Are you dreaming of quitting your boring office job and starting an exciting open-ended travel sabbatical? If you are seriously considering taking a gap year; you’ll have the time of your life. But it’s not all rosy.
Traveling won’t solve your problems
As Seneca puts it, if traveling does not do any good to you, it’s because you are traveling with yourself. What else did you expect?
Travelling is a blessing
The world is amazing, and traveling is an unparalleled way to discover how beautiful is the world.
Traveling is a curse
Life is tough. We are usually just exposed to our lucky reality. Once you get outside your comfort zone, you get to see what life’s like.
Traveling can become a routine
Visiting cool stuff and meeting backpackers in party hostels is amazing… the first few weeks. After that, it may develop into a repetitive and relatively boring activity. If you’re one of those with itchy fingers, find yourself something to do along the journey.
In actual terms, accepting a job means exchanging your freedom for a stable paycheck. We de-facto are our own slavers, and put a price on our time.
Modern office workers are modern slaves
The concept of building a career is nothing but a rat race. Wasting one’s life while working for someone else. We trade our freedom for a stable paycheck.
Taxi drivers and janitors are freer than accountants
Inspired by Taleb here, any low-key worker is in fact freer than most high-flying corporate rats. A taxi driver can very well tell a customer to fuck off and go pick up another customer in a matter of minutes. Can you do that with your current boss?
Coming back after a career break is almost impossible
Once you’ve tried and experienced the notion of freedom, it’s really really hard to come back to the world of corporate slavery. Try and see for yourself.
Family & Friends
Family and a few friends are all you got
Life puts you in touch with a myriad of people, some you chose to meet, some not. Generally speaking, those that you don’t choose are more reliable (family). Good friends are best kept as a small circle.
Sharing experiences is the most important aspect of travel
Solo traveling is a great way to discover the world. But the sad part of it is that one does not have the ability to share memories at a later point. Who is gonna understand that time you got arrested in Vietnam for being off-limits?
Keep a small group of friends tight or lose them all
We are all too busy to keep a large group of friends we care about. Be real and understand that friends need to be taken care of, otherwise they quickly move to acquaintances.
Build your family as soon as you are ready
Again, do you really want to be a dad/mom at 40? You’ll almost be 60 when they first become “adults”. Just go for it when you are ready, it’s beautiful to be a young family.
Love means different things in different contexts.
Romantic love like in the Disney movies is a fraud.
Focus on the intersection of friendship, attraction, and shared experiences.
Long distance is often a waste of time.
Passion is both over and underrated.
Our time alive is extremely short.
You don’t want to regret your life on your deathbed. Think about Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Illych.
Current societies are too large.
Nation-states are somewhat fragile.
To many, democracy is a somewhat unnatural concept.
The world is not fair.
We are destroying the world, for real.
Making a living independently is always honorable.
Smartphones make you generally dumber.
As Naval argues, knowledge is currently available almost for free, it’s the willingness to learn which is scarce.
Life is a bitch and fate has no mercy.
Different people want different things.
Men mostly care about two things: money, and women.
Intelligence comes in all forms, not just chess and numbers.
Self-discipline is extremely hard to master.
There’s nothing worse than wasted talent.
Drugs and alcohol destroy your brain.
Money is a very complex concept.
Wealthy people can be miserable too.
There’s no question, money is useful.
A few good books can change your mindset dramatically.
Try reading Meditations, Letters of a Stoic, and Siddharta a few times. It will change the way you see the world.
Currently learning to code offers the highest rewards and the most freedom.
We don’t quite know what the future shall bring, but learning to code seems a great choice to hedge your way around it.