BlogRants/Thoughts

A Milk Bottle Just Told Me it’s Time to Get Excited About My Trip

Don’t worry; I haven’t started having conversations with inanimate objects. Anyway, if milk bottles could talk I doubt they’d be wasting their time giving me wisdom, they’d probably be more interested in talking about cows or cereal.

I haven’t gone crazy just yet, but I recently received a sign that it’s time to get excited about my trip. In the past I looked forward to certain things so much that it started to have a negative impact on the time in between. Sometimes it felt like I was treading water waiting to finish university or finish a contract. I decided that I couldn’t live in the future so much, so now when I buy a bottle of milk that has a use by date that is past the date I’ve been looking forward to, it’s time to let my mind wander. Before that time I’ve tried my hardest to live in the moment and enjoy each day.

It’s been difficult this time around, as the journey I’m about to embark on is by far the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me. I’ve saved enough money to travel for a few years (if I want to), and there’s a possibility I might never need a “real job” again. Working is something I’ve always put up with but never really enjoyed, but it wasn’t long ago that I was resigned to working normal jobs for the rest of my life. It’s a life that many people have, and many also enjoy, but it’s not for me. I like seeing new things, and when you work in 1 place for years on end those work days are usually filled with the same scenes. This familiarity is what some people crave, but an increasing number are realising that a life full of adventure and travel is a possibility.

Freedom

This is my number 1 reason for wanting to travel. When you are an employee of a company you no longer have complete control over your life. I used to think the best job in the world would be a professional athlete, but recently I’ve rethought that. Athletes are usually contracted to a team for at least a few years. They have to train intensely, listen to coaches, and they don’t have the freedom to do or say what they want in public. This job suddenly sounds a lot less appealing. I now think a self employed travel writer could be the dream job, and I might one day be in the position to make that happen.

The plan

I’ve got a pretty busy couple of months planned. I’ll head to Malaysia for 2 weeks, followed by a few days in Brunei, then on to Southern China for a month followed by a week and a half in the Philippines. After that, who knows? I’ll stick around Asia until the end of the year as there is still so much I want to see. I haven’t been to India, Nepal or Japan yet, and I’d love to revisit a few places in Southeast Asia. At the end of the year I’ll be heading to South/Central/North America, then probably on to Europe, Africa and wherever else I feel like going. I’d love to eventually own a guesthouse somewhere in Southeast Asia, but that might be a few years in the making.

Some thoughts on living in Singapore

I’ve lived in Singapore for nearly 2 years and there are definitely aspects of it that I’ll miss. Mostly I’ll miss my girlfriend (one of the reasons I’m staying in Asia until the end of the year), the food and the ease of living. I’ll also miss my job; I’ve worked with some awesome people during my 2 years of teaching and have also taught some great kids. It’s always a bit sad leaving the kids, but after a few weeks they usually forget their old teacher anyway.

classroomXuan Xuan, one of my favourite students, looks sad that I’m leaving!

Even though I’ve enjoyed my time in Singapore it’s definitely time to leave. I came here 2 years ago having just completed my first big travel experience (6 months in Southeast Asia) and for a start it felt like my drug had been cut off. All I wanted to do was hit the road and not come back, but that becomes hard when you have no money. I quickly worked out that I could save enough to go anywhere in the world I wanted, but it would cost me 2 years. I decided that was a decent trade off, and now I’m about to see the fruits of that decision. 2 years was a daunting amount of time to think about, but it’s raced by, and now I’m ready to truly see the world.

Maybe my milk bottle thing won’t work in the future, especially if genetic engineering has any say. They might invent milk that lasts forever, but I’d hope they would use that technology to prolong human lives first. For now though, it works as a sign that something exciting is just around the corner – and that last bottle of milk tastes better than any other!

When do you think the right time is to get excited about something? Do you also follow the law of the milk? Let me know!

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Jon Algie

Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.
The Sultan's Mosque at Kampong Glam, Singapore
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16 Comments

  1. April 26, 2014 at 7:04 pm — Reply

    Safe travels!! We’ll see you on the road.

    • Jon Algie
      April 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm — Reply

      Cheers Oren, can’t wait to get out there!

  2. April 27, 2014 at 9:16 am — Reply

    Hahahah, this is great. I went food shopping today and noticed that the expiration dates on cartons of almond milk are now far enough into the future that I can buy one to keep in my refrigerator for when I return home in June and must have iced coffee first thing. Then I got sad because “my trip is almost over” and I did not even leave yet. Sigh.

    • Jon Algie
      April 28, 2014 at 12:28 pm — Reply

      Haha, sounds like the opposite of my milk experience. Remind me never to buy almond milk (it sounds nice though).

  3. April 27, 2014 at 2:27 pm — Reply

    Hey Jon! Sounds like we share a dislike of “real jobs”. 😉 There’s nothing like the prospect of not having to work ever again to motivate me. Are you planning to use online work to support yourself in the future, then?

    • Jon Algie
      April 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm — Reply

      I’m not sure really, it’d be nice to earn money from freelance writing or something, I’ve got a few years to get all of that sorted. I also want to open a guesthouse, and that to me wouldn’t feel like a real job!

  4. April 28, 2014 at 4:27 pm — Reply

    For me freedom is also #1 reason to travel. It adds to my daily spontaneity, and I love to make music so there are no distractions when I travel. I’m free to do what I want (for most people I think freedom is not going to work on a workday…) I can change my home, town or country whenever I want and it all will add to my perception of the world and to my music.

    • Jon Algie
      April 29, 2014 at 11:03 am — Reply

      I imagine it’s great for a musician, there are so many styles of music that we never really hear in the west.

  5. April 29, 2014 at 1:57 am — Reply

    Ha! How funny. I see your milk expires on “Star Wars Day.” You have summarized some of my top reasons for aspiring to a life of travel, too. Life is too short to stay in one place and not get out there and experience as much as possible. Best wishes to you as you continue your journey. May the Fourth Be With You!

    • Jon Algie
      April 29, 2014 at 11:05 am — Reply

      Haha, I never knew there was a Star Wars day!

  6. April 30, 2014 at 10:38 am — Reply

    So exciting! Totally agree with the freedom section. I love having total control with what to do, see, eat. Travel allows you to do exactly what you want and if you end up somewhere you don’t love, you can just move on!

    • Jon Algie
      May 1, 2014 at 7:34 am — Reply

      True freedom is the best feeling I think, and after giving that up for 2 years I’m really excited to have it again!

  7. April 30, 2014 at 11:44 am — Reply

    Woo-hoo congratulations man! Yup, I definitely agree, sacrificing two years for the greater good was definitely a smart move. I gave five years of my life to Cisco Systems but am happy to say I just had my five year anniversary of life on the road back in March. No plans to stop anything soon and settle into a “normal” life (normal is such a relative term anyway lol).

    Maybe we can cross paths in the Philippines. I’ve been there six times already but am planning to head back after I finish my current projects in Indonesia. So you leave before May 4th, correct? Did I interpret the beginning of your post correctly?

    • Jon Algie
      May 1, 2014 at 7:39 am — Reply

      Wow, 5 years is impressive! I think when you’ve done it for a while and you enjoy it it’d be so hard to go back to a normal life. It’s been pretty tough at times during the lat 2 years but it’s suddenly all become worth it! Where are you based in Indonesia? I’m planning to do a bit of travel around there, maybe back to Sumatra and I’m thinking about a trip from Lombok through to a whole lot of other islands, maybe onto Timor – I need to do some research on that though haha, it’s a big area.

      Just finished my contract yesterday, was meant to leave Singapore today but didn’t book a train ticket on time so now I’m going on Monday.

  8. April 30, 2014 at 7:52 pm — Reply

    Funny! We all have our own ways of telling time…expiration dates is a good one.

    • Jon Algie
      May 1, 2014 at 7:41 am — Reply

      Cheers Jen, it’s worked well for me so far!

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