My old friend Dave has recently landed in Medellin after over a year of traveling around the world and has finally found a city he can see himself spending time in. I’m glad for him but to me it seemed inevitable from the beginning that it was bound to happen somewhere. Quit your job and travel to enough countries and you’re bound to find a beautiful place that meets or exceeds the conditions of your home – and I’m excited that it’s Colombia because I’m sure it’s stunning and fascinating place. A long time ago Sascha and I were traveling in Sichuan and spent hours talking about Colombia specifically. Discussing the details of how we’d relocate there – Sascha would find a job writing for a newspaper and I would integrate into the nightlife scene. Years have passed since that day which we spent daydreaming about Colombia but the thought has never left my head.
I got an e-mail from Dave a few hours ago:
I think I finally know what it might’ve been like for you to arrive in Chengdu and know you want to live there. I’ve been in Medellin 2 weeks, and have just decided to stay another 1-2 weeks to find out about the prospects of working (teaching english) and living here. The music, the people, the dancing, the women (are beautiful), the cost of living (low), the geography, the weather, the party culture, my attempt to learn and speak Spanish. It’s all been great so far.
How/why did you decide to stay in China? Any advice for me?
to which I replied:
I came to Asia off of a personal low point, having felt like I wasted 4 years toiling in corporate America. So by comparison China was a world of new experiences which I felt were more valuable than trying to climb the career ladder. It’s hard to put into words but I think you know what I mean. I’d rather be teaching english and traveling around, always learning and absorbing new culture, rather than living in the states and working a 9-5 office job. And it’s easy to live abroad as an American, teaching english is always an option no matter where you are, and there are always other opportunities which will emerge after you spend some time in one place. Living abroad isn’t for everyone, but I’m certain that it’s for me and I have a good feeling that it’s for you as well. Spend some time there, see how you like it. Don’t listen to people who tell you that you “can’t” just pick up and move somewhere, those people project their insecurities onto you. You only live once and life is too short to waste. Stay long enough and I’ll definitely come and visit, I’m fascinated by that region and I haven’t even been there. Glad to hear you’ve found a place you really like, it was bound to happen-
Congratulations to Dave for following through with his plan to quit his job, sell his car, and make a trip around the world which so many dream of but so few commit themselves to. Of all the people I know I didn’t expect Dave to be the one to complete such an incredible trip which requires more courage and determination than most people can muster, but now we share much more in common than history. I look forward to reading Dave’s blog and seeing where he ends up. Check it out at gobackpacking.com/blog