I often write without publishing. However, we have had a few close friends and co-workers recently ask us, “So what are your thoughts at this point in your RTW?” This was a post I was not planning on publishing, but best explains our mindset seven months in.
Today we had a lovely afternoon chatting with the owners of our apartment, Phoebe and Steve. Phoebe is a native of the Cook Islands. She and her husband Steve met while working for the Kellogg Company in Australia. As much as people like to ask us about our story, it’s fun to turn the tables and ask others how they fell into the life that they currently lead.Phoebe taught us all her secrets of living off the land, including how to open a fresh coconut!
One day, Phoebe and Steve dropped by for a visit. As the men engaged in “man talk” outside, Phoebe showed me how to crack open a coconut and cook a native island dish with ingredients we picked right outside our door. During our impromptu cooking class, she told me her story on how she changed her life.
Phoebe was fed up with working for “the man” in Sydney, Australia. She felt like she lived life crammed into a box. “I drove to work in a box, arrived to sit in a cubical box, only to have to drive back home in the same box. It was only when we came back home to Rarotonga, our little tiny speck of an island in the middle of nowhere, did we finally feel like we were living.”Isn’t it funny how people can’t stand the thought of a dog living life in chains, yet as humans we are expected to do the same as we sit, unable to stray away from our office chair or office space?
I told Phoebe that I totally could relate with what she was saying. Before we left for our RTW trip, I was really unhappy. I felt very lost and restless in life. I felt like I was suffocating too, especially at work. I was sick of the same routines and literally working off a posted daily schedule. I didn’t like that I couldn’t openly speak my mind and give my opinion. Everything had to be worded so PC-perfect.
I also hated the feeling of being forced to stay in that building no matter what. Want to hear a secret confession? I had terrible thoughts that even if a crazy, armed gunman had entered our building, I could not flee. As a school employee, your responsibility was to stay with your classroom and with your students. It was an awful feeling. I felt like one of those dogs attached to a restrictive chain that is stuck in the ground, allowing the poor animal only to move in one small circle. Almost every day at work, Harry and I would escape our offices during our lunch break and relish in our few minutes of daily freedom. During that time, we secretly planned our escape. I knew I needed to break free, otherwise, I was gonna break.
Running a small, successful apartment rental and working about two hours per day, Phoebe and Steve appear to have mastered the art of a true work-life balance. They are happy and they love what they do. Harry and I are on a quest now to figure out where, and how, we may be able to create our own life of financial freedom. We know for certain that we would love to work for ourselves.When our time is done on this Earth, we are guaranteed an eternity of being placed in a box. Why be forced to live life in an endless stream of confining, suffocating boxes when you’re alive?
The feeling of self-reliance and independence that one gets from taking an RTW tip is addicting. The idea of working a typical 9-5 job would be very difficult for us to return to at this point in time. We want to be in charge of our own destiny, maybe set our own schedule, and be our own boss. It may not happen right away, but it is something we discuss daily. Possibly a new goal to achieve?
As of now, the hardest part for us is finding out the answer to the most important question…Where? Because on this RTW, we continue to be dropped off in numerous new cities and locations around the world. And in just a few days’ time, like a handful of new, fresh putty, we find ourselves easily fitting into whatever mold comes our way. I’ve always loved the saying, “Home is where your husband is” because it holds so true for me. However, with our eyes and hearts wide open, I hope we eventually land in a place that could finally feel like home.