I'm not sure perpetual traveler is a recognized job description.
However, adventure addict, house sitter and freelance travel writer might just be an accepted combination of viable employment possibilities.
I'm sure my mother would disagree.
In 2009 I graduated from university and spent the next 18 months interning for a non-existent wage in London. A process which every graduate despises, but for some unknown reason wholeheartedly accepts as a bizarre rite of passage to pastures new and chockfull of employment opportunities.
That is the accepted theory, anyway.
Fortunately I was one of the lucky few who landed my dream job after the obligatory debt to the Gods of free labor was paid.
So technically I had a real job... And then 12 months later, I quit.
In May of 2011 I boarded a plane and flew out of the U.K. leaving behind my career and all I had worked for during my years in education.
I left the U.K. with no real itinerary, no grand plan and certainly no expectation that my RTW adventure would exceed 12 months. However thanks to a strong desire to facilitate a life of travel, I have veered away from the more traditional career path choosing instead an unconventional diversion from the straight and narrow road of the nine to five.
My journey has provided as many opportunities to experience new locations and cultures, as it has offered me the chance to delve deep into the inner workings of my own existence and figure out what it is that makes me tick.
So often while growing up, I had found myself pondering the very nature of my existence. While I never failed miserably at school -- I was proficient at most subjects, played a handful of sports and a few musical instruments -- not once did I find myself passionately pursuing any subjects or hobbies.
I was merely on auto pilot, the light was on, but in retrospect I doubt there was anyone home.
My university years offered no great insight into my apathetic soul. I continued to follow a path I thought might inspire me, but as my graduation approached and the real world loomed large on the horizon I had yet to find something that excited me, something that I passionately wanted to pursue.
When I look back at the girl who packed her life into a 55L backpack and said goodbye to the world she knew I am immensely grateful. I wish I could wave her off at the airport, give her a big hug and tell her that she was about to find an existence that would inspire her to do things that had never even featured in her wildest dreams.
Having suffered with anxiety during my teens, adventure was something I actively avoided. Panic attacks and clammy hands were the side effects of adrenaline coursing through my veins, not the endorphin highs felt by most of my peers.
In retrospect, travel has offered me a way to self-medicate my anxiety. It has shown me how to step out of my comfort zone and tackle my fears head-on.
It has provided me with more life skills and taught me more about my own character than I could ever have imagined, and in truth it's ignited a fire inside that I'm finding hard to control.
I'm navel gazing somewhat I know. Forgive me.
Yet I must ask you:
"How often do you get to meet people from other cultures, countries and backgrounds who choose to welcome you into their world and offer you an insight into their existence?"
"How often are you faced with challenges which are so far removed from those you face on a daily basis, that excitement far outweighs any sense of fear or self-doubt?"
"How often do you find yourself learning the basics of a skill you never imagined you would need or thought could offer you potential employment opportunities in the future?"
Ironically, the content of my CV has increased unimaginably since I quit my job. I've crossed continents east to west over land, flown over tropical islands, and hiked across the crater floor of an active volcano.
I've learned more about what makes me tick, floats my boat and ignites my passion in the last two years than in my previous 24 years of schooling.
My nomadic existence had afforded me the chance to live my life in a way I had never thought possible. I am faced with challenges every day and instead of adding things to my "to-do" list or breaking out into a cold sweat, I relish the chance to get stuck in and try something new.
As I reflect on my journey so far, it becomes all too evident that I would be unable to return to the confines of a nine to five. In choosing to escape my previous life, I have ignited a fire that now burns deep in my chest. It pushes me to pursue opportunities that before, would have seemed far from my reach.
So you see I have no desire to go and get a real job. The opportunities I am perusing and the lifestyle I lead now are so much more rewarding then those which I left behind.
I can't imagine ever returning to the mundane existence I once knew.