“What’s your five year plan, where do you see yourself next year? The year after? What are you doing with your life?” This has always been a tough question for me to answer. I don’t really know what I want to do with my life. I’m not sure what career path I want. I’m not sure what sort of commitments I’m ready for.
I think that perhaps I’ve always been looking to answer the question following a certain set of rules: the rules I had been brought up to follow; you go to school, you go to college, you go to university, you get a job, you get married, you have kids, and so on. I didn’t realize that there were other answers to this question.
Five years ago, if somebody asked me that dreaded question “where do you see yourself in five years time?” I would have had no idea, maybe living in London with my then-girlfriend doing some kind of job. I don’t really know, nobody has told me what to do next. I definitely wouldn’t have put myself on the verge of a third adventure.
Two years ago I was in Hamburg hanging out with a couple of dudes I’d never met before and only sort of knew through Twitter. If you’d asked me then where I saw myself only a year later I’d never have thought I’d be in New York with a group of awesome German doctors (who still have a dinner on me!) and a couple of friends I’d made only weeks previously in Miami.
If you’d then asked me, where do I see myself next year I might have come close. I’d have probably said “South America, maybe Asia. I don’t know, but I’d be somewhere.”
Now that question is one of my favourites. When I hear the word where I start listing destinations, I imagine the endless places that I could see. There isn’t a place on Earth that doesn’t have at least one thing going for it that would tempt me. I recently read Rory Stewart’s The Places In Between; a compelling story of his incredible trek across Afghanistan. He had experiences from the good to the bad as anyone would, where ever they went. Now, I know most people don’t think of Afghanistan as an up and coming travel destination, if a destination at all, but people do go there and have the same incredible trip that you could have somewhere widely considered to be safe.
I can’t remember where I first saw the above map but I think it’s kind of relevant.
I love the fact that I don’t have a clue what I’m doing with my life and I know exactly what I want to do. I’d like to change the question though: where do you see yourself next?