Helpful advice from a friend
So I just got off the phone with one of the most adventurous buddies I know that is working in Alaska for some seasonal work. Aaron and I attended the same university and joined the same fraternity (shout out to Beta Theta Pi) for a while. We connected deeply with conversations and dreams of world traveling. We discussed his amazing stories in Alaska and some challenges he is facing being around the same people constantly and other conflicts. He asked about my plans after graduation and I updated him on my girlfriend situation from Venezuela. We got on the topic of getting out of the comfort zone and how that connects to the challenges with traveling. We discussed possible career/side jobs that are available in the United States and abroad (and some adventures without any income). Here are some opportunities that we discussed that I am actively pursuing.
Teaching English Abroad (TEFL Certification)
This idea was brought to my attention in 2013 before I graduated high school. This is an incredible opportunity to dive into. The certification is applicable worldwide leaving limitless opportunities. I remember thinking about this opportunity and having the itch to teach in Spain. This particular itch urged me to go during my European obsession. Now given the choice, I would take the chance to go to South East Asia in Thailand hands down. It is time to pursue this and get out of my comfort zone by gaining new social teaching skills IN ANOTHER COUNTRY, with kids who have limited English communication abilities. What the heck, let’s do it and get that TEFL Certification!
Scuba Diving Instructor
So I am not necessarily scared of water, but I am not exactly comfortable with being in deep water with aquatic creatures that can poke me, bite me, or whatever else that can happen! However! I have always been fascinated with the ecosystems and the functions of aquatic life in general and the roles they have as an aquatic community. I went snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico about a year or two ago, and I absolutely loved it!
When there is something that makes me uncomfortable for trying something new, I am the guy who needs to confront that fear, and conquer it. So to get over the tiny little fears of scuba diving (which honestly sounds so ridiculous to me that I fear anything about Scuba Diving) I will have to sign up for some scuba diving classes/workshops. Plus, how amazing would it be to travel the world and take people on Scuba Diving excursions? Sign me up, and let’s go take some classes!
Pacific Crest Trail (Only 2,650 miles of hiking)
Okay, so this does not make me any money. However, it would be something to do for a good chunk of the year as it takes the average person to hike this monster trail five to six months to complete! That is only if they hike the whole darn trail. The trail runs from Southern California all the way to the tippy top of Washington. A hodgepodge of all climates, wildlife, terrain, and whatever else life throws at you versus you!
I have dreamed of doing this since I read the book, Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This woman hiked the majority of the trail by herself while meeting people along the way. This challenge would DESTROY my comfort zone fears and basically would kiss it goodbye! The only issue with this is getting time off of work, having the right equipment, and having the money for resupply drops. The good news is my sister wants to do the same thing in a couple years with me after she finishes aviation school. Let’s go!
Living off a bicycle
Wait. How do I live off a bicycle? Recently this idea has been run by me by a fellow coworker. There are so many questions with this idea of living off of a bicycle:
- Where do I cook?
- How much rent money will I save?
- How healthy will I become? (hopefully really healthy)
- How can living off a bicycle impact me and other people in a positive way?
There are so many amazing opportunities with this option. For example, I do not own a car, so this would help me transition into having a no-car-lifestyle! We discussed living in the woods (I do not suggest you do this) and just setting up a tent/camp for a few nights. It is a nomadic lifestyle! My buddy suggested there are areas where we can shower such as gas stations (also support them by buying goods), cook at a few local places he is familiar with, crash at our friend’s houses, and of course easily travel on two wheels to where ever we want to go. Right now, he is on his way to Saint Louis in this very moment by bike! Let’s make this happen!
So what’s next?
A rough plan to accomplish all four of these would be fairly simple in a perfect world. It would be smart to live off a bike saving money with having little to no rent money saving 300+ dollars per month. While living off of a bike, it would be smart to be taking the online TEFL certification while I am also still working putting money in the bank. Next, teaching English abroad in a different country (perhaps Thailand) while exploring the country and learning how to obtain a Scuba Diver Instructor License. Ideally, I would be receiving an income from teaching English, while also taking classes and workshops to obtain a Scuba Instructor Certification. After that is said and done, I could leap into a 360 degree change. I can take some of the money saved from teaching English and invest in some ultralight gear, and plan some resupply drops for the monster hike on the Pacific Crest Trail!
There is a lot to offer in this world, and I want to achieve as much as I can on this exciting lifestyle! With some patience, time, and some effort to get out of that comfort zone, anything and everything is possible to accomplish. Let’s get it!
Please comment with questions, comments, or advice on how to make this a better experience, or what you think will or will not work.