We are millennials and our generation is more depressed than any other before us; we are called lazy and entitled while facing completely different challenges than Generation X or Baby Boomers, and it has a huge impact on our mental health. Finding a job is basically hunger games, and a lot of us already have huge college debts and degrees that often mean nothing more than just a few fancy words on paper. All of this is not helping our developing anxieties, depression and many other mental problems.
We are not only talking about our generation overall, but our private lives as well; we too struggle with all of this, we struggle with monthly psychiatrist appointments and pills that help us survive day-to-day. Until recently, we also were stuck in this limbo of feeling miserable in our lives and our home, we felt like everything we did was wrong (apart from being together). Fortunately, we decided to take a bold step into the unknown and change our lives.
A few months ago we were both attending university, going to classes, then going back home feeling miserable as f*ck. That was during the better days- during worse days we simply stayed in bed, often not showering or even eating. The situation we were living in was making us go (even more) insane. Fortunately -or unfortunately- we failed our exams. That’s when we realised that we have an amazing opportunity to leave it all behind and just…go, travel. So…yeah. This post is about us leaving everything we have known behind.
For most it might sound amazing: oh, so you’re going to travel! How great! I would love to do the same! And, yeah, it is pretty freaking amazing but it is also scary and very stressful at the same time. Not having a proper income, not having a lot of money in our accounts, travelling just because of other people’s generosity and kindness, not knowing what will happen the next day, not having proper plans for the not-so-distant future. Those are all pretty scary things and that is why we decided to get all of the things that we find the most stressful out in the open. And we have the nagging feeling that we’re not the only ones who feel this way.
So, below you can read about 6 worries that we currently have:
1) Approval of society.
We were raised in a way that makes us seek approval of the society. Since we were little everyone has always told us, that you are supposed to go to school, then university, get married, have kids and then just work and work and… well, work some more, with one, 2 week holiday a year. And then die.
It’s very deeply rooted in our brains. We are taught that we will not be successful in life, unless we live it the same way others do. Of course we know that this is not true, we know a lot of people who don’t live that kind of life and are still successful but sometimes we just can’t help it and worry about it all.
We feel like we need to know now, at this very moment in time what do we want to do in our lives and start working on it. Society doesn’t let us catch a break to see the world, to explore, to learn from other people. No. It expects us to be finishing our studies now and starting a full-time, boring job, just to make ends meet.
2) Ending up homeless, moneyless, and still miserable.
Well, the title just says it all, right? Quite often we worry that once we are done with being on the road and we will want to settle down we won’t be able to. That we won’t be able to support ourselves without a degree. We know that millions of people do it everyday, but when you’re not an optimist sometimes thoughts like this get stuck in your head. Even though we plan on getting a degree in the future, we still worry that we won’t be able to support ourselves while going to the university because we didn’t have any proper, long-term work experience because we were travelling.
3) Doing it all over again.
After we get tired of backpacking through the world we want to settle down in a nice country, work, and go to university again. It sounds like a pretty cool plan, living in another country, studying, meeting new people, making new friends… But what if it happens again, what if we get worse again, what if we will be miserable again and not able to finish it, not being able to support ourselves? What if we fail again?
4) Getting ill/injured
Even though we have a health and accident insurance we still worry what will happen once we get sick or hurt. It is a very basic insurance since we can’t afford anything special and we won’t be insured at our home country anymore. All those procedures you have to go through once you go to the doctor abroad and the thought that maybe they won’t give us the financial support after all, for one reason or another is making it all way more stressful.
5) Being with other people all the time
We love hitchhiking and couchsurfing and we are so grateful to have an opportunity to meet other amazing and helpful people! But we are both kind of introverts – we like to spend time with people but there are some limits. Travelling the way we do means spending a majority of our time with other people and sometimes you just want to sit alone and watch a tv show instead of talking about culture with another new person. We are a bit worried that this may overwhelm us and we will be enjoying it less and less just because we need some alone time, like every other human being.
6) Letting other people down
This one is very tied with the first one about meeting expectations. We don’t want to let our parents, grandparents or friends down. They did so much for us and a lot happened because of their help. Most of them, though, see us in a different way than we do. They were the ones that told us that we have to go to the university, that we have to get a job, that we need to know now what will we do in the future. They expect us to have the life they dreamed out for us. They expect us to be wise, kind, smart, with degrees and certificates, with an amazing job that will give us lots of money, with our own house, car, dog, kids. They expect us to live happily this way.
We don’t always share the same ideas and we don’t share the same expectations towards ourselves. We know that we will be happier while being able to travel and see the world first and we want to do everything our way but there is always this fear of letting them down. They imagined their kids’ or grandkids’ life in a completely different way and they don’t see what we do as something good since it is not making any profit.
Those are the most stressful thoughts we have just before hitting the road. We hope they will mostly remain hidden somewhere deep inside our brains, covered by joy of exploring the world; and not destroying our good travelling moods. Every big decision comes with some worries and bad thoughts – we just need to make sure they won’t ruin our amazing trip!
What kind of worries do you have while travelling? Or while making big changes in your life like dropping out of university, emigrating, etc? Do you share some of ours?