I got back on Friday from a 12-day vacation to New Zealand. Besides feeling lucky and jet-lagged, I feel fortunate to remember one of the main reasons I love traveling: traveling reminds me that there are other ways to live.
I like my life in NYC and all that comes with it, but traveling (or, as I call it, “living in”) a new place reminds me that there are many places and lifestyles that could make me happy. There are costs and benefits to each way I could live.
Right now, I feel a little sad to live in a concrete jungle so focused on material wealth after spending two weeks with people who often care more about beauty, the climate, and being outdoors than procuring a nice apartment.
But, we’re never stuck in the path we’ve chosen. I’m not planning to do so, but I could–like many Europeans and Australians do–decide to take a year off from work and travel the world. Or, I could decide to get a less-great job than I have now and trade a few rungs of prestige for sailing on a beautiful lake each week.
Remembering that we have constant choice in the big things in life (such as where we live) makes me a bit more fidgety but also a bit more free. I’m glad that vacation reminded me of that.
One thing I actually will change based on the last two weeks is that I want to take longer vacations more frequently (like Europeans, Australians, and seemingly the entire world outside of the US!). This was my first two-weeker and I found it much more calming than just a quick few days or even a week.
I hope everyone else had a relaxing holiday, and I look forward to seeing all that 2020 brings!