I woke up this morning in a town on the Colombian Border with Ecuador, and for some reason had the question of “why I travel” on my mind.
I think that nearly every traveller struggles with the idea that somehow travelling for a living is wrong. It doesn’t seem right. We are basically told our entire lives about the monster called “work” that’s about to hit us once we grow up. It’s almost to the point that we feel selfish when you do something we enjoy for a living; as if it wasn’t supposed to be this easy. But the truth is, I think we all should strive for a life that is a little bit more selfish.
In the famous book “The Alchemist” there is a line that has always stuck with me that goes something like, “having a dream to chase is what makes life worth living.”
I think quite often we lose track of our dreams as we grow up. I don’t just mean in terms of travel, but in general. As we reach a certain point in our lives we’re told that it’s time to grow up, get a hair cut and get a job. But why does that have to be at the expense of our dreams and our desires. To me there is nothing more fulfilling than having a goal, a dream, in life to work for and then achieving it.
When I graduated University I wish that someone asked me “what is the one thing that you really love doing?” Instead of asking me “how are you going to get a job in your field now?” The simple truth of the matter is that if you love something, you should make that love your life’s work. How can you not put your heart and soul into something if you love it? How can you be anything but successful if you put everything you have into something?
The problem, I believe lies in the convention. There is an idea in our society that we should work hard the majority of our life so that we can die happy. But why no live happy your entire life? As Gabriel Garcia Marquez says through the voice of the boat company owner in Love in the Time of Cholera, there is a difference between being rich in possessions and rich at heart. Once you become rich at heart you realize there is no need to be rich in possessions.
Anyways, I hope you’re enjoying the online content of Vagabundo Magazine so far. I spent an entire 8 hour bus journey between Popayan and Ipiales, Colombia yesterday working on the design of the first edition of the digital magazine which is set to go out in mid-December.
Happy Halloween, stay safe and I wish you all the best in following your dreams,
Your editor in chief,
Brendan van Son