Life On Your Own Terms – Do Your Own ‘12 Weeks In Thailand’

When I first came to Thailand my biggest fear was leaving the comfort, safety and job security I had in the United States. Now, when I hear my friends talk about taking a 5-day vacation to Panama I ask them, “Why don’t you just go for a few weeks or even a month since you’re flying all the way down there anyway?” Of course, I already know the reason before they respond, “Dude, I can’t just leave work for a week, five days is plenty of time.” Fear of losing the (perceived) job security in my career has now been replaced by the fear of working all the time and not having the freedom to travel or follow my passions. For such a long time my biggest fear had been waking up one day in my mid thirties being single and having no savings, house or career. I was afraid all my friends would move on, get married, buy houses, do well in their careers and I would be left behind.

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Well, now it’s happening: I’m in my early thirties, my friends are getting married and many have bought their first homes. Every time I go back to visit, I find one of my friends has a new kid. Part of me knows I do want those things (one day); however, I wouldn’t trade what I have right now. True, materially, it may be nothing more than a backpack full of clothes and a laptop but I have something else much my valuable – my freedom! Even though my friends at home might live in a nice home, drive nice cars, have high-paying jobs, the newest iPhone and all the rest – they also have tons of debt. They have a 30 year mortgage, car payments, student loan payments, a contract for the smart phone and credit card bills. Well, I have none of that. I have zero debt and, in fact, used the money I got from selling my car to pay off my student loans. It was tempting to keep that money to travel with, for emergencies or to buy another car when I moved back but it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

If my bank account had never got down to my last $500 dollars I wouldn’t have had the urgency to sit down to finish this my blog. I never would have focused so hard on training and fighting. It’s the uncomfortable situations that bring out the best in you. My biggest fear now is waking up one day, married to a girl I’m not passionately in love with, let alone even have sex with anymore, having a 30 year mortgage on a house filled with material things that I don’t really need, and children that I would do anything for, and would have to because I hated my job but couldn’t afford to quit. Out of everyone I know – who’s now married, has a house and kids – I don’t think any of them are truly happy.

I know they love their kids but I can see the fire dying in their eyes. Their only source of excitement is some random hobby they think is their life, and asking me about my adventures. Here’s the thing, they even encourage their other friends to get married, as well. Misery sure loves company! What I now want is to be able to live life on my own terms and on my time. When I get married, settle down and have kids it will be to a woman that I truly love, one that I would literally have traveled the world to meet – who knows, she might be waiting for me back in the U.S, in some small town somewhere? Either way, for these next few years I aim to travel the world, live in Thailand, and focus only on those things I am madly passionate about. All these memories and experiences – no one will ever be able to take away from me.

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