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On Plans

In college I didn’t know what I wanted to do. All that I knew was that I didn’t want to work in a cubicle from 9-5. I saw some of my friends working this way and it reminded me of the movie Office Space (have you seen this one?). That is probably one reason that I spent so much time in school. But I am very happy with what I do now! Two things that I have always really enjoyed are traveling and computers and in my job, I do both.

I didn’t have much of a plan in college, or at least none that were realistic. I really didn’t have any good plans until after I got back from the trip to Russia. I went back to my old life and realized how small and confining it was and I realized that I didn’t want to be doing the same thing in 1 year. I did a lot of thinking and reflecting on what mattered to me really. I decided that I was going to start following my passions more and not worry so much about where the money was. I started doing that and spent more time reading books and learning things that I enjoyed rather than working in an endless cycle where the stack of work on my desk didn’t get any lower.

So my plan became to be a full time traveler and work when I had the opportunity. That is as simple as it was. I knew that this is what would make me happy ultimately. I knew that the plan wouldn’t happen at once, but I instead had set a goal to have my plan completed in 2 years. I think that was reasonable for this plan because really I could have just sold everything I owned and walked out the door the next day. But I wanted instead to be able to travel without having to worry about money. I knew that I had to start doing more things that would set me up to be on track with my plan, and that included getting a new job.

When I started looking for a different job, I first defined what I wanted out of it. That was, I wanted to be able to travel – maybe because my job paid for it or maybe because I didn’t have to go to an office. At first I had hoped that I would find some job where I could work from anywhere in the world by computer, but I didn’t find that job. I really didn’t care if I worked with computers or not, because traveling is more important to me.

When I interviewed for the position, I didn’t try to make myself look more impressive or more knowledgeable than I was because I knew that it would be a bad thing in the end. I was trying to find a job that matched myself and what I wanted, so exaggerating and boasting would have been the worst thing I could have done. I think that is the key: find a job that matches you, rather than trying to change yourself to match the job.

And now, I am well on my way towards accomplishing what I set out to – to be traveling full time and working when I can. In fact, I’m traveling pretty much full time now. It’s just not my ideal itineraries. But it is great experience for when I am traveling independently and working. I think I am farther along on my plan than I could have been if I hadn’t set my initial target high and if I hadn’t found a job that so closely matched my interests. It took me a little longer to find this job, but the reward was worth the wait.