What’s your name? you ask.
Where are you from?
And (of course), what do you do?
There it is. I was waiting for that last question. Well, I’m working as a volunteer trekking guide for a nonprofit organization in Nicaragua. We lead adventurous volcano treks to travelers, then use 100% of the profit to help fund projects supporting at-risk children here in León. At the moment, this is what I do. But that answer doesn’t satisfy you. Because outside of my current position I must surely do something more. More than this? No, I say. And you look at me with a mixture of bewilderment and pity. How wildly unsatisfying my life must be that I don’t have something of permanence to go back to.
I am not using my college degree to lock in a professional career with sick days and benefits- for life. No, that’s not me. Maybe it’s you. And that’s awesome. No look of bewilderment on my face. You be you. And, I’ll be me.
Because, you see, being myself is more fulfilling than being something I’m not. I have in front of me an opportunity to search freely for my purpose here. Time spent in nature, doing meaningful work, while meeting wonderful people from all over the world. Time spent falling in love with the culture here, and the exhilarating nature of camping out under active volcanoes. This is time well spent. And of course, I have the freedom to travel on whenever I feel the urge to do so, as this, too is temporary. Someday I will run out of money, and I will need some more of that, but it’s not something I worry about now. Because I am free.