“What Am I Doing With My Life?” This question pops into my head every now and then, especially when I am not doing anything active. It’s a question that comes and goes with each day. Some days I am focused on traveling and my hobbies, and other days I feel lost with no direction.
I acknowledge that it’s a normal thing to question ones self and ones life direction especially when there’s a change. For me, my change began when I started living in a van and traveling with my spouse 4 years ago. The intended goal was to pursue a life of adventure and travel, while we had the money.
During the first year of living in our van, I was just finishing my college program while working for a climbing gym, an elementary after school program, and interning at a psychiatric facility an hour away. I was busy to say the least. Although being busy kept me motivated to continue my intended career path, it also made me long for freedom and adventure. Having both didn’t seem to be an option for me as my career path is based on working directly with people through recreational, community, and healthcare services. Its hard to travel and be in one place at the same time.
After saving money, it was decided that I would stop working in order to give us more freedom to move from one area to the next. My goal was to work seasonally at any given job when money was needed. This meant that my career path that I originally was pursuing was in a standstill. Of course, my previous experience doesn’t just go away. It just means that I have hit the pause button with the knowledge that my career path is still there, or with the idea that it could change. For now, we have been able to maintain this lifestyle, thanks in large part to Alex with his current job as a medical writer.
For me, while I enjoy this newfound freedom, I know that anything can happen in life, meaning Alex’s job will end and we will have to scramble to find something else to sustain us. Fortunately, living within our means and having almost no bills, makes saving money more feasible. I have been able to work full time and save money only because we lived in a van and payments were low. With the saved money, we have been able to spend more time playing instead of working.
This lifestyle has been a gift that I treasure, while being a gift that forces me to acknowledge my privilege of getting jobs easily, having a spouse that continues to work, and family members that are there if we need them.
In the end, I ask myself this question as a way to better understand who I am. Honestly, I have no idea what I am doing with my life. At times, I feel silly chasing after a hobby that brings me no money or actual success in life. I know that no one cares whether or not I have climbed the hardest piece of rock. I know that rock climbing might not go anywhere for me. But in the end, no one knows what they are doing with their lives.
I could be asking this same question even while pursuing the typical career, family, and home. As of right now, I am living everyday with the intended purpose of getting outside, traveling, meeting people, and getting stronger both mentally and physically. To me, this has brought plenty of happiness that is worth more to me than anything else. Its a direction I never thought I would be following, but I wouldn’t trade it in, at least not yet.