Saturday, January 20, 2018

I Travel But I'm Not Rich

Just because I travel, it doesn't mean I earn a hefty paycheck. It doesn't mean I come from a wealthy family. And just because I travel, it doesn't mean I'm secretly a rich and famous author.

I feel like I have to say this - to clear this up - because often times, people assume my bank account is overflowing with ka-ching. Friends imagine I'm paid highly at my day job, strangers are quick to conclude that my parents are sponsoring my trips, and extended family assume I'm earning thousands in book royalties. But here's the truth: I'm not earning a lot from my 9-6 job, I pay for my own escapades (and then some), and the last time I cashed in a royalty cheque - of a few US dollars - was over two years ago. I'm not wealthy. I simply choose to invest in experiences rather than possessions. #TypicalMillennialRight?

To some, this might sound silly. Wouldn't I need a house one day? Shouldn't I be saving for my future children? Why am I investing in a holiday, instead of a retirement plan? Very legitimate questions. And yes, I do have a retirement plan and a savings account. But... I don't have the money to buy a house, nor do I have any cash prepared for my future children. Why? Because if I die tomorrow, I can't take my deeds or bank savings to the grave. But if I die tomorrow, I can take my memories. I can take the experience of sinking knee-deep into snow, the sight of a glorious mountain range, and the understanding of another culture, beyond my death. In my final moments, I wouldn't be thinking of a life I could've lived, but I would've actually lived it.

Of course, I know that growing up means more responsibilities. I'm aware, that if and when I settle down to start a family, I may not be able to travel as frequently as I do now. I'll experience another facet of life, with a change of priorities. And I'm fine with that. But for now, in this season of my life where I have the freedom to explore, learn, and encounter, I'm going to invest in experiences... and do so wisely (always on a budget). After all, I didn't inherit a million dollars from a long lost relative. I have to make the most of what I have for a world beyond my own. And until the road ahead requires me to turn, I'll be charging forward.

(P.S I'll be heading to UK next! So stay tuned for the details in the coming months.)

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