even the prospect of having a family a lot of the time (well, for me this isn’t a big one; I’d rather birth pineapples than children). But having others criticize your choices, the priorities you make in your life, is almost the most difficult.
So for anyone who’s ever wanted more than the slatted light of venetian blinds bending around the corners of your cubicle, or who’s dreamed of a life where dreams do come true (hello Disney upbringing!), or felt too guilty or guilted to follow your deepest goals, I’m spreading this post so that you don’t have to feel you need to validate your aspirations.
Your life is your own path: don’t let it be muddied by the opinions of others. You have every right to make your life into anything you want.
Quoted from “Everyone Says I’m Running Away” by ‘Nomadic’ Matt Kepnes
“The general opinion is that traveling is something everyone should do—that gap years after college and short vacations are acceptable. But for those of us who lead nomadic lifestyles, or who linger just a bit too long somewhere before reaching that final homestretch, we are accused of running away.
“Yes, travel—but just not for too long.
“We nomads must have awful, miserable lives, or are weird, or have had something traumatic happen to us that we are trying to escape. People assume that we are simply running away from our problems, running away from “the real world.”
“And to all those people who say that, I say to you—you’re right.
“I am running away.
“I’m running away from your idea of the “real” world.
“I’m avoiding your life.
“And, instead, I’m running towards everything – towards the world, exotic places, new people, different cultures, and my own idea of freedom.”