Being in my mid twenties I am often asked “so Chantel, when are you going to finally settle down?” or “you and Steph have been together for so long, when are you going to move out and get married?” I usually just laugh it off and explain my unruly travel addiction. Then I have to explain that my parents are kind enough to let my grown ass live with them for seven out of the twelve months of the year to help fund my addiction. (Lameeee) But in the back of my head I always wonder, what bullshit questions.
This isn’t 1965 anymore people.
Believe it or not, there are some people in this world who want more than a life that consists of making dinner for your significant other (s/o) every night while your kids run around. I’ll even go as far as to say that there are some people who want more than to work a mindless job just because it supplies healthcare and a 401k.
I’m talking crazy right people?!
But these people do exist, myself being one of them.
In a time where the people all around me are tying the knot and babies are sprouting up left and right there is an immense amount of pressure to do the whole settling down thing. I can’t even settle on what destination I want to go to next let alone settle down forever. In fact, the whole idea is scary as all hell.
For some people fulfillment comes from bringing another human being into the world and helping them grow into a kind and caring person. Others it may be landing that dream career that will finally one day make their student loans a distant memory. But for me, fulfillment is when I drop my backpack down, step out the door and realize that I’m in a brand new city in some distant part of the world.
Last year, my girlfriend and I were in Paris. At this point we were coming to the end of our first backpacking trip. Two months of going wherever the wind took us, eating foods I NEVER thought I would try and seeing natural wonders that left me astonished. I can remember looking up at the Eiffel Tower for the first time and feeling overwhelmed with self pride. I busted my ass for over a year prior to this, worked 5 different jobs, gave up days off for weeks at a time. I traded my beloved historical fiction for guidebooks and researched backpacks and travel accessories instead of new outfits or hot shoes.
It was at that moment I realized that I had come this far on my own accord. This is what I was meant to do. I was built to travel, I thrive in the chaos of figuring out how to get to the next city and the unknown that goes into getting to a country where you don’t know one bit of the language.
That is my fulfillment.
Everybody in this world is entitled to seek out whatever it is to make them feel complete in this world. For some people it’s a happy family, others a loving relationship, or a kickass career. I have the perfect, supportive s/o and I have my finances in order. Now is the perfect time to feel complete by hopping all over the globe before the monotony of life takes over. Settling down can happen whenever I want it to and that’s what life is all about.
So major shout out to all my people that feel the same way, screw what everyone else is doing or saying, your life doesn’t have to answer to anybody but yourself. Do what makes you feel fulfilled, no matter how unconventional that may be!