It has been said many times before, by many people, and for good reason.
It’s amazing how easy it is to take simple things for granted.
This is a lesson that you learn hundreds and hundreds of times over whenever you travel. It could be something small like having the convenience of a laundry at your house, so that you can wash your clothes without having to wait around or go back and pick them up. It could be something more serious like having a warm, dry, clean place to sleep on a regular basis or having safe drinking water come out of the tap in the bathroom or kitchen.
Big or small, like it or not, travelling helps you appreciate things that you never thought were special before you left home.
One thing I never thought I would be missing was working full-time. In fact, I didn’t even realise I was missing it until I started doing it again after taking a break for 20 months. Now I am a fully fledged member of the workforce once again and absolutely loving it. Far more than I ever did before.
Why do I love it so much?
I have been trying to figure that out myself.
It could definitely have something to do with the job. I am now working in an art gallery selling wildlife photography for a famous Canadian wildlife photographer. Compared to my old job of selling irrigation, this is a much better fit for me. Instead of selling people something they need but don’t want (it’s necessary to grow their plants or fix a leak), I am selling them something they want, something which makes them happy.
I used to like my old job, but that was before I found out how much happier I can be doing something else.
When people come in to the gallery and look at the amazing photos we have, their faces light up. Seeing this kind of reaction over and over again all day long makes my face light up too. When selling irrigation, people come in (usually unhappy) with a problem that they need fixed. It’s a big difference!
I am also personally very interested in wildlife, nature, the outdoors and photography and the work in this gallery is particularly impressive, so it’s a great fit.
Another big factor is my environment. In the town of Banff I am surrounded by beautiful mountains 24×7. I can walk everywhere, no need to drive or take public transport. On my walk to work I frequently see elk and deer grazing on lawns in my street and around. Every time I am in a bad mood it only lasts as long as it takes for me to go outside, then I look up at the mountains and I immediately feel better.
I honestly never thought I could enjoy working full-time as much as I do now. I will never again work a job that I don’t enjoy at least as much as this one. One of the aims of this trip was to find work that I really love and I seem to be getting closer to figuring it out.
So what is the point of this blog post?
Well if you are reading this and you don’t love going to work every day, then hopefully it will inspire you to make a change. That’s the real secret. Change. There seems to be a huge consensus that you are supposed to hate going to work. It’s a myth and it needs to be busted. Seriously, you will find something you like if you keep looking. Take a break from working, travel. It won’t be the end of the world and it won’t destroy your future, so long as you don’t quit your job and sit around all day doing nothing.
You can get paid these days to do almost anything. Like playing computer games? Well people get paid to do that every single day. Love hiking? Same deal. Move to the mountains and become a guide. Maybe you just don’t like working for other people? Start your own business. Millions do it every day.
Don’t just sit there and keep going to your job unless you are having a great time, because despite what everyone thinks, you don’t have to. If you have spent 4 years studying at university only to find out you don’t really like your chosen field, cut your losses. Try something else. Your skills will carry over into other industries and no education is ever a waste.
I am nobody special, and I managed to find something I like, so I am sure anybody can do it. All it takes is a little bravery and some willingness to try new things. Deep down inside everybody is capable of that. The only thing stopping you from doing it is your fear of the unknown. Once you get past that breaking point and realise what you are capable, there is no looking back.
Even if you can’t find a new career that you love right away, simply trying out some other things or taking a break might help to give you more appreciation for your old job. You could find things you like about it that you didn’t even realise were important to you.