Hello, Master

January 20, 2014 — 12 Comments
Elephant Village, Laos

Driving my queen around in Laos – she’s not the “Master” I’m referring to though!

After ten months of unpaid leave from my company while we traveled the world, I knew it would be somewhat difficult to go back to my regular job.  We rode elephants in Laos, pet tigers in Thailand, feared for our life in Jordan, and watched the mesmerizing Northern Lights in Iceland.  We pushed ourselves beyond our previous limits when we hiked a mountain in Malaysia and visited 4 tiny villages in the remote mountains of Nepal as we trekked for 65 kilometers over four days.  We saw each other every day, and almost every minute – with the number of times we were apart for more than an hour easily countable on two hands.  We put every ounce of trust and faith in each other’s hands as we set out as a team to explore the world.

Our days were no longer defined by fighting through the week just to have two days to do what we wanted on the weekends – which are usually filled with doing chores we don’t want to do anyway!  Instead, we did whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, and we were more active than we’d ever been before.  Our time wasn’t filled with lazy days on the beach, but instead of near constant motion of traveling to new cities, finding our home for the next few days, exploring the major sites, and at the same time planning our next destinations.

In essence, we no longer had a master.  If we wanted to go to Thailand next week instead of Malaysia, we could.  If we wanted to sleep in and spend a day doing nothing, we could.

Now, I’m back to work full time, we don’t know where we’ll live yet, and we’re unsure of what our future will bring.  I was incredibly lucky to have an employer who welcomed me back with work and a paycheck.  However, I’m no longer able to control my own day.  I’m told when I need to travel somewhere else for work, we can’t go for a five hour hike on a Tuesday, and the work week is back.

We’re back to a former reality, and I’m answering back to a new master.  Let me guess, you feel REALLY BAD for us?!?!  I mean, how couldn’t you!  I have a job and work like everyone else!

Our trip taught me the importance of doing what you want, but it also taught me the importance of doing what you don’t want.  If we hadn’t worked hard for 8 years and both more than doubled our incomes, drove cars we could afford (besides my mess up out of college), lived on a budget, cash flowed a major renovation on a great property and then sold it and made money, we wouldn’t have been able to go on our trip.

We understand the value of hard work, and we’re back at it.  However, we’re doing it purposefully and controlling our money so when the next adventure rears its pretty head, we’ll be able to take advantage of it.  Do you feel like you answer to a Master with your job?

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12 responses to Hello, Master

  1. It was an adventure many of us enjoyed vicariously along with you. I am sure it changed you. How could it not. I can understand the large adjustment you’re now going through. What I do know is you will find your way, just as you did to go on the trip, while on the trip and now as you move to your next adventure.

  2. Dan — think about this: would you have enjoyed your wonderful trip as much if you knew you had no job and income to return to? You had a safety net. I think most people would think twice before cutting all their ties and taking off for an expensive, carefree trip around the world. Pretty hard to explain to a potential employer that you decided to drop out and have fun — especially in today’s job market. I myself would be too much of a scaredy-cat to try it!

  3. I know your trip changed your life. My small two week cross country drive changed mine. Hopefully you enjoy your job and create your next adventure.

  4. Preparation for the next adventure is always the best thing to work for.

  5. Yes. I am answering to a ‘Master’ again. Given the economy it is a good thing to have a job when so many do not. I loved following your travels and trying to experience them through you. I have had a few travels that I cherish where I learned so much, like places in Europe. Look forward to the future and approach it the same way and more adventures will present themselves.

  6. Oddly enough, even though I haven’t had to answer to a master for two and a half years, I’ve carried some incredibly irksome chains with me as I’ve transitioned from working a traditional schedule to a freelancing one. Certain habits regarding money and self-worth are so ingrained. I can only imagine the ways your trip has changed certain core parts of who you are, and I’ll wager it’s been for the best. Not many people can be so lucky to pursue their passions 🙂

    • Yes, we definitely feel lucky. I can imagine that you work even harder now that you left your full time job.. it’s funny how that happens, but I see it all of the time.

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