So, I’m sitting at the airport coffee shop and I’m browsing travel blogs. Most of them have a common vein. Something about someone quitting a job, which they hated, and now they’re traveling the world. Judging by their bios, you’d think the rest of the world were slaving away in shackles somewhere in a hard labor camp in North Korea.
Then, I’m thinking back about all the bloggers I met and how very few made money. How their financial worries shackled them day in and day out, and I’m wondering–is this the freedom they’re talking about? I do think it’s great that people take a leap into the vast unknown, but where does the line of recklessness lie?
One thing does bother me:
This whole rigamarole about quitting jobs and the us vs. them notion of freedom.
I have friends that are perfectly content working in their office jobs. They love their routines. Do I envy them? No. But many are perfectly content. This is their dream.
Then I look at the hordes of nomads living in Chiang Mai, sweating their rent, living in shanty rooms, trying to live a dream that requires a discipline most don’t have, and calling this balls to the walls existence “freedom”.
Remote work requires insane discipline.
And I’m not talking about the “yeah, I can do that, once I get there” kind of discipline. I’m talking about proven, time-tested discipline. The kind that the job you hated back home was teaching you all along. These people behind desks and in cubicles–they have dreams. Their dreams are just different. Financial independence is their freedom. They don’t need to travel the world and take selfies to prove they’re free. They take trips. They stay in exotic resorts. They go on cruises. From office workers to executives, I know plenty who already live the dream back home.
All I can say is I’m thankful for my success today on the road today, because this was my dream. I look back at my coworkers and we do share the same dreams, but we speak a different language. Who is to say whose language prevails? There are things these shackling office jobs teach you. Discipline, perseverance, critical thinking, time management. Especially when you become a manager and you have to lead others; when others rely on your discipline.
I don’t think I’d ever have my discipline today if I’d quit my banking job early on in my career.
So all I have to say is stick to your job and quit bitching. Here’s the story of a travel blogger who puts it all in perspective. It applies to anything online. Get a bachelors or a masters degree. Hone your saw. Yes, I think traveling long-term is phenomenal, but traveling because everyone else is doing it is my definition of total recklessness.
Just tired of reading these shitty, carbon-copied bios. Feels like I’m living in some bad episode of Star Trek and we’ve become nomadic Borgs; a collective of bland drones chirping in 1’s and 0’s about freedom.
Work the heck out of that office job. Be a great manager. Learn some serious self-discipline. Prove to yourself that you do have a powerful sense of discipline.
If you intend to make online work your lifestyle, work your way to success back home before you take such a critical leap.
Damn it, you owe it to you.