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Are you stuck in your life?

Do you ever wish you were daring enough to just sell all your stuff and get a one way ticket to anywhere but here? Do you regret some of the decisions you’ve made that have imprisoned you in your own life? Movies like “Fight Club,” “Office Space,” and “In the Wild” are dedicated to people who hate traffic, cubicles, politics and all of society’s hypocrisies. So if we hate being stuck in our lives, why do we keep doing things to make us sink deeper into the despair of monotony?

“One day I’m going to leave and you’re going to miss me when I’m gone.” I’ve been saying that since 1999. Except for a few vacations, I haven’t gone anywhere. I keep making more and more commitments i.e new car and home ownership without any strides towards getting free. Most of my savings are reserved for buying more stuff I don’t need and going places that I plan on coming back from. Why can’t I just leave and go backpacking through Africa, Asia, Australia or even Europe? It would be safer and easier to go backpacking through the 99% of America that I haven’t seen but I haven’t even done that. Why can’t I just get up and go?


We fear change, uncertainty and our own inabilities. We watch Man vs. Wild with absolute envy from our leather couches. We ogle at the Travel Channel on our 50 inch LCD TV’s wishing we were Anthony Bourdain eating some exotic food in Laos. We scorn immigrants for not understanding English without a thought about how brave it must be to move to a country with a strange and difficult to learn language just for a chance at happiness.

A book I read this year exposed my cowardice. The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo is a story about a young shepherd that goes on a journey to an unknown land to find treasure. Through the many twists and turns of his journey, he did not find the treasure he sought but found wisdom and understanding. How many of us would dare venture to a strange land with no money just for the experience of an expedition?

The cliche “The grass is always greener on the other side.” is a saying that warns to appreciate where you are and not to idolize everything that’s new. Is this good advice or a subliminal injection of fear? The grass might actually be greener somewhere else. How can I know if I never adventure out? I might enjoy a desert in Saudi Arabia or a marsh China more than the skyscrapers in New York City but fear of the unknown and the commercial trappings of life have kept me imprisoned in Middle Class America.

Is the safety of a mundane life worth the possibility of never being truly happy?

  • Billy Ocean on March 24, 2010

    I talk about this all the time. No kids and single and I’m still in the U.S. I’ve been wanting to live overseas since I was 12. Still have yet to leave the continent. I cant explain why. But at 35 definitely itching to get out of this rut. How? That is what I want to hear? How have others done it? I’m willing. I can get ready? But am I able?

  • miss410 on March 24, 2010

    I feel the same way, I have no kids and I’m single, and I’m still here too. So many times I’ve said to my self, I wanna go here, and I wanna go there….but I’m still dam here. I know I can go explore the unknown, but as Tito said, it’s the fear that’s keeping me around. How can I let go, and escape?

  • BAnjeeB on March 25, 2010

    I’ve thought about this a lot as well, what I’ve decided is that I can’t beat myself up for not throwing it all away and going where the wind blows, because honestly I like the security of having a home to come back to. So, I’ve decided that I’m going to stop letting opportunities pass me by and stretch myself more. I feel like being down on myself for living as I do will only bring on depression and sadness, but if I look at it as a motivator to do more things that I haven’t done before or that I’ve been too afraid to try, I’ll get some of that adventure.

  • OzzieG on June 17, 2010

    Answer = No. Don’t live a mundane life. This doesn’t mean you have to sell everything and travel the world it just means to decide to do stuff you like and try new things – meet new people – mix things up. Adventure is rarely an all or nothing affair and can be as close as your doorstep and as simple as trying a different flavored ice cream.

    You’re not a coward – I bet if someone was in trouble you’d jump to their aid. By doing small local things you’ll get a chance to build up your decision making and courage muscle then you may get to a point where the big trip is just another decision.

    Fear will never go away (it’s our alert mechanism) and with a comfort zone and no external demand you are in danger of drifting with this one. I travelled and lived overseas for 9 yrs and was lucky I had an external deadline (must go before turning 28) due to work visa rules. Friends with Aussie houses rented them out whilst living overseas and had parents or neighbours keep an eye out for them. A deciding factor for me was I will regret not doing this and there never really is a right time but there would possibly be a wrong time if I started having children or something so why not go now.

    One of the true blessings of living in other cultures is you return with new eyes.

    And don’t worry I’m not some Aussie super hero immune to ‘being stuck’. For me it’s career, Iā€™m stuck thinking I want more meaning in my career so need to change from IT – but to what? I have no clear passion for a new career or desire to climb the corporate ladder. Time to jump on the rollercoaster again

    Happy trails and see you when you hit Aus šŸ˜‰

  • pamela on December 16, 2010

    I feel that was in so many aspects of my life. I felt that way in CA but I was able to pull my courage and drive here frm cali with nothing but my kids my car and wat i could fit in the small trailer on the back of that car. Taking that vhance opened me up to a broader prospective and extinguished a fear of not being able to make it on my own.. great post…

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