Whenever One Door Closes…

August 22, 2013

The door is closed now

There’s something I should address to all my readers, those who have been following me for years, and those who have only recently stumbled across my blog and have yet to get the full view of my experience: I’m not going to be down forever. If anything, I’m feeling pretty great at the moment, in Austin, Texas, catching up with friends and time with travelers at the hostel. I may have quit what had the potential to be a good job, but I’m not depressed about it, or second guessing myself, because I knew it was the right decision in the long run.

But guess what? I’m still human. I still have doubts whizzing through my head, dark moments as a long-term traveler, and times where I think the universe is conspiring to make my life miserable (not often, but yeah, on rare occasions). THAT’S LIFE. It happens to the best of us, and if you think otherwise, you’re either the happiest, most fulfilled person on the planet (and if so, good on ya, and let’s talk), or you’re simply lying to yourself. And where I see some travel blogs ignore this fact about life on the road, or sugarcoat it to suit their readers or fool themselves, I have no such compunctions: this is my life, and this is where it is right now. Is it going to be this way forever? Of course not! But to simply stop writing or only blog on the positive would be disingenuous at best, insulting to you at worst.

What prompted this confession of sorts? I received this comment on one of my earlier posts:

I’ve been following your various blogs for a long time. Years. Great reading, very insightful at times. You inspired me to come to Japan. I’m here now as a JET and love it. Probably will stay.

But I’ve come to a stark conclusion about the guy that I once found so inspiring: you’re kind of an asshole.

This blog has become a cry for help. Get into some therapy and stop refusing to join the adult, working world. I’m an adult with a completely unmarketable masters degree who is wildly distrustful of the world and pretty damn misanthropic, but I have my shit together and don’t feel the need to ruin a perfectly good blog about travel with depressing nonsense.

Sorry if I sound insensitive, but if there’s one person I’ve met in my entire life that needs some straight talk with no bullshit, it’s you.

I’m deleting this bookmark and giving up on your work. You don’t need to respond. Do something more productive instead.

To say that I won’t miss his readership would be a lie, but to change my body of work just because some or even the majority of you think it’s too depressing for a travel blog? Suck it up, and see where it goes. Because I’m writing to those of you who haven’t gone through the same period in their lives, and those who have and might offer help. And those who will read my words and hopefully never experience anything like it.

Quitting that job was the most spontaneous decision of my life, without a doubt. I may have dropped a few job offers out of university to move to Japan, but I had months of preparation. This time, I had no clue what was around the corner. One of the reps dropped me off at the airport. I had no ticket, no place to stay, and no work lined up. At the same time, I had no debt, decent credit, and a few friends I wanted to visit. So I started from there: booking a hotel for a few days, flying to Orlando to see a friend (and visit Disneyworld again!), and now I’m in Austin, staying at a hostel and reacquainting myself with Texas.

It’s been an adventure. I still don’t know what’s around the corner. But my mind is open. I’m more receptive to conversations I used to consider banal. I’m meeting more people, taking the time to search this world for possibilities. If I hadn’t quit that job, I would never have applied for the Chase Sapphire VISA or US Airways Mastercard and received all the miles that come with them. If I hadn’t quit, I wouldn’t have searched old contacts for opportunities in Hawaii, Peru, and Japan.

Right now, Peru is the most likely contender. I’d be teaching at an ESL school in Arequipa for six months (and hopefully have time to visit Machu Picchu). I’m still working out the logistics, but it’s about time for a change in my approach to travel. I can’t wait around hoping I’ll meet someone. All I can do is live my life in the most fulfilling way I know. I’ll run, write, and explore new cultures.

2 Responses to Whenever One Door Closes…

  1. Earl on August 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    What I heard from that other guy’s reply was: “you’re no longer entertaining me. I want to be amazed, not read personal shit. This blog is entertainment, not a real person with feelings and crap. How disappointing — grow up. I was sick of my job in the States and probably depressed then but now that I’m not I feel obligated to judge you because you’re totally killing my buzz, MAN.”

    I’d be curious to get his response in a few years after his “oh so fulfilling ESL job,” heh.

  2. Brenden on August 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Hello, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspectives with us all. I think it takes a lot of courage to stick to your principles and do what makes you happy. Contrary to what this poster said, I enjoy reading your blog, and have been following you for quite a while. It has provided a lot of insight at a time where I really need it. Take care, thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to OAT

Created by Webfish.

Need Advice on Living Abroad?

Thinking of teaching English in Japan? Volunteering in Thailand? Backpacking around New Zealand? If you're looking for some insider tips on the places to go and the people to meet, check out my consulting services. If you just have a few questions, no worries: email me.