Today’s inspired update was born on the streets of Prizren, Kosovo. It took place over a casual conversation with a lady from S. Africa. One of those conversations where you had met two days prior and you’re already sick of each other, they could get abducted by a random rogue white van and it would be seen as a welcome relief. Suffice to say in some of our final parting words, we discussed the “the opportunity cost of long-term travel“. Until that point, had never considered it a cost… Mathematically, the equation would blow your mind.
She asked why I was traveling for so long and questioned if I’m not disturbed by the large cost of long term travel? I told her that part of traveling was because I had this sinking sensation that I was “missing out on the world” as though there is a whole world, lots happening at all times and if you live in one part, well you’ll miss it. She countered saying that although life is occurring everywhere, your life is being put on hold by being in another land, you’re missing out on friends, family, the chance to build a family etc…
The reality is that there is a large opportunity cost to everything you do but we’ll focus on travel. Those who opt to start breeding and nesting (lol) in their early years will indeed have more time as they are older, fact is they have missed out on their youth and may be sick by then. Also factor in that random health issues pop up for everyone at all ages. Going on a trip around the world in your 20’s is distinctly different than your 30’s and probably a completely different experience in your 40’s. Most people travel with a spouse as they get older, again very different experience than alone. Retirement? Welcome to the cruise / guided tour scene, that said you’ll probably meet another lovely couple and become pen pals.
If you travel and explore in your youth, you’ll probably have kids when you’re older and a whole new set of opportunity costs arise. Then there are those that never plan on having children or progressing to the “next step” in your development. My personal view is that those who do not wish to reproduce at some point in their lives are either too lame to find a partner or too selfish to care that they wouldn’t be here had their ancestors not made the sacrifices necessary. Can’t imagine being 60 with no offspring, must be a lonely and boring life?
Ultimately whatever you do, there will be large costs. Ignorance is bliss to those who see nothing but the road ahead like a horse with blinders. You need that mentality to make it, there are paths leading everywhere and never more than a footstep and a commitment away… The more options you see the more you realize the ultimate costs in all the activities you do. It’s also empowering to see your life as a reality version of “choose your own adventure”.
There will be opportunity costs for everything in life, we can’t be everything to everyone and do everything all the time. Think long and hard about what it is you really want from this life and follow such said path. Will note that with the internet and television it’s incredibly easy to forget your vision and simply play along in that of someone else.
In the end, well all pay the highest price, make sure you get what you ordered AND MORE!
Feeling chatty? What do you think? You do have an opinion, don’t you?
P.S: I’m looking for cheap flight to Palm Springs, easier said than done.