I Do Not Believe In Passive Living


(Palm trees photographed in Big Bend National Park)

I’ll admit that I make strange choices.
I dated a guy for 2 years who lived on a different continent, and then married him and moved to his hometown. I quit my job to pursue being a writer. When my friends were all buying houses and new cars and having babies, we sold everything, moved out of our apartment and into backpacks, and decided to be nomadic long-term travelers. It’s a little unorthodox. I get it.

Upon learning about our travel plans, most people say the same thing: “Well, you’re young so now’s the time!”

I smile because they’ve said something truer than they know. People speak this elemental truth to us all the time, and I think they are mostly unaware of what, exactly, they are saying.

Sure, it’s easier for us to make this decision right now. We are childless, debt-free, in good health, and not in the middle of significant careers that would tie us to any one place. You could blame it on our youth, and that certainly plays a part. But we also knew that we wanted to travel and spent most of our relationship preparing for that possibility by making choices like living cheaply, not buying furniture, and not upgrading our vehicles.

However, the real reason we make these choices is due to the other half of the statement – we believe that “now’s the time”.

‘Now’ is the only time we have. We believe this beyond the cliched sentiment that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. ‘Now’ is the only moment we truly experience, the only thing we really deal with.

Life is lived solely in the ‘now’. Every decision we make happens in real time. The things we dislike in our lives are either preserved and maintained, or changed and challenged, in the ‘now’. The things we value in life, we invest in ‘now’.

So, yes, we are young and now is the time to travel. Now is the time to invest in our future, to pursue our dreams, to become the people we want to be, to build the life we want to have. If you have any discontent, now is the time to make a change, to make progress.

I do not believe in passive living.

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