“Dude, you need to grow up and start thinking about your future.”
It’s a phrase I’ve heard more than once, from more than one source. There’s this societal pressure that exists for people of my age (I’m 35 years young) to be married with kids, a house a good job, you know… the dream. Unfortunately these days on the Emerald Isle, it is exactly that, a dream. Sky high rents and cost of living make it an uphill battle to even save the 20% you need for the deposit on your dream palace.
Even if you are one of the smart ones that knuckled down and got a degree, and then straight out of college managed to wrangle a smashing job that pays really well, what now? You’re knee deep in a 30 year (if you’re lucky) mortgage, hoping the arse doesn’t fall out of the property market again and realising how expensive raising a kid/kids are (granted I don’t have first hand experience here, although I have enough friends with kids to know they literally cost their weight in gold) and saving every spare penny you have for two weeks in the costa del anywhere but Ireland.
Now I’m not saying that I don’t want that life, not by a long shot. One day I’m looking forward to being the doting soccer/ballet dad and adoring husband. I want to raise a family and a small pack of dogs in a nice house with a big garden and in fact I envy anyone who is on that path. More power to you. It’s just not for me right now… not yet. No, see my problem here is three fold.
I, like so many of my peers, opted to go into hospitality after school to fund various jaunts around the globe, music festivals, cars etc. This meant I became accustomed to the hours and the money which is amazing when you’re in your late teens / early twenties. But doesn’t improve in accordance with your experience as other careers do, and whereas my peers did this part time and went to college, I did not.
I was, I thought, on the aforementioned path. I was in a very long term (10 year) relationship that spanned the majority of my 20’s and saw me emigrate to another country to start over, before having to move home and start over AGAIN in trusty old hospitality, and in my early 30’s. But hey… sometimes life has its own plan and thank the sweet lord it does, or I’d have missed out on some SERIOUSLY good times.
I got bit by the travel bug, and that lil sucker bites hard.
These and numerous other factors have led me here. I’m 35 and I’m taking off around the world again! There’s just too much of it to see, and I’m just too damn curious. Now this time, thanks partly to the experience of my years, but mostly to the beautiful redhead I’m taking with me, I’m a little more prepared and a little less “ah sure I’ll figure it out when I get home”. Yes there’s an end goal. We did a CELT course and became qualified English teachers (you can read more about that here). So the plan is to travel the globe and start ticking off the bucket list and make enough money to start that beautiful life we talked about before.
I won’t go into detail on how we intend to make the money, and where we’ll travel to, there’ll be enough mention of that elsewhere on the blog. My point is this, there’s always a way and it’s never too late, if it’s what you really want. Age is just a number. If you’re reading this and thinking you’re in a place that you’d rather not be, but you’re out of options, it’s not true. There’s always a way. I’m not an extraordinary case by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve already met plenty of people my age doing the same thing, or travelling by some different means but still doing it.
Now again, I’d like to clarify, I’m not saying everyone my age should quit their job and feck off around the world. I know this is aimed at a very specific demographic, and I’m trying not to be all new age hippie/American life coach/inspirational poster, but to that very specific demographic I say this. If an average 35 year old ex waiter from south Dublin can do it why can’t you?
“But what if I fail or it doesn’t work?” I hear all three of you cry!!
Well look, you’ll be right back where you started, a few quid poorer, but with some great stories for your mates. The whole point is this, your life is your own from the day you’re born until the day you die. Use it in a way that makes you happy, and not how someone else tells you you should.