I always wanted to travel for a living.

I wanted to be one of those people that quit their 9-5 jobs and spent their lives jetting off to fabulous destinations.

I wanted to be someone that people envied. I wanted people to say "I'm so jealous of you" when I told them what I did for a living.

After law school, I stumbled upon the Foreign Service. Dad had done some speaking engagements with State Department people so he put me in touch with them. I spoke to more people than I can count about life as an FSO.

I just knew it was the career for me.

Fabulous locations? Check.
Envy inducing? Check.

I wasn't going to be stuck in a cubicle. Nope. Not me.

But then something happened.

Quite simply, I grew up.

It's not that wanting to travel the world for a living is an immature thing. Some people do that and are quite mature.

But for me, it was immaturity. I sought not adventure, but validation.

Eventually I wound up at my current company. It's an insurance company. I'm going to be a claims analyst.

If I told you that at a party, you wouldn't be filled with envy.

But I am so stinking excited to start this new job I can't even stand it. I want to do this work. Badly.

Yes I will work in corporate America for the rest of my life.

Yes I'm totally okay with that.

I still want to travel. I still want to see the world.

I was reading a blog post this afternoon that made me think. It made me realize that I don't want to live my life as a vagabond.

But I take issue with the idea that the only way to really experience a place is to live like a vagabond.

You can still vacation and get a solid experience.

Growing up, we had this rule. Whenever we went out of town, we weren't allowed to eat at something we had back home. I think that's still a good rule.

Get out of your comfort zone.

Get out of the tourist areas.

Ask a local for recommendations.

But enough about that.

When I first realized that my priorities & goals had changed, it was a weird feeling. There was this little death that happened, this letting go of a part of my identity.

Today I realized that I was happier with this path than I had ever been with the other one.

I don't regret any of the time I've spent overseas. I don't regret the semester in Rome, the month in Aberdeen, or the internship in Seoul. In fact, if you're still young enough to study or internship abroad, do it. Do it now. It will be the best decision you make.

I'll still travel. I'll always travel. I'll even have to take 2-3 trips a year for work for mediations with clients. I'm okay with that. I'll be able to afford to save money for some international trips too. First I want to see more of this country. I've never been to Boston. I've never set foot in the Pacific Northwest.

But I won't do it the way I thought I would. I'll do it with peace and stability, not on a shoestring. I'll do it without need for validation or envy.

I'll do it because I want to.

And that makes it a thousand times better.

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