A couple of months ago, a friend of mine did a radio interview and she had to choose a single word on which to focus. She chose “priorities.” Her explanation resonated with me, which isn’t really surprising, as I’m sure that it’s part of the reason we’re friends, but the funny thing is that I keep coming back to it. I’ve had a lot of conversations about priorities lately and the word just seems so weirdly pertinent to my life right now. (My life always?)
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about priorities is lifestyle–and the choices we make that contribute to it. I will never be the person who says, “Must be nice!” (I swear that few more irritating, passive-aggressive comments have ever been uttered.)
While I realize that many things in life are beyond our control and, of course, it’s not always feasible for people to, say, up and journey across the globe, I also believe that if that were truly what said people wanted, they’d find a way of making it happen.
I’ve received lots of generous messages from friends and family while traveling, asking how it is that I’m able to visit so many extraordinary places. I usually say that I am very fortunate that I’m paid for doing what I love: Writing (particularly about action sports) has not only taught me a lot, but it’s taken me to remarkable locations and brought so many incredible people (above-mentioned friend included) into my life.
But you know what? Journalism–and especially that kind of journalism—is not a job into which you simply fall. I’ve worked hard for those experiences, and I’ve sacrificed things that most 30-year-olds take for granted (nice car, savings) in order to get them. Of course, I’m glad that I have, but the point is, when I had to choose between a 9-to-5 with benefits and a risky adventure, complete with a heap of credit card debt, I chose the latter. And that’s how I ended up in New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Lisbon… It was just a choice–and for me, it was a no-brainer because that was what I wanted from life at the time.
Now, I don’t want exactly the same things, and Continue reading