the price of travel

As much as I wish I had an infinite source of income, my reality is that of a struggling millennial. I dream of far off places and distant lands, but try to have the best of both worlds by living in an interesting city and surrounding myself with interesting characters.

If I truly wanted to travel the world, all the blog posts tell me what I should do: teach English in South Korea. Live in my parent’s basement and work a miserable corporate job for a few years, driving a beater car that I’ve inherited. Spend my time at my home base with no outings.

Frankly, I can’t do that.

I see adventures as having levels.

Macroadventures are the round-the-world travel – the kind that you quit your socially accepted reality and go jetsetting and developing culture shock.

Microadventures are the 1-2 week vacation style – the time you take off of work and delve into something interesting.

Nanoadventures are what you can fit into a weekend – the type where people don’t even know you’ve disappeared.

If I never did nano or microadventures, I could easily have saved up for another macroadventure.

But I can’t do that. The last time I tried, I spiraled into a depression that left me helpless for six months.

So I choose to live.

I choose to pack an overnight bag in five minutes and be out the door in a heartbeat.

I choose to meet strangers at new restaurants and cafes.

I choose to spend my hours elaborating on my knowledge base, rather than sitting content and waiting for the next international flight.

I’m not rich.

I watch my pennies, and cringe when I fork over rent and car insurance, knowing I’m trapped on the quieter side of life for a few more days until my next paycheck. I squirrel away the dollars into a travel fund, counting the numbers growing far slower than I wish they would.

I know they could, but I choose the adventures that allow memories every week or every month, instead of only every year.

Sometimes, that is paying the entrance fee to a national park.

Sometimes, that is buying a coloring book to fill in while Skyping with my college roommate.

I’m learning that I don’t have to feel guilty for following my own path. I’m not a grand-scale traveler, nor am I climbing any corporate ladder. I’m just taking each day at its own worth and enjoying being alive – right here in my own back yard.


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