The most common reaction I received when I told people I was quitting my job and volunteering/travelling around the world was “Wow, you’re so lucky.”
The word luck makes me feel uncomfortable. I do believe luck happens, but people often attribute luck to good things that happen to other people, when it is really a matter of prioritizing your goals, desires and dreams.
I received the same reaction when I was 22 years old and working for a celebrity jewelry designer. “You’re so lucky you have your dream job.” Was I? Perhaps some luck was involved. But I was also making $12/hour while most of my peers were making two or three times that much. There were nights when I only ate popcorn for dinner in order to pay my rent. It wasn’t as much about luck as it was about sacrificing certain things in order to have what was more important to me.
Mr. Wonderful and I are lucky in that, yes, we have a comfortable savings account that we are able to dip into. But we made a conscious choice that instead of investing in a house, which many of our peers are doing, we would take the money and travel and serve the world instead. It was a matter of priority. It wasn’t like we won the lottery and made a rash decision. We sat down one night and asked ourselves what mattered in life. We thought about it, prayed about it, talked to friends about it, and ultimately it felt right. And yes, while we will be staying in some nice hotels while we travel, we are also staying in rooms that are $35 a night. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. Working towards your goals doesn’t have to be costly. Most of the time, making your dreams come true is possible – it just involves prioritizing, planning, and some sacrifice.
What dreams do you have, and what might be holding you back?
Well written post…in my opinion. Its great that you and mR woNderful are making the choice to use your resources/sacrifice and follow your dreams.
I do think that in some cases folks have huge finanCial burdens,fOr example, As a roaD block to following tHeir dreams. But Many of us, on the other hand, don’t realIze how much we cOuld do with what we have If we’re willing to sacrifice some. I agree that you aNd mr. Wonderful Are not just lucky, but very DeliBerate with how you’re stewarding your lIves. :). Go girl!
Kristen C says
Interesting post. I feel somewhat similarly about the sacrifices we have made for various things we care about. At the same time, I have to acknowledge that our opportunities have been MUCH more than the majority of the world and than many many people I know in the U.S. For example, some of the savings Matthew had coming into our marriage was because his grandmother gave it to him over the course of his childhood. Most people don’t have that. Yes, I graduated college with $60K in debt, but then again, that’s because my parents were already paying a large sum more than that so that I wouldn’t have even more debt. I married someone with savings, and I had a great job, so we paid it down in half the time. This put us ahead of many of our peers who will be paying off their degrees for years. I find it’s easy for me to think highly of myself for putting my extra income towards paying off loans or towards our savings goals, but then I remember that others may do that and still not land where we are, because we benefited from high quality public schools, the peace of safe neighborhoods, and significant family financial support in our degrees. I think there are many priorities we have honored with our choices, but there are also many blessings that we have received by no planning, talent, or effort of our own. I hope all of us who have been blessed in such ways can make space to acknowledge those advantages, without feeling like it takes away form the earnest efforts we have made. (Makes me think of this allegory: http://www.fordham.edu/images/mission/racism%20and%20health%20camara%20jones.pdf ) Interested in hearing your thoughts.
How wonderful is your advice on how to achieve a dream! You are right! what most of us lack is focus. thank you for the inspiration and encouragement!
yeah, one cant attest everything to luck. it really is making the right choices and prioritizing what you value most at a certain time. more than luck, its about hardwork. i regard your choice of volunteering/travelling as an amazing selfless act. ive been trying to look into doing the same thing that is based here in my city.
have fun and all the best to you!
Jen! So glad you are back! Looking forward to reading more of your life stories and your adventures in panama!
First off, LOVING your blog. Secondly, this post really speaks to me. A lot of people choose to play it safe and invest their money, which I think is smart, but at the same time they are really living in the moment. I hope you enjoy your travels and I can’t wait to see more posted on your blog along the way! xo, Hayley http://www.dailydoseofdarling.com IG: @hayleypaigeee
Erin Elizabeth says
What an inspiring post! That’s so exciting…everything ahead of you!
Amanda Ellis says
Such a honest post! Love it.
Brittney Xu says
I love this post. I get that a lot too from people who tell me I’m lucky to have gotten into this program, and I feel bad correcting them and telling them that it was less luck and more like choosing what to sacrifice and what to plan for. Your honesty is refreshing, and encouraging!
Another Beautiful Thing
I have a dream to teach overseas for about three years. My husband and I have discussed this at length, and we have decided to wait until our children have graduated from high school. The last thing that I want to do is uproot them especially since my oldest is 16.
I’m blessed that my husband is all for it. We like a good adventure.
Aw, beautifully written post. People just think you’re lucky because, like you said, you chose the path less chosen. INvest in a home vs. travel the world? work with creative freedom or settle for a high paying desk job? i actually have plans in the short future to quit my job and travel the world as well….i know i can do it!
Trendy On A Budget says
i appreciate your perspective and glad that you and your husband are living out one of your dreams!