When I first returned home from nearly 4 years around the world in the summer of 1980 I had the same situation with my old friends and realized their attitude was more like, "hey turn UP the TV or turn off this guy's enthusiastic appreciation of life". I thought I was just trying to tune them into the amazing opportunities available to average blue collar, working class Americans but in doing so I made my friends feel introspective. Then I had to admit I may have been "ego tripping" and by doing so made them more aware of their failures and inhibitions to GO FOR THEIR DREAMS instead of settling for LESS and allowing themselves to slowly get stuck in a rut which in time they'd accept as their lives.
Andy you are DOING YOUR THING and doing it WELL like you have mentioned before, better than 98 or more of the bloggers and internet writers which are accessible on-line. Life is seldom perfect and anywhere on earth where humans reside can NOT be considered "paradise" as it's our human nature to crave for more out of life or even the unattainable in this short time we have on earth. Of course you've had some problems SO WHAT? even the most energetic and happy people are faced with problems everyday they wake up or have convinced themselves otherwise by using any of several psychological tricks to claim their life is free of problems. It's all in our heads! Writers like yourself are no different than anyone else other than you choose to share your inner thoughts, mood swings, loves and dislikes and philosophy of life with others. PAIN isn't so bad, it REMINDS us we are ALIVE and without it how could would identify pleasure and comfort??
When I was a teenager I wondered why the Russians were so intent on keeping control over their citizens lives. If people want to leave why not just let them. After many years of using my company's transfer policy to move around the States I can see that even in the States there are many who get angry when they find you are leaving. For some you are suggesting you don't like their hometown enough to stay on. For others it's maybe an act of defiance of the pecking order. Don't like a jerk boss? Move on. I for one have always been a good employee. I'm also as big as a football lineman. A few times over the years I've had bosses much smaller than me who seem to enjoy pushing a big guy around. Same guy suddenly is super nice when you put in for a transfer because he knows your good numbers are leaving with you. Should have thought of that before but they never do. Telling him no, I won't change my mind is for a short time giving me a little bit of control. I've got a few friends that I stay in touch with, lost a very good one to cancer this year. Most people I meet anymore never become good friends once they realize my plans for full-time travel. They just aren't interested or they are very critical. It's surprising to me the really strong feelings expressed concerning patriotism, racism, and just doing anything different. For me though spending the rest of my life in one place working to make someone else wealthier while I squeak by, never seeing new places, would be incredibly depressing. I can barely tolerate what I do now, but it's necessary until I get the pension in 6 years.
Great way of saying what I am feeling,
"hey turn UP the TV or turn off this guy's enthusiastic appreciation of life".
TALKING ABOUT MY LIFE
"by doing so made them more aware of their failures and inhibitions to GO FOR THEIR DREAMS."
I do not want to motivate or inspire people to travel, however it is always nice when I learn why people have fear, I believe people are afraid when they leave home, the only way to travel is to become a hermit and give up all the pleasures of life. When in reality is absolutely the opposite, I have 10 times the number of friends and get to partake of any pleasure on the planet, not just my home city.
It is not wise to inspire or motivate people to travel, I just wish to explain my life, sometimes in a more dramatic manner, but authentic, real, and in balance. Then if somebody wishes, they can understand a person who tells how it is, no sugar coated wrapping.
Travel Writers love to sell sugar coated travel stories wrapped in impossible dreams, to glamorize many times a very normal life, because they travel less than five days a month, and the rest of the time, write about the five days.
I know many alcoholics, you can tell them anything, if they want to quit they will find a way, if they want to drink, they will find a way. Therefore motivation and inspirational talk is not going to make a person do a lifestyle change.
Paradise is a place with no regrets.
I agree that it's a bit unwise to try to motivate people to travel, in the sense that it doesn't come of much use. I used to go on long rants about the joys of a lifestyle abroad, but people quickly tune out, or feel upset because when they see others pursuing dreams so fervently they believe that they are somehow inadequate --- I totally disagree with this. I know many 'successful' people who are in better shape / make more money / etcetera, but they have only achieved these things because they have found their passion, and passion quickly becomes priority. Their passion just happens to be one that others value as a sign of 'success'.
Even with the many difficulties that come with living abroad, I still consider my life to be pretty easy. I am so inspired to live in different countries, it is more difficult for me to imagine settling permanently in one place than to keep country hopping. People say I am 'lucky', 'strong willed', 'brave', etcetera. Yet, the fact of the matter is that people will only do what they really want to do, what they make a priority. If you know what your goals are, and stand firmly by them, all the difficulties immediately become easy in retrospect as you move closer to your goal.
So it's kind of a moot point to try to inspire people to travel who say they would like to some day -- if they really want to, they will. So I no longer discuss the vague joys and benefits to a life abroad. I'm much more interested in connecting people with opportunities, showing HOW they can do something, rather than WHY. If they really want to do it, they will.
After I had traveled most of 4 years. I wrote that I was coming home and I felt like people would miss me writing and would forget I was at home because I was no longer in their every day routine and they forgot to call me any more. So I started to feel like they missed me when I was at home and just thought about me as a traveler writing from afar. But they seriously don't have much to do with me when I'm at home. I'm off the grid. So glad to hear it happens to other people too.
I bought a house to get the rebate and now am trapped here for 17 more months and then I'm never living in a purchased property again. I haven't even been to Central or South America yet, so will go there as soon as the house sells.
Strangely I have pictures of that same monk in Lhasa. I don't agree that Tibet is part of China, China is delusional. Tibet is a separate country and you can tell by the fact that they are so different than people in China or any where else on the planet. In spite of what's happening there they seem more whole than any other people I ever meet. I wish I could have stayed there a while, but the delusional Chinese had another schedule for me.