The Soapbox Chronicles: On the Road Again – Thoughts on the True Meaning of Wealth

Current location: Somewhere between Berlin and Prague

Currently reading: Game of Thrones Book II – A Clash of Kings

 

Ah, it’s Monday again. My third Monday in Europe, which also means my trip is past the halfway point. It’s a sunny day and I’m looking out the window as my train rides alongside a river surrounded by lots of trees and beautiful houses. My At&t courtesy text message informs me of my new international rates so I now know that I am in the Czech Republic. For the first time ever! I’m very excited to explore a new city and learn about a culture that I know very little of. I hear Prague is very touristy, but hopefully I can bypass some of the tourist parts and find more local flavor. Rob, a coworker from CB, was kind enough to pass on a Prague guide written by one of his friends who studied there so I’m already armed with some great places to eat and other must-see spots. Thanks, Rob!

This trip has been so awesome so far, what an experience! Booking my hostels the day before I arrive. Having the freedom to go wherever I want when I want. At this point, I only have things planned through Wed night – come Thurs morning I don’t even know what direction I’ll be heading or who I’ll be running into next. Why did I wait until I was 27 to do this?? Well at least I’m doing it now.  It’s been an extremely liberating experience and exactly what I needed after feeling suffocated at my last job.  I wish the funds would never run out so I could live like this more…

Back in San Sebastian, I had a long conversation with one of my hostel mates about traveling and wealth. I  believe those guys are traveling for like 10 months, and being able to afford something like that with my current lifestyle  is not an option for me at this time. But how much I could see and do with the money I spend on my studio each month! It’s painful when you look at it that way. Of course, it was my decision to live in Manhattan and have the nice studio and get my HBO and enjoy a social life of going out several times a week (which is NOT cheap). But here I am, hopping from country to country and spending $30-50 a night on “rent” instead and getting soo much more out of it. I mean, really what is wealth — the accumulation of nice things, a great apartment, a short vacation every year? My friend Alessandro from Rome is pretty much a nomad, traveling to new places every chance he gets. I think he’s currently somewhere in Asia right now and I hope to meet up with him at some point in the future. Ale says he’s pretty poor, but really he’s so rich in his experiences and he’s seen more places than most of us will see in our lifetimes. I won’t lie, I do want it all. I want to live in this moment AND to have my nice place and nice things. And I do want a family and to raise my kids with many opportunities and a level of comfort where they will never have to worry about finances. But I also don’t see myself having a family within the next few years (sorry Mom, and no I don’t want to be arranged) and so the idea of ditching the luxuries of New York for the chance to explore and open my eyes to new things sound more appealing, right? I also do want the career. I want to find the right place for me, where I’m excited to go to work and I’m challenged every day and feel truly appreciated. I think when the right opportunities present themselves (in love and career) maybe then I’ll want to just be in one place. Or perhaps I’m destined to be with a man who loves traveling as much as I do, and I can get some dream job of taking photos of food from different countries. A girl can dream!   Either way, I have been extremely blessed in my life and I do believe everything will come in time. So for now I will enjoy the scenery out my window, which definitely trumps the view of the Hudson River.

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