Do you change as a person after travelling around the world for one year? I asked myself this question after coming back from my 380 days of travel and yet, I couldn’t answer it. Maybe nothing changed and I’m the same as before? No…that’s not right, something does feel different but how come I can’t put my finger on it?
In 1999, a Hollywood blockbuster movie came out called “The Matrix”. In the movie, main protagonist Neo was given a choice to take either the blue pill or the red pill. The blue pill would take him back to the dream world he once lived in. In that dream world, you have a sense of security, blissful ignorance of reality and comfort. However, if he decided to take the red pill, he would be taken straight to reality and he won’t be able to turn back. Once you’ve taken the red pill, you will be given knowledge, freedom but you also have to face the harsh reality of life.
Is travelling around the world for one year the same as taking the “red pill”?
Before leaving Canada to travel around the world for one year, my gut feeling me things will never be the same after coming back. But I really wondered, what will change?
During my travels, I got to see lots of amazing things around the world. The Seven New Wonders of the World and the Seven New Wonders of Nature, for example. But then again, that’s just sight seeing, how can that be life changing?
What about all the people I met in hostels, during trekking or through doing volunteer work? Will that change me as a person?
Yes, I think meeting people from different cultures and countries will change your perspective on a lot of things. If anything, you will have gratitude for what you have in your home country. You’ll also recognize things that you wish you had in your country that people in other cultures tend to take for granted. It certainly changed mine after meeting amazing people from all over the world. People and friends I met while I was in Serbia, Poland, Vietnam, Philippines, Venezuela, and Australia definitely brings up such memories. For example, despite high unemployment in Serbia, people were still very kind and welcoming to tourist.
However, even if such experience is a major contributor to your new mindset and the way you see life, there is one big factor that truly makes this journey a “red pill”.
What changes after travelling around the world for one year?
When you travel around the world for one year, solo, a major shift will happen inside of you. At first, you feel lonely travelling alone and you miss having companionship.
However, after awhile, you get into a groove and you start enjoying moving at your own place. You start enjoying your own company and you really get to know yourself. You know what makes you angry, what makes you sad, and of course, what makes you happy.
Ultimately, you also start to enjoy the freedom of making your own decisions without having to check in with another person or your peer group. For the first time in your life, you’re no longer operating under someone else’s agenda but your own.
This is an amazing liberating feeling and once you’ve had it, you protect it with your very being. Your very core.
As you know, in history, once someone has tasted some form of freedom, you can’t take it back from them. At least, not for long and not without massive amounts of resistance.
The change only happens if you travel for at least one year, any less won’t have the full effect
Because I work in the fitness industry, I’ve seen the pattern between people who stick with exercising forever and those who fall off the wagon and stop exercising completely.
It is said that it takes 30 days to build a new habit (or break an old one). But, habits can be broken and it’s not as powerful as if it is ingrained in you. Those who work out for over a year without stopping builds something stronger. They build a new lifestyle. Hence those individuals who never stop exercising for an entire year would actually feel weird if they stopped working out.
So when it comes to travelling, if you travel for one month, you develop a new habit of living this travel based lifestyle and your mind becomes fresh and creativity becomes stimulated. However, if you travel for an entire year, then something different happens. For the first time in your life, you’ve been disconnected completely from everything routine and everyone familiar.
And as I mentioned earlier, you now have 100% independent thought without social brainwashing. This means for the first few months upon returning from travel, you have strong control over your thought process and have built a strong defense against social programming. You will also have the ability to pick and choose who will influence you and who you will block out.
Being back home in Canada and fending off other people’s agenda
When I came back home after travelling for so long, it was nice. It was great having my own bed again and being in a familiar and comfortable place. Also, catching up with my friends and exchanging stories on what happened while I was gone was great.
Unfortunately, after that initial high of going back home and meeting and greeting all your friends and acquaintances, things start to slip back to “normal”. There’s nothing wrong with “normal” per se but problems start to arise when people slowly start to inject their agendas into your life.
In our society, you’re expected to go to college/university and finish a degree. Then, you’re suppose to secure a stable 9 to 5 job. Afterwards, you need to get married, and have kids. You’re expected to live that same type of life, paying off your mortgage and staying with this 9 to 5 lifestyle until it’s time to retire.
Then, when you finally hit the age of 65 or sometime around that age, you can retire and finally be “happy”.
What’s your agenda?
So as you can see, a few months after coming back home from travelling around the world for one year, I started feeling bogged down with other people’s agenda and influence. Being suffocated with other people’s bullshit is one of the worst feeling in the world. And simply, I just refuse to have any of it. Many days, I force myself to snap out of the mental garbage that people are feeding me. Trying to live my life according to what I want but and not what society dictates is a never ending exhausting battle.
After travelling around the world for one year, it is clear to me what I want in my life. I want freedom of movement, and I want to make a living by having a location independent online business.
I want freedom of movement for two reasons. First, I love travelling. Second, I want to take advantage of globalization as I build up my online business. As my online business grows, I want to start hiring people from some of the countries I visited like Serbia. For me, it’s a realistic way to build a business without paying an insane amount of money on wages. I’m already hiring graphic designers from Nigeria through Fiverr and I love the results I’m receiving from such great service.
The online business’ that I’m building revolves around helping people become free through travel and having their own profitable online business. And the best way to teach this concept to people is to apply it to myself until I get it right and my business is profitable while I’m helping people from countries like Serbia make a living.
To sum everything up, my current life mission is to help as many people as possible travel more, set themselves free from the prison of society and live their life according to their definition of happiness and not according to other people’s agenda.
Being logical about it
One of the most painful side effect of travelling around the world for one year is seeing the harsh reality of life. I know that for the next few years, my life will be tough grind. You can’t just say you want to be free and become free. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You also can’t be irresponsible and just keep travelling long term just for leisure purposes if you can’t afford it. The purpose of the one year trip is to wake you up and see reality.
After travelling around the world solo, you should have a clear idea what you want out of life. From here, you can formulate a plan of action to get you there.
Let’s say freedom is your goal. Then, in order to achieve freedom, you need to hustle hard and build up your online business until it’s generating a profitable return on time and investment. This means putting your nose down for the next few years, working a more traditional job until you have a healthy savings while you grind away trying to get your online revenue sources off the ground.
So for the next few years, it’s going to be a tough hustle and grind until I make it.
However, if I can start generating at least $1000 a month on online passive income, then at least I can have freedom of movement. Because really all you need is $1000 a month to live in many countries abroad. Places like Thailand, Malaysia, Colombia, for example, are conducive to those looking to build an online business and work remotely. You can easily rent your own apartment for less than $400 a month and start focusing on your work without outside distraction and without being fed with someone else’s agenda.
So, what changes after travelling around the world for one year?
The biggest thing that changes after travelling around the world for one year is your tolerance to bullshit. Upon return, you will start to realize you have no time to appease other people’s agendas because you now know what you want out of life.
This will make you very disagreeable and quite possibly unpopular among those who you grew up with. At this moment, it is happening to me and I am experiencing lots of conflict. However, I have to accept that this is what has to happen.
Unless it’s a win-win situation, you should never fall into someone else’s agenda. Ask them first what they want out of life and if they can tell you, authentically, what it is, without feeding you the traditional 9 to 5 lifestyle bullshit spiel (which clearly indicates they have no damn clue what they want out of life), then you can perhaps listen to them. If not, you can kindly tell those individuals to fuck off (nicely of course), and go back to working towards your life mission.
And ultimately, you have to make a decision. Do you want social acceptance or personal freedom and happiness?
Unfortunately, choosing the more unconventional path will lead to a lot of social rejection and resistance. But, if you have grit, and perseverance, you can make it happen. I’ve met people who’s already set themselves free after several years of hustling online and are now living the kind of life that they want. They’re still working hard, but it’s towards a business and a social cause that they believe in. And I envy those people.
So, despite feeling all the resistance from naysayers and friends about my chosen path, I have to pick the one that is the most authentic to me. Even if it means that I will be unhappy for the next few years as I fight against social programming and pressure to achieve my goals and dreams.
It’s time to make a decision
You don’t have to wait until after travelling around the world for one year to make this important decision. Obviously, that would make things easier but you can make this decision from where you are right now.
So what’s your choice? Are you going to take the blue pill or red pill? Will you take the easier route of social acceptance while sacrificing your freedom and happiness? Or are you ready to take the path least traveled despite the difficulties and challenges you are about to endure socially and mentally? Will you pick unhappiness (as you fight against social programming and pressure) in the 2-5 years to achieve freedom and happiness in the long run?