I’ve had success on my mind a lot lately. With some big plans coming up, I’m still on the road, quickly sliding towards 30, and still chasing every wild idea that pops in to my head. Success has a different meaning for every culture and person, and it shows in those lifestyles. It’s morphed in to a far less than conventional meaning for me as well. Many people I grew up with are chasing the American dream, with families, jobs, kids, houses, and all the checks of that list of “success” that is defined in our culture. BUT, I’ve also watched that definition change as I travel, with some of the most successful people I know dropping the pretense that this checklist will make them happy and instead chasing their own definition of happiness.
I came to New Zealand with $4 in my bank account, hitchhiked to the town I live in now, and scrounged and scrambled to get in to the mountains to work and live here rather than go home for even three months. Three months later, I’m a few weeks out from heli-skiing a range I never thought I’d get the opportunity to ski on and staying here permanently. Many of the great friends I met along this trip are also continuing their travels, working dream jobs that are so normal out here, yet a fantasy people think of as a vacation anywhere else.
That is success. Doing what you dreamed of as a kid, moving and working hard to keep a goal alive that you weren’t sure was possible, and making it work because it’s what makes you feel alive.
Travel, skiing, climbing, photography, (the list goes on) make me feel alive. The constant adventure, the challenges of making this lifestyle maintainable, the drop in my stomach hopping on to my first skinny steep and deep chute after a year off skiing… that all reminds me that I’m doing what is important. I’m successful in making every dream I ever had as a kid come true.
Moral: Just because it’s not traditional or conventional doesn’t mean it isn’t success. So go do you… YOUR definition of happy and success. ❤