“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man (or a woman) than a secure future.”
“The very basic core of a man’s (or woman’s) living spirit is his (or her) passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon.” – Chris McCandless
This quote does pretty well in summing up the point that Pete and I have reached in our lives. Not to say that Chris McCandless had it all figured out, but I found plenty of meaning and truth in his words and insights. It is inspirational to read about someone brave enough to venture out of the ordinary and mundane.
Pete and I have not had a boring life by any means. We have also been pretty happy in our everyday lives. We go on plenty of mini adventures and we live a pretty simple lifestyle. We know what’s important to us and try our best to live life with some kind of purposefulness. Although we have never hated our jobs, and have actually been really lucky to have been given such great work opportunities, we cannot help but be honest about the discontent we feel with the normal ideas of living life, careers, family etc. Personally, I have felt the pressure to “make more of my life”, work on my career, and consider the next responsible step for us; “When should we consider buying a house?”, “When should we have kids?”, “Should we even have kids?” We have both kind of dismissed buying into having our lives planned out for us. We want to find alternative ways to live more genuine lives, and to be more truthful to ourselves.
After being fortunate enough to go overseas twice last year (2014), we came back having had the most awesome experiences and having met the greatest people. We realised that we have never been quite as happy as we were when traveling. That is what “real” living feels like to me. So after plenty of discussion and online research, we decided to take a risk and do what we really want to be doing with our time. Since then we have quit our jobs, got rid of most of our stuff (we’re at the point where everything we own fits in a car), moved in with our parents temporarily, and are planning our low budget, long term backpacking adventures. We don’t have much money, and are planning on traveling as far and wide as we can on a pathetic little budget.
We have grown tired of routine, tired of trying to eek out a living, tired of living month to month, tired of the 8 – 5, tired of working a full year for two weeks break, tired of being tired. It is time for a change. We came up with the name Never Settle for a couple reasons: first, because we can’t seem to stay in one place for more than two years. Second, because we think that life should be a constant adventure. Lastly, because, when it comes to what we believe, people often ask “but where do you draw the line? When have you done enough?”. Never. You should never feel like you have done enough when it comes to bettering yourself, widening your circle of compassion for others (including animals), and deepening your respect for the Earth.
Don’t get me wrong, I know many of my friends have settled down and made a career and life for themselves, and are happy and living truthfully and compassionately, which are ultimately the most important things. You should also try exploring your own country! South Africa is probably one of the most (if not the most) beautiful places in the world, and we’re constantly finding new places to visit and new things to do. We plan on coming back often.
I am finishing off my teaching degree and Pete is doing freelance web dev work to save money until we leave SA in June. This blog will document our adventures for anyone interested in what we’re doing. We hope that we will encourage some people to step our of their comfort zones, at least every now and then, and really live.
“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir