Reasons for traveling

My first post, I suppose an explanation of why I’m traveling is in order. How do you explain the decision to leave everything and everyone you know to travel with a friend? I have a career that I worked hard to get, in a city that I love (PDX represent!) with friends that always make me laugh and are there when I need them. It’s honestly more than I’ve ever earned the right to ask for and describes the dreams of a lot of people. Why would you decide to leave all of that? My friends and family haven’t ever even asked, they just said that it sounded awesome  which I find interesting as I think about it. Does the desire to see the world speak to such a base human need that people don’t even question it? Until I started writing this post I didn’t question it too pointedly.

I think about why I want to leave and I guess I have an answer. I have been very successful professionally by most metrics. My family and friends are always impressed with what I’ve accomplished, but I’ve never placed much importance on professional success. I accomplished all of my professional goals and it doesn’t seem to matter much. I still work, still pay bills, and still spend way too much on booze and eating out. I set my professional goals when I was in my early twenties and thought I’d still be working on them into my mid thirties. I’m 27 and have already surpassed them.

I don’t want to be middle aged and have no stories and no scars. I want to see the world and push myself before I stop feeling that itch. My brother once told me something that has stuck with me,

“Giving up on your dreams is habit forming.”

I wanted to travel a couple of years ago, but the money didn’t end up working out. Apparently I was terrible at estimating tax returns, apparently your deductions don’t affect your social security and medicare withholding. I thought that I might do it later, but I look at friends and family that put off traveling and never got to. I know it’s never too late, but it just gets harder as you put down roots in places. I don’t have roots in Portland anymore, just friends, and friends can get off their lazy asses and come visit me in awesome places.

I guess that the reason I’m traveling is because I see the path I’ve been following and I don’t think anything at the end of it is what I want. I’m not sure if this path has anything better at the end, but at least I can’t see where it leads.

Noah Gildersleeve
April 2014