In my late teens and early twenties I would approach a fork in the road every two years or so when I grew tired of what I was currently focusing on. Whether it be school, work, or pleasure, it would be a time of uncertainty and stress. There was no clear vision of what I wanted to do next in my life. This was not a fun time but looking back it was part of the process, and continues to be part of the process to this day.
At that time I thought everyone around me knew what it was they wanted to do with their lives. They were focused in school and what they wanted to do for a career. To this very day I still don’t know what I want to do! However at that time I had my path set and was following what I knew I was good at and enjoyed, but the next step didn’t seem appealing to me. Approaching college graduation I knew I wasn’t ready for the “real world” and I knew I wanted to travel more and experience more of what life has to offer.
That year I made two major decisions. I decided to study abroad with fellow classmates on a 500′ converted navy vessel with the California Maritime Academy traveling the South Pacific for two and half months, and upon graduation from college I was going to sell my personal belongings, take my $2000 in life savings, move to Ft. Lauderdale, FL and get a job working as a deckhand on private superyachts. I was going to get paid to travel.
I’m a regular guy going through the same trials and tribulations in life as everyone else, trying to find my way in the World. I feel there is pressure from society to conform to certain standards and expectations. Yes, there may be a time and place for this, but life doesn’t have to be cookie cutter. Don’t follow the masses. Look for something different and you may just live an extraordinary life.
Those two decisions I made 10 years ago put me outside of my comfort zone but also yielded some of the most amazing experiences. Never in my life did I expect to go shark diving in Tahiti, rent an entire mini buss and explore Tonga with a local, and spend my birthday on an island with poisonous sea snakes in New Caledonia. The thought of going to the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix was out of the question. Spending weeks on end on a Caribbean beach, no way. Being present at the Cannes Film Festival? Nope. Who get’s paid to travel through Europe? And who meets their future wife from South Africa in a shipyard in Northern Germany?
To end this official first blogpost I want to leave you with the very last part of a poem that my dad shared with me before I left for Florida. You may know the poem. The ending really resonates with me after reflecting on what an extraordinary life a regular guy like myself has had thus far. I encourage you, the reader, to reflect on your life and remember those moments that shaped who you are today.
“…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost