The meme below shows me a few weeks ago in the Philippines, and when I say that I don’t have money, I do not mean that I am travelling without spending a penny. What I mean is: I have no savings and I’m finding money as I go along in order to keep on traveling the world.
You see, I used to travel for my work, but now I am only working when I need to in order to keep doing what I really love – traveling.
I started my travels when I was 18 years old and chose to be a full-time wanderer when I was 19 years old, but it took me almost until my 39th birthday to realize that I was still trying to create a permanent base in one place despite every ounce of my being (and my mom) telling me that I would never settle in one location.
At the end of October last year, I decided to make my life one that I will never need a vacation from, and I set off on a permanent holiday.
In order to do this, I decided to stop thinking about the past or future (and let those worries and doubts arise and pass away by coming back to what is going on around me now).
I made a choice to instead act on my intuition full-time.
Why? Because thoughts are the result of the information we have accumulated from our external experiences (our conditioning), but intuition, I believe from my own experience, is the key to who we are inside.
And since I began living what I call ‘The Art of Not Thinking,’ my luck and happiness have become unstoppable.
If life is like a train journey, then I feel like I have completely locked onto my railroad track and I also feel completely safe and guarded, even protected, as the universe literally seems to be helping me out on my way.
And from talking with other people I meet on my way, I have come to believe that your intuition will guide you on the correct path for you, and everyone can lock onto their own personal railroad track.
Also, listening to intuition, and not thoughts, can be improved and perfected, like any exercise, when practiced daily.
So for those people who would say to me: “I don’t have money to just pack up and travel, but I wish I did,” let me reassure you that if that is what you would really like to be doing, then it is completely possible.
As a qualified languages teacher, I earn money mostly by teaching English, but there are many ways you can work to travel. My friend Gerry has worked mostly in construction cash-in-hand and traveled more than anyone I know.
Another friend, Andreas, is currently working in a hostel for accommodation and food. I met Kristopher and Lesley working as artisans making and selling bracelets and necklaces on the streets. My friend Berna works in a cake shop, saves and travels, then does it all over again.
I know people who have picked marijuana and potatoes in California, and others who have volunteered on farms using workaway and WWOOFing. I have met people who live in social activist communities contributing whatever skills they have for the benefit of all, and others who live in Buddhist centers or permaculture farms and work the land to feed themselves.
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These people are young and old, solo or couples, and even families with children. The possibilities are literally endless, and anyone can do it.
Society tells us that the ‘right’ way to live is to get a job, work long hours and build a career, so that we can own a house and buy lots of nice things, while also putting away as much money as possible, so that when we get old, we will be comfortable in those last years before we die.
This is an option, but it is only one option, so why should it be right for everyone? To me, this option seems like lots of work (literally) and lots of stress.
In China they say, “It is better to cry in an expensive car than be happy on a bicycle.” A lifestyle based on earning more for material gain benefits our economy which demands permanent growth while destroying our planet, but does it benefit us?
Psychologists suggest that we are becoming unhappier and more depressed, the more we buy and the richer we become (source).
So if money is not the point, what is?
The answer to this question will be different for everyone, but I think the best way to come to your own answer is by asking yourself one other question:
“When I die, whenever that may be, will I look back in those last moments and say to myself that I made the most of this experience called life?”
Hopefully the answer to this question for you is “yes!”
But if the answer is “no,” I believe your intuition (or possibly your mom) will tell you what to do about it.
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