Sometimes, I really wish I had a legitimate answer. Something like "Oh I got hired for a company based in Asia" or "I'm studying abroad for a semester." Everyday someone asks me "why" and I wish I had an answer like that one. Unfortunately, my only real answer is just another question, "why not?"
At some point in 2014 I decided that 2015 would be the last year I could spend in DC. The mundanity of still living in the city I grew up in was really starting to wedge a monkey wrench in my fresh. My cousin Matt, Eliana, and myself always talked about moving out to California, setting up shop somewhere in LA, and letting the magic happen. That was the plan... then I went to South America and the travel bug bit me like I was a chew toy. I willingly, selfishly, and without a f*ck left to give packed my bag and jumped a plane to Colombia with a guy named Juney I had just met a few weeks earlier. Yea, that happened. Granted, the initial "Road to the World Cup", a cross country trip from Colombia to Brazil, was unsuccessful since we couldn't even make it out of Colombia, but my eyes had been opened to something I always knew was there yet never really considered... the entire rest of the world.
I got back to DC for Eliana's birthday and we made the decision that going somewhere, anywhere, for as long as we could was the path we wanted to be on. Originally, Australia was going to be the move. Eli found a program that would help us find employment and housing to stay in Aussie for a year, but the cost was in the 6K range... a piece. I knew this wasn't the best move for me, I didn't really have a 6K interest in the Outback, but I also knew I couldn't just say "no" without putting another option on the table. I spent a month researching where we could go for that same amount of money and eventually I landed on the backpacking center of the world... Southeast Asia. I'd wanted to travel Asia since I fell in love with anime and samurais as a kid. Something about it being on the opposite side of the world intrigued me, as if it would be my own Bizarro World (everything done opposite for those lacking the appropriate nerdom). For that same 6K we could travel through 5 huge countries and experience a life as far from the ones we live as we could imagine.
The plan was to drop everything, and go. And the best thing about America, it will never change. Everything that we leave here will be here waiting on us. The life that revolves around the punch clock, the culture that puts the dollar above all, the values that you're expected to share, the freedom, oh yea baby the freedom, its not going anywhere. But on the contrary, most of the world is changing to fit our capitalist American sensibilities. As I'm writing this, a famous food center in Bangkok, Soi 38, that has served people for over 40 years is being swept away in order to build a condo that locals probably wont be able to afford. The rest of the world is changing, fast, and I need to go explore it before it all happens.
All that said, "why not" seems to be the most legitimate answer I can muster. Why not explore the world? Why not use the money we've worked hard all year for to step outside of our comfort zones? Why wouldn't I want to spend $50 for me and Eliana to chill in a beach bungalow for a week, with people that feel the same, in a country that's hard to pronounce? I don't know, seems like my questions make a bit more sense...