I grew up in a low income family in Iowa. Many kids don’t realize it until they get older, but I was aware. We frequently visited aunts, uncles, and grandparents who lived in their multi-million dollar houses with their boats and maids. We were treated to the good life when we visited, which made me realize how little I had growing up. Don’t get me wrong, I had a very happy upbringing, but I was instilled at a young age with the idea that to truly be happy you needed to have money.
That idea has lived with me ever since. Every decision I make revolves around the net gain or loss I will get by doing something. I went to college, so I could make more money. I moved to Kansas City to work at a healthcare IT company because they paid more than I could make working in a chemistry laboratory. I slaved away, sometimes working 80 hour weeks to become an expert in my field, so I was the one people asked questions. So I was the one that people looked up to. So I was able to get promoted sooner than anyone else. So I was the best.
I moved to San Diego to pursue a job that paid over twice what I was making in Kansas City (despite the cost of living increase). In this role, I was powerful and knowledgeable. I was the only one supporting the system at my company. I finally reached Shangri-La! I was making more money than a single guy can spend. I could buy whatever I wanted, travel wherever I wanted. It was great, perfect, I was the happiest I had ever been. Or was I?
Never once did I think “is my work something that truly makes me happy?” I shifted from one corporation to another. I thought that moving would remove the politics from the job. It didn’t. I’m now in a sea of thoughts, trying to decipher which ones make me most happy and which ones drag me down. One thing is for sure: I love to travel. My quest is to learn how I can work and travel at the same time, perhaps making a living doing it.
I decided to start this blog to layout my travels, thoughts and experiences, so I can answer the questions I have about who I am and what I have to offer the world. I want to be able to fulfill the saying “not all those who wander are lost.” One day when someone else is in similar shoes as mine, they can walk through my realizations and experiences to help themselves determine how they find their Shangri-La.