If there’s one word in the English language that makes my heart skip a beat it has to be the word “travel”. I’m sure by now you may have noticed that I’m a sucker for any form of adventure. Without a doubt, travel has always topped the list for me.
It wasn’t always this way. I look back on my life and feel a little like Benjamin Button, who was born old and died young.
I took the serious path in my teens and early twenties, worked hard and by the time I qualified as a Lawyer on the 25th birthday, I was second in command of a litigation department, owned my own property, car and all the trappings.
On the day I qualified as I sat in my office, I felt overwhelmed. I should have felt elated; I had climbed my own personal mountain and achieved my goal. Sitting there that day, I felt the reality of the next forty years ahead, on an endless clock, in a stuffy office. Round and round on a metaphorical hamster wheel. I felt sick at the thought of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets over my chosen career path. Just as I have no regrets of leaving it behind now. The skills and experience I gained over the 15 year period I worked within the legal profession were invaluable in shaping the person I have become.
As a 25 year old, I was hit by the realisation that I had missed out on the playtime of my teens and early twenties. I really needed to make up for it.
Sixteen months later amid calls of career suicide, I set off on what would be my first travelling adventure. A full year away, travelling on a whim to wherever the wind blew me. No responsibilities, no ties and definitely no clocks. I had bought myself a big wedge of time.
They say that to travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer and I agree. My year away saw me trek throughout Nepal, criss-cross the whole of India by train, let loose in Thailand, turn into an adrenaline junkie in New Zealand and get downright lost in China.
From the places to the people, the different cultures and the food, my awareness and perception of life rapidly altered and expanded, challenging the status quo of my inner beliefs and values. For the first time in my life, I understood what is was to be rather than do. To be wild instead of tame.
Suffice to say that when I returned to the UK, I was not the same person. While I returned to law for another 10 years, I knew there was another way. I carried a sense of wildness, “I will not be tamed” attitude that I have not been able to shake off since nor do I want to.
Travel was my call to the wild and a love affair was born. Like a thirst that will never be quenched, I am greedy for experiences and life-altering lessons. This need for more led to me leaving my legal career behind and forging a new path. Yet I’m still as driven as I was as a Lawyer when it comes to my work.
Like so many others of my generation, we are the pioneers who refuse to be tied to an office chair for most of our working life with no desire to live the life of a dropout. We are carving our own way, each different to the individual.
More and more people are embracing the uncertainty of the world of self-employment to follow their passions while gaining their independence from the dogma of working for organisations and having a boss. We are changing the status quo. This is what I see as a Return to the Wild, to be the masters of our own lives and destiny.
So “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2016. All Rights Reserved.