6 Reasons Why You Should Prioritize Adventure Over 'Doing Things Right'
Spoiler: There's no such thing as "doing things right."
We all have an idea of what "doing things right" is. Chances are it goes something along the lines of graduate school > get a job > buy an apartment > get a beau > start paying bills > cry quietly in the shower.
Though you might not feel the most fulfilled on that path, you feel like you're doing what's expected of you and have some comfort from that. But what happens when you get the idea that you want to do something different, like go on an adventure? Can you really break away from all of that? I think you can, and here are six reasons why.
1. No One's Going To Remember Their Disappointment In Five Years...Except You
It can be tough letting your mom know you're moving to Europe for a year, or breaking it to your friends you won't be around fro Sunday brunch for a couple of months. You can just imagine your boyfriend's disappointed face when you break it to him you're going to Spain for two months without him, or the guilt you'll feel walking to your boss's office to hand in your two month's notice.
These aren't easy situations to maneuver, and the fear of disappointing the important people in your life can keep you staying put in your your hometown. But before putting your passport away, think of it this way: They might be disappointed right now, but will they remember that five-minute-sting five years from now? Probably not. Will you remember that same sting when you still haven't gone to that city you've been secretly planning in your head since high school? Probably yes.
It's okay to be selfish once in a while - put yourself first every now and then.
2. You Have 60 More Years To Get Back On Track
A big concern a lot of people have when tinkering with the idea of an adventure is that it'll throw a wrench into their life plans. All that money spent will put you back on that Anthropologie couch you were saving up for/will derail your progress in your career/might put a strain on your current relationship/etc. My question to that is: Why are we living on five year plans?
We have decades ahead of us that are available to straighten out the creases that our adventures caused, so there will be plenty of time to come home to your new love seat and to get that corner office!
3. You Never Know Where This Experience Can Pinball You
How do you know that the thing "you're doing right," is even right? You might be on a comfortable, cookie-cutter path (and there's nothing wrong with that!) but who's to say you can't be doing something even more amazing?
When you go travel, you tap into the truest, most amazing form of yourself. You learn (and I promise you that you will) that you can handle so much more than you give yourself credit for, you come across people that make you see life through a different perspective, come across experiences you'd never be able to in your hometown, and discover surprising passions that were waiting for your paths to cross.
On this adventure, you might learn that you're a writer, a photographer, a closet cook, a teacher, an organizer, a croissant maker, and event planner, a humanitarian, a boss business lady. You might meet someone that plants a seed in your head, or someone that will offer you an opportunity to try something new. You never know.
4. "Doing Things Right" Is An Empty Phrase
What if Matisse stayed a lawyer, Bukowski kept being a mailman, JK Rowling a bilingual secretary? They were all on a comfortable path and doing what was expected of them...And if they didn't have the courage to stand on their tip toes and peek over the rest of the heads on their path, they'd never know what else was out there for them.
They disappointed and worried those around them by no longer doing the right thing and taking a chance, and magic happened. What does this have to do with traveling? The point is that there is no one right way to do things. There's a way most people do things, but there isn't one right path. Don't put so much weight on that phrase that it stops you from doing something you really want to try.
5. It'll Teach You How To Choose Yourself
Instead of putting your passport back under a stack of papers, convince yourself to be brave enough to pick yourself for once. Don't worry about what your mom will tell her book club when they ask how you're doing in your career, or what your roommate will say when you tell her you're clearing out for awhile, but have one wild moment where you think of nobody but yourself. And what would make you happy, you fulfilled, you wildly in love with this one life you've got a shot at.
6. You Will Never, Ever Regret Living That One Month In Barcelona
Or putting your summer clothes in a bag and trekking through Bali, or sub-leasing your apartment and living six months in Paris like you've always dreamed. You might have left a bit of a mess at home - you might come back home to your parents' house, or you might need to hit Craigslist to find a new job — but you won't for one moment regret the beautiful things you've seen and folded up like a note in your heart. This is what life is all about: It's about making it as I-need-to-bearhug-this-right-now gorgeous and putting yourself in situations that will constantly dazzle you.
If you love where you are right now, if you're cozy in your on-track path, then by all means, stay on it. But then I'm thinkin' you wouldn't be reading this article. If you have an itch to follow a dream that's outside of your zip code, scratch it.
You might have regrets, but they won't be about getting on a plane.