Monday, April 30, 2012

Collecting Memories Rather Than Stuff

If you wander around on the web long enough you might stumble on several blogs or websites of people that have, with great exuberance, declared that they plan on selling everything they own and travel the world!

Some of these people are single, some are married with kids. Regardless they all feel the need to leave what appears to be a normal life with family, friends and having a steady job to seek something different. Few appear to be able to define exactly what they are looking for by doing all this.

However, the best answer so far is that people want to collect memories versus stuff. Likewise people want to break out of the cookie cutter mold of normal life because for them it is just too boring and they feel as if they are missing something or are somehow trapped.

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with traveling and yes some people have made a career out of doing this, it begs the question, is there no place like home? Simply put if you’re not happy now, you take yourself with you wherever you go, so changing physical locations might not be the real answer. How many happy nomads do you really know?

Experiences versus Stuff In the United States we have created a billion dollar industry by way of self storage units where we store our stuff that we no longer can fit at our residence but are too attached to throw away. Yet, we all gasp when we watch the T.V. show “Hoarders” and shake our heads and ask each other: How can people live like this? While at the same time fail to see all the mess we have created around ourselves in our own lives.

I totally understand the need to disconnect from gathering more stuff. However, it is harder for me to connect with the need to travel the world. I guess the United States is just not big enough and it does not sound as exciting to say you are going to travel all over the United States. So, I guess people want the whole enchilada by exclaiming that they want to see the world and experience different cultures.

However, I can tell you a little secret, there are plenty of different cultures right here in the U.S. that would take years to discover, but that is another story! If we can for a moment let’s look at the reality of this “want” that people are expressing and understand this is a “want” not a “need!”

First and foremost I’m not saying this is a bad idea nor am I making a judgment call on the people who are doing this. I just simply want to focus on the reality of the situation.

Most folks doing this don’t have the passive income to sustain themselves long term. I’m guessing reality must hit hard and fast living on the cheap even if you are totally used to living on the cheap! Living from motel to motel or hostel to hostel can be interesting but there is a reason no one really lives there!

How many times have you heard the phrase: It's not the destination, but the journey that is important! Unfortunately there are no perfect places on earth, because someone every where you are going is always thinking there is somewhere better than where they are right now.

Our reality has been photo shopped to make us think what we have, where we are and how we live is substandard. In reality, we are the richest and most free people the world has ever known yet we are too self absorbed to see this. We don’t know how to wake up and smell the coffee because we are too busy looking for the things we don’t have to recognize the things we actually do possess.

Friends if you want to travel the world and see reality for what it really is, first look in the mirror. When you can be totally happy with what you see in your reflection then you might find you no longer have to pack.

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