When I sit down to write a blog post, the words usually come to me within a minute or so of staring at the blank screen. On the rare occasion when I have some especially profound thoughts to share, I sometimes spend half an hour pondering into the empty space. Once the first words spring forth I might erase or rewrite them half a dozen times.
Technically, I won’t be 25 years old until 8:31 AM on the morning of January 27th, but I don’t take my birthday that literally. I have 35 minutes and counting before I hit the quarter century mark of existence, and while I’ve managed so far to avoid writer’s block, what I’m currently writing feels like the sort of material that I normally delete after the initial read-through.
So, is this the kind of profound blog post that requires extensive meditation and an extended pause while I dredge up the right words to describe my thoughts? No, I don’t think so. Just now I came up with the title of this post and hopefully you won’t cringe too much at my hubristic attempt at irony.
Maybe playing a song will put me in a more creative and inspired mood? Lately I’ve been listening a lot to Agnes Obel, who I saw perform last summer in her hometown of Copenhagen.
Well, it’s nice listening to her music, but I’m still really at a loss for what to say. Let me step outside and ponder for a while.
Alright, I’m back from meditating in the void. While I was out there I realized that I have to go back two years to the last time I celebrated my birthday in the USA, which this article reminded me is such a delicious place to call home.
Finally, I seem to have arrived at an idea worth talking about: the inevitable look back at where I was before, what I am doing now, and what I hope to be doing in the future.
If you’ve made it this far, humor me and keep reading. I promise you I’m going somewhere with this.
As the highly sophisticated Figure 1 demonstrates, my life is much different now than it was before–in this order–my girlfriend broke up with me, I quit my job, and bought a 1-way ticket to come to Europe.
It’s a relief to look back at where I was more than a year ago and see how far I’ve come. No one wants to write a birthday blog retrospective where they realize that the best time in their life is behind them–and luckily, that’s not the case for me.
I’m still making mistakes and stumbling here and there. Probably my biggest mistake has been moping over the girl I met in Paris when she couldn’t reciprocate my feelings for her . This was especially a waste because if I hadn’t been so busy being sad about not having her in my life I probably would’ve gotten laid several more times–and in the end, isn’t travel really just a contest to see who can get it in the most?
(Well, no, but I promise you that while I’m not at the Tucker Max level of promiscuity, quality > quantitties). Sorry, couldn’t resist that terrible pun.
If anything illustrates how wonderful and awesome the past year in my life was, it’s this: My low point two years ago was a Perfect (shit)Storm of terrible job, unfulfilling romantic relationship, isolation from my friends, and dealing with the pressure of society’s expectations of success.
Looking at it from the perspective of my recent past, 24 was a truly great year. But I’m telling this to my loyal blog readers, and I know that you know it was a great year because you’ve been here the whole time.
So now that I’ve done a brief inventory on last year, where does that leave me? At this point I get at least one message every few days from someone on Facebook–sometimes a close friend, sometimes a person who I haven’t spoken to in years–asking me about booking a cheap flight, or for suggestions on places to visit in Europe. It’s safe to say that for a lot of people who know me, I’m simply “that guy who travels,” which is 1,000% cooler than whatever they used to think of me.
The good news is that I’m going to be “that guy who travels” for the foreseeable future, because now I’m getting paid to do freelance writing jobs for a handful of super awesome clients. The only thing that will change is the way I travel. I need a reliable internet connection to work, and now that I have money pouring into the bank–and time that must sometimes be spent working–I can’t afford to always throw away two hours hitch-hiking by the side of the road. I probably won’t be homeless ever again. That’s great news for my body, which sometimes took a beating because of my stubborn refusal to pay for a place to stay.
In the interest of balance I would offer a bit of bad news to accompany the good, but I can’t find any. I have three months left before I go home, but it won’t be the end of my travels, not by a long shot. Today, at the age of 25, is the youngest I will ever be for the rest of my life, and I intend to make the most of it.