“Jobs fill your pockets, adventures fill your soul.”Jamie Lyn Beatty
Expectation: Country-hopping and teaching English worldwide
Reality: Working the 9 to 5 just to stay alive
Deciding between the 9-5 and a one-way ticket is a constant conundrum…
What’s more important? Money or passion? I say passion, until it’s time to pay the bills. Let’s be realistic and stop trying to take money out of the equation. If we took money out of the equation, the economy would collapse.
My passion is to travel the world and teach English. That’s my ticket around the world. Unfortunately, it’s not free and requires self-funding. So now, I’m in D.C. turning my vision into reality.
I could quit my job today with the $2,500 that I have in my savings. I might not go far, however I would be happy traveling the world…. Until my money runs out.
Honestly, I don’t want to be a broke backpacker (or broke at all). Been there, done that, lasted 21 days (insert link to Nicaragua). Earning money to properly fund my travels gives me security and peace of mind. Financial security is important to me, at home and abroad. There were times where I lived paycheck to paycheck and I didn’t know how I was going to make it. There were times where I had to move back in with my parents.
There were times where I paid for everything on my credit card, while barely being able to afford the minimum payment. I have no desire to go back to those days. It felt like shit (for lack of a better phrase).
Having a permanent home, being able to do what I love, fund my retirement account, and have a hefty savings is truly a blessing. My comfort zone causes me less stress, but also less growth.
What do you do when you’re not particularly passionate about what you do for a living? You have two options: Quit your job, or keep working. I’ve had 26 jobs and counting (insert link). I’ve submitted countless resumes and attend endless interviews thinking that my next job will be the perfect job. After 26, I think it’s time to count my losses and CREATE the perfect job. So, I’m using the 9-5 to make that happen. How? Great question:
- First of all, websites aren’t free, so I’m working hard to generate some additional income via mycurrencycanvas. The goal is to be my own boss, and help others do the same.
- I’m saving money to obtain my bachelor’s degree in Germany (which also isn’t free, but it’s a fraction of what it costs in the States). Having a bachelor’s degree will allow me to teach English in any country.
- Thirdly, I’m on the way to visiting #30CountriesBy30 baby
Of course, I’d rather be on a plane and not in an office. Then I remind myself that I’m only 26, and success doesn’t happen overnight. So how do I keep my head on straight and not quit my job (again)?
Here are some ways to find balance between expectation and reality:
1. Invest in your passion
What excites you? What ignites you? What makes you want to say “fuck it” and quit your job? Whatever it is, DO THAT. Whether it’s learning, teaching, traveling, gardening, collecting marbles, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re passionate about SOMETHING. Focus on it with laser-beam intensity. Grind everyday until you manifest that vision into physical form.
I find that being involved in something that I’m passionate allows me to find the balance. I love teaching, so I volunteer at a local language institute and teach English to immigrants. I don’t get paid a penny, but it fills me with all the riches in the world. It also keeps me grounded and in touch with my life-long vision of country-hopping and teaching worldwide.
“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.”Tony Hsieh
The world is vast, wide, and full of opportunity. Traveling takes you out of your comfort zone. It puts you in unknown territory where you have no choice but to sink or swim. It exposes you to sights unseen, people unknown, and lifelong memories.
I make an effort to travel every 3-4 months, because I get really antsy sitting behind a desk all day. I’m addicted to traveling. I am a travel junkie, and I need my fix. Traveling helps puts life into perspective. It opens my eyes to all the endless opportunities that we have living in the United States. Some countries would kill to have a guaranteed 40 hours a week, with benefits, and paid vacation. My students in Nicaragua didn’t even know what it meant to retire. They also thought I was crazy when I asked for $500/month to teach. $500/month is like six-figures in a third world country. That concept still blows my mind.
“We travel not to escape life, but for life to not escape us.”–Anonymous
3. Build your own brand
We spend 8 hours a day building someone else’s dream, just to go home and not work on our own. “I’m tired.” “I don’t have time.” “I have to cook, clean, and get ready for tomorrow.” Weeks, months, and years pass by. We look back and realize that we’re doing the same thing we’ve never been passionate about, and now we’re wondering where the time went. It went to Netflix, Hulu, Instagram, Facebook, chillin, etc…. It went to everything except YOUR VISION. I work three jobs, exercise 6 times a week, and create content for this website. If you want to live your best life, it’s time to live it on your terms. That’s right, create a life by you, FOR YOU. Build your own brand. Do your own thing.
Leave your mark on the world. Make yourself proud. Be your own boss. Your uniqueness is your power. Use that and light the world on FIRE. You’re gonna be tired anyway, so why not make it worthwhile?
“Everyday is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor, we’ve got 24 hours each.”Anonymous
4. Use the 9-5 to your advantage
We’re out here acting like the 9-5 is Hitler, and is out to destroy all our dreams and aspirations. Do I want to work 9-5 for 30 years like my parents? Absolutely not, but it’s really not as bad as it seems. Contrary to (Popular) Millennial Belief, there are quite a few benefits to the traditional 40-hour work week:
- Guaranteed paycheck (I love money and I’m not ashamed about it)
- Paid time off
- Sick days (aka 2 more weeks of paid vacation)
- The opportunity to become DEBT FREE. (Trust me, I’m living proof)
- Health Insurance (Dental, Vision, alll of that)
- Teaches me the virtue that is patience, young grasshopper
- Learning how a business operates
- Job funds my travels (aka I save my paychecks then go on a paid vacation)
“Happiness at work is not about eliminating all the bad stuff from your job. It’s about being happy at work even though some of these bad things are present. It’s about building your skills and your energy to fixAlexander Kjerulf
the problems, and to create more and more positive experiences at work.”
Most importantly, pray, meditate, and/or reflect EVERYDAY. Simply take 5 minutes to be with yourself, and to be with your thoughts. Learn how to be still and live in the moment. Listening to music, exercising, and reading can also serve as forms of meditation.
I wouldn’t consider myself religious, but I thank God and the universe for the good, bad, and everything in between. I always pray for patience, focus, and a healthy state of mind. With that, I know I can do anything.
“If you are quiet enough, you will hear the flow of the universe. You will feel its rhythm. Go with this flow. Happiness lies ahead. Meditation is key.”Buddha
Til then, I’m working the 9 to 5 til I hit the skies.