Posted by Tim Stobbs on March 5, 2008
After Trevor’s question to me on yesterday’s post I happen to check out his personal blog which listed his profession as: wanderer. So being the overly curious person that I am I sent him a note wondering if I could do an interview with him. He agreed, so here is the blog’s first regular person interview. I should set this up a bit and say Trevor is currently traveling in Europe and working as required to keep traveling after completely his university degree.
Tim: You have to be the first person I’ve ever met with a Blogger profile that shows your occupation as: wanderer. What made you want to travel for a while before getting started on the typical career?
Trevor: I have always wanted to travel; in high school I applied to take part in a foreign exchange program but, unfortunately, wasn’t selected. I decided to go straight through to University with the hope that I would be able to find a decent job while traveling if I had a qualification. By the time I reached the end of my degree I needed a break and heard about the Working Holidaymaker visas available to members of the Commonwealth. Without knowing exactly what I wanted to do as a career I thought that taking some time off to travel would be my best option. This type of visa would allow me to fund my trip as I traveled and seemed to be the perfect option for me. The more I talked to friends and family about traveling/working abroad, the more I heard that not doing something similar was often peoples biggest regret.
There have definitely been ups and downs, but I am absolutely confident in saying there is nothing better I could have done after finishing my undergraduate degree and I don’t have a single regret about it. I know that I can always pick up the life I temporarily left behind, but what I am doing now is a once in a lifetime opportunity. However, now that I have finished 16 months of my trip I find it hard to think about settling down into a regular routine. I have been considering postponing “real life” a little longer and getting my visas for Australia and New Zealand next, hoping that the travel bug will subside a bit after a couple more years of “wandering”. Right now I am setting the tentative deadline of my 26th birthday to start settling down in one place, be it in Canada or somewhere along the way.
Tim: So with your considerable traveling under your belt by the time your 26, do you think you will find it hard to settle down somewhere? You do realize some people would already consider you ‘semi retired’ as you only work as much as you need to keep traveling. What are your longer term plans with regard to your career and retirement? Do you what to find a job which allows frequent travels or work you butt off for a few years and retire to a cheaper country by the time you turn 35 and do more travel then?
Trevor: I think when the time comes I will be ready to settle down. As I travel there is a lot that I miss from having more of a settled life. Because I tend to move around quite a bit I have to keep my possessions to a bare minimum; I’m really looking forward to driving again and having the personal comforts of home. I think even when I settle in one place I will take off on weekend road trips quite often. I love the outdoors and plan on getting out to do a lot more hiking/kayaking/climbing once I get back to Canada. Hopefully that will hold off the Travelers Depression.
As for future career prospects, I’m not all that sure where I want to end up. I worked in a biotech lab for a few months after University, but I don’t think that is where I want to end up. I started to focus more on the possibilities of Environmental Consulting and that is still an option. However, after working for Guinness when I was in Dublin I started to gain an interest in brewing. As of late, the idea of working with a micro-brewery really appeals to me – with a smaller operation I would be able to use my science background for the actual brewing aspects of the job, but would also (hopefully) be able to have a hand in marketing/packaging/sales
Returning to school for a Graduate Degree is also an option, but right now it is fairly low on my list, largely due to financial constraints.
I have never been all that wrapped up in making millions or living in the lap of luxury. I’ve always been more interested in living comfortably and enjoying myself along the way. I don’t think I could stand working in a job long-term unless I was challenged by, and enjoyed it, regardless of the pay.
Early retirement would be great, and I think I would end up continuing on with exactly what I am doing now. However, I don’t want to wait 15-30 years for that opportunity.
Having a job that allowed me to travel would suit me great at this point in my life. Once/If I start a family my priorities will probably change, but at the moment I am up for anything. I have been quite jealous of some of the work related travel my friends have been fortunate enough to take advantage of in the past year and can’t think of a bigger perk.
Travel will always be an essential part of my budget, although I will miss the 5 weeks paid holiday that is afforded to me working in Europe.
Tim: Thanks for the your time Trevor. Best of luck on your travels and I hope you find some work which matches your passion.
I particularly liked this discussion with Trevor because it points out something I think is often overlooked by people. There really is no one right way to live a life. Some would consider his idea of traveling until he was 26 down right foolish to his career and it would put him years behind on the path to early retirement. Yet for him the experience is worth the price.
I can personally relate to the decision. When I was a teenager I literally spend my entire life’s savings on a trip to France. I traveled to Paris and saw the Mona Lisa in person and I stood on the beaches of Normandy where many people died to ensure freedom would go on. Both experiences are crystal clear in my memory even with 15 years since both events happened. Some things are so worth it to a person, that the monetary cost is laughably unimportant.
So don’t live your life for others expectations or wishes. Forge your own path and live your life to match your dreams. Dare to be different and seize every day to drink every drop of happiness you can in this life.