Challenge is not for Everyone

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Challenge is not for Everyone

“I hate this world forcing me to follow dreams and passion. Why do we need to think about tomorrow’s happiness?”

Said, my Korean friend who I used to work with at the engineering company. It was the day I published ‘To Become Great, Build Something Great’ and it made me think. So I decided to write a follow-up article.

Looking back, am I forcing people to follow their dream, whatever it takes? Am I telling people to ditch your today’s happiness for tomorrow’s happiness? All those inspirational quotes and photos, are these make people unhappy?

Hope not.

People often ask me what’s my advice to the first time travelers. ‘Travel in comfort’ is the answer. I’m an independent traveler and a backpacker. But I’m not saying this is the only way to travel. If the suitcase comforts you, go for it. If you are more comfortable with a group of people in the place, sign up. If the little village with no electricity freaks you out, don’t go. Traveling is not about doing something ‘cool’. It’s about learning about the world, and yourself. And it applies the same for the life in general. Life is not about doing something ‘cool’. I’m not walking on a path of the entrepreneur to be ‘cool’. It just was happened to be my calling.

Are we looking down on people?

One of many accusing arguments I got from my decision was I was looking down on people who were dedicated to living the conventional lifestyle. People said I was looking down on people because they thought I was like ‘I am better than you all, you suckers.’ Well, was I really? Is there any chance that you are projecting your unhappiness toward me?

I didn’t choose to live my own life because it’s a cool thing, and neither should you. Everything is relevant. If you think your office life and steady income make you happy in average, why not a pursuit that? If today’s happiness is more important than dreaming about traveling the world ‘someday’, you don’t have to. If you can find the creativity and inspiration in your daily routine, good for you. I’m saying that’s just not for me.

Think hard. Did anyone actually say your conventional lifestyle is a terrible mistake? Don’t dump your needs to others who are making their own just because they are the easy targets. Just like every success and failure on the road is on me, your happiness at home is on you. Since you are the one who made the choice to go to work every day in a suit, you can’t blame someone else for that. You can’t say your traveling friends make you unhappy.

Camping_sangcheon_Korea

Camping in the rain is not for everyone

Because I’m busting their bubble

One of the lessons I’ve learned while dealing with the people over the years was no one likes to acknowledge their bubble. And if someone’s bursting their bubble? Forget it. That’s the difference between people who are seeking for the inspiration and those of are not. People who are still accusing me of being childish, selfish, spoiled and cocky are actually mad at me to bursting their bubble. I’m making them realize the world is big and out there. To see me travel around the world is agonizing for them. But think really hard, I am not the one making you unhappy, you are.

I’m sorry I’m not an average girl with less desire and passion. If I was, Runaway Juno was never born. I’m not sorry for my decision, and I never will.

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .

19 Comments

  1. Jamie says:

    A very interesting point. It is important to remember that we are all different. However, when you are living and loving life in an adventurous way (such as yourself), it is hard to not want to share it with the world. Whether people travel the world or not isn’t important, but I think that following their dreams is.

    “I’m sorry I’m not an average girl with less desire and passion.” Don’t be sorry. You are living life with zest and adventure. If you weren’t, I wouldn’t be reading this right now. Keep living life and loving the world in every way that you can.

  2. Unhappiness is in ourselves, no-one could make us suffer showing their success if we were successful ourselves. Being the boring part of a comparison is what really hurts. However, “cool” or “boring” are two very subjective adjectives. For example, I am going to live abroad this year… and I am extremely excited about it. Yes, it will surely be an amazing experience, BUT I would rather stay at home if I had a steady relationship and a good job, if I could built up my own family. In my case it’s sort of “well, given that I lack any of these, AT LEAST I can travel a little”

    One has to follow their dreams or desires, which not necessaryly involves travel (or build a family), it depends on each one. 🙂

  3. Like I wrote on twitter, this is something I majorly agree with.

    The ability to to be content with living in the now whilst at home is something certain people are simply able to do. I, on the other hand, feel myself getting restless.

    Planning long term is my forté. I constantly know when my next trip is coming up, as it is what keeps me sane while going through my routine, waitressing life. I can’t handle too much routine – whereas other people thrive in it.

  4. Talon says:

    I so agree. To me the big thing is that I wish more people would pursue their dreams. If it will TRULY make them happy, and not that superficial bullshit, then I want them to go for it. Endless travel is MY dream. It doesn’t mean it should be anyone else’s. If it IS, then I want people to know it’s so within reach, but so is any other dream if they really want it bad enough.

  5. meaghan says:

    If your success is making someone feel inadequate in their life choices, then that’s on them. not you.

  6. Arlinda says:

    I’m constantly criticized for not wanting the conventional life. The most common critique of my life is “settle down and get married.” I wish people would realize if I did “settle down” I would feel like in “settling.” I love traveling. I give up a lot of traditional comfort to make my dreams come true too but it’s my choice. Someday I want my own traveling family so they can experience the joy of discovering a new language, a new culture, people outside their everyday life. Those who critique us don’t realize we’re creating the life we want. We don’t condemn or criticize their lifestyles because for the most part we grew up in a similar household. So I’m not going to apologize for being globally conscious and wanting to discover and explore.

  7. Lynne Nieman says:

    I believe that each person’s dream is different and that we must respect those differences. My older sister (by 9 years) is married, has 4 kids, 4 kid-in-laws now and 4 grandchildren. The husband, house, yard, kids, “stable” life. This has never been for me, but I see how happy and content she is with it. I wouldn’t be. When I was younger, I didn’t get it. Her life seemed “boring” to me. As I got older, and I think wiser (I am 47), I realized it comes down to choices. She chose what makes her happy and I chose my path, of being less “stable”, floating around more, traveling. As long as you are happy (and I might add healthy), that’s what matters.

  8. Great post and blog!! 🙂

  9. Lynne Nieman says:

    I believe that each person’s dream is different and that we must respect those differences. My older sister (by 9 years) is married, has 4 kids, 4 kid-in-laws now and 4 grandchildren. The husband, house, yard, kids, “stable” life. This has never been for me, but I see how happy and content she is with it. I wouldn’t be. When I was younger, I didn’t get it. Her life seemed “boring” to me. As I got older, and I think wiser (I am 47), I realized it comes down to choices. She chose what makes her happy and I chose my path, of being less “stable”, floating around more, traveling. As long as you are happy (and I might add healthy), that’s what matters. Some of us are happy in the here and now, and some of us like to plan for the future. To each her own!

  10. This post really hit home. I am not the ‘white picket fence’ kind of girl. Ive never wanted a family and I have ALWAYS wanted travel. Some people don’t get me. When I tell them what I want for my life (no kids, permanent travel) I get not just funny looks but the “Oh you will want kids some day. You will want to settle down at some point” type comments.

    I have news for them – Im 38 years old and STILL do not want kids and STILL want to travel the world endlessly!

    Which is what I have made happen. My hubby and I have been full time traveling for only 12 months so far but we see this being our life for a very long time.. and we LOVE it!

    So yes, while long term travel might not be for everyone, either is the white picket fence. And you know what, not everyone has to have the same dream. As long as you live the life YOU want then that is all that matters!

    Anyway, thats my 2 cents worth 🙂

  11. Bama says:

    A very well-written post! The most important question everyone should ask him/herself is: “What makes me happy?”. He/she should know what matters most in his/her life. But sadly many people live their lives following what worked for others without even raising that critical question. In the end many find themselves unhappy and unfulfilled. Keep up the spirit for traveling! For doing what you love!

  12. Totally agree that life is not about doing something cool or something which you can brag about. Life is about doing something! Many of us just pass by the years doing nothing.

  13. Kate says:

    I find it hard not to be judgmental of people who like touristy type activities, tours, vacations close to home etc. But I do try not to be!

  14. Juno, I love this post. People often project their unhappiness towards others, and a lot of the time, I think it’s sheer jealousy, regardless of whether it’s directed at someone who travels a lot, someone who has decided not to have kids, someone who quit their job to start their own business etc. Luckily my family, friends, and partner are all really supportive of my decision to travel over the next few months, and I haven’t had to deal with any accusations of being selfish or spoiled. Like you, I’ve worked damn hard to save up for my trip, and it’s nobody else’s business what I do with my life, as long as it makes me happy and I’m not hurting anybody.

  15. Ali says:

    People definitely don’t like having their bubble burst & seeing you follow your dreams & do something unconventional bursts their bubble. But you’re so right, you are not making them unhappy. Maybe you’re making them realize they’re unhappy, but that’s not the same thing. I think it’s awesome you’re following your passions!

  16. Hasan Niyazi says:

    This is a fascinating post!

    I am always intrigued to hear what motivates people to make life changing decisions, which in Juno’s case seems to focus on travel (as it does for others).

    We can not dare to presume anything about anyone’s happiness or otherwise…. the human experience is a most diverse one, and truly experiencing this diversity in an emotional sense can only come with time and being responsible for a life other than our own. Hence, whether one is off seeing the world, or mostly sees their place of work while earning to raise children, to each we wish their days are blessed with smiles and sunshine, health and happiness.

  17. Challenge is like adventure, it is relative. What may seem challenging to one person is boring or passé to another.

    Challenges and adventures can be of the mind, body or spirit.

    I would venture to say in many ways, some challenges of the mind and spirit are far more difficult than those of the body.

    However, whether of mind, body or spirit, it is important to live life as fully and adventurously as possible.

    Adventure Insider

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