I am blessed. I have lived on a ship, a sailboat, in a flat in London, with a family in Spain, in one of the world’s greatest cities. I’ve had amazing roommates, have wonderful friends, an incredible family. I have seen the wonders of Angkor Wat, the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge. I’ve camped in the Galapagos, Antarctica, Acadia. I’ve found peace in the villages of Totsukawa and Koyasan, Japan, at the Farm in the Poconos, Conquest Road in Delaware. I have played in the ocean with sea lions, minke whales, reef sharks, sea turtles. I’ve para-sailed in the Bahamas, flown on puddle jumpers in Belize, and zipped through canopies in Costa Rica. I’ve surfed in Puerto Rico, kayaked in Panama, rowed in the Mekong Delta, taken boat taxis in Honduras, a ferry to Uruguay. I’ve experienced the trains in India. I’ve seen tea plantations, coffee farming, cranberry harvesting. I’ve jumped off cliffs in Hawaii, swam in caves in Mexico, hiked through the jungles of Malaysia. I’ve gotten lost in Morocco. I listened to Castro speak in Cuba. I’ve met Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have followed the Dalai Lama, have been hugged by Amma. I helped build a house in South Africa. I’ve spent time with those less fortunate throughout the world. I get to shoot for amazing nonprofits.
My life is full of goodness, and I am so grateful.
I don’t think you have to change your whole life to lead a full one. I think you have to let go of the idea that things bring you happiness. I’m human. I have a weak spot for earrings and tapestries. I like things. I just don’t have a lot of them. I save my money for charities, for trips, for things I get to take with me. I dream of having a round home, a hut, a tree house. In the meantime, I get to see the world, share it, live it, and be absolutely in love with it.
Spend a weekend staying home with a bottle of wine, some board games, a movie. Make your own breakfast, lunch, dinner. Borrow books from the library, from friends. Take a walk in the woods, swim in the creek, play in the park. There are so many ways to save your money for undertakings more worthwhile than the local pub on Friday nights. Than expensive dinner dates. Than chai lattes. I think it’s okay to pay true value. I think my food should be local, should be grown with love, should be free to roam, and I pay for that. I think every living being should have basic animal and human rights. I always try to be aware of what effect I am having on Mother Earth. I don’t know when exactly humans decided food should be cheap and year round. I don’t know exactly how we were convinced that big business works for the people. I don’t know why humans are inherently selfish. I just know that each person can do their part in leading better lives for the world and themselves, filled with more joy, more art, more music, more appreciation. More quality. Less fast food, less waste, less stuff. What’s in your closet?
Spend a week in Central America, a long weekend on an island, a night camping in the woods. Volunteer at your local school. Get involved in life. It doesn’t cost as much as you think. You’ll see there’s so more out there that you can take advantage of. And you will join the 1% with that privilege.