I’ve been on the road for four weeks with Amy and things are going great! We are at her mother Di’s house right now and I’m getting to know Di and the rest of Amy’s family. They are very special people who have made me feel at home. This will be home until we hit the road on Friday.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make this blog more than just my travel log. I want to do more than just take a year long vacation. I’m looking forward to rising above great day-to-day activities and find meaning in my life and help others find theirs.
This search for meaning has really hit me hard for a couple of reasons. First off, it hit me because meaning can be an existential crisis according to this article in the New York Times. The article discusses how suicide is up 25% since 1990 and how a lack in meaning in people’s lives might have been a reason for many of the suicides. I’ve also heard of four suicides (only one unsuccessful) since I’ve been in KC, so the topic has come up quite a bit.
The second reason is that I’m retiring next month and I’ve heard that other people have gone into depression and lost meaning in their lives when they quit work. I think that I haven’t attached too much meaning and self-identity to my job, so I’m not too concerned about retirement leading to depression for me, but I do have more time to dedicate to something with meaning. I want to give back to the world. I want to be constructive instead of destructive.
Meaning or purpose in life is so important and I can be impetuous in decisions that I make. I am rather decisive and that can lead me to make decisions before I have all the facts and opinions. I want to get this one right and have profound meaning and purpose in my life.
When I retire, I have the great opportunity to figure out what I want to do and then do it. I’m taking a year to travel and figure out what I want to do. I have a few ideas to start:
- Become a Travel Writer – This has been my main idea for a long time and I can do this while I do other thing too. It mainly comes down to if I want to travel so much as I get older.
- Travel and Report on Spiritual Places – I have some plans to go to some great spiritual places this year (mainly Esalen and Kyoto). Visiting these places could give me a good feel for if I want to spend more time in these special places. In late July, I’ll be going to Esalen to reach my full potential on a 28-day retreat.
- Help gifted children – I have had this dream of helping intellectually gifted children who may have trouble relating to other kids and getting along in life. My high school physics teacher K. Perry talked about helping gifted kids and it made sense to me. If we can help some very gifted kids, then maybe they can do some amazing things. Maybe I can inspire some kids by leading them on some international travel.
- Creating or Living in an Intentional Community – This could be an easy path to find people who want to live the good life with me. I’m not a good salesman, so why not live with people who want to change and live with purpose?
That’s my thoughts on how to bring some meaning into my life. Let me know if you have better ideas or what has brought meaning into yours!