Fear and Loathing in Normality

Fear and loathing in normality - The Globe Wanderers

So often too many of us settle for a lifestyle full of routine, fear and loathing. We loath the rat race and get buried so deep within it that it seems impossible to find a way out. However, while we loath it, we also fear not having what comes from it all:

‘If I didn’t work my ass off every day, I wouldn’t have my apartment, car, nice clothes and all the materialism that fills my home from floor to ceiling.’

I felt this way before I finally took the leap and found my inner nomad. Although I’ve never returned to that rat race ‘existence’ (I promised myself I wouldn’t), I do find myself currently back in the day to day grind. A more work less play lifestyle. Once again, I long for the day I can escape the rat race.

In my recent post, The Biggest Challenge You’ll Face When You Travel, I talked about how coming home can often be the toughest test of all for any traveller. Since I wrote that, I’ve found myself comparing each day to those when I was truly happy, travelling the globe with nothing but a backpack and a passion for adventure. I left the rat race, travelled and returned…. and that’s made me realise some things….

A bit of a raw post this Monday. I hope you don’t mind, but I really wanted to give you all a bit more of an insight into our current world and the dream we’re working towards. Now this is just my opinion… plenty of people work 9-5 and love their lifestyle and that’s great. It’s just not for me.

Monday Loathing

If each day is a gift, I want to know where I can return Mondays - The Globe WanderersMonday’s. We all hate them. They’re God awful things that come round every week. If we could boycott any day, I think Monday would be it.

For most of us, Mondays often mean the impending doom of another week of hard graft and long hours. Personally, I’d much rather enter the Hunger Games than to walk into work on a Monday morning. They say each day is a gift. Well if that’s the case, right now I want to know where I can return Mondays.

When I was travelling, Mondays weren’t an issue at all. Monday was simply another awesome day or the start of another week full of new adventures, no matter how great or small they may be.

Travel Mondays kick rat race Monday’s ass!



How We Live in Fear

This may sound a little extreme or majorly depressing but bare with me.

We may not know it or at least we may not be completely aware of it, but most of us live in fear on a daily basis.

We fear missing our alarm and being late to work. We fear traffic jams and long delays. We fear problems at work and not knowing the solutions. We fear our bank accounts running low or creeping into our overdrafts. We fear not being able to pay our rent or mortgage. We fear things going wrong with our cars. We fear bad weather and we fear bad news. I know I know, we’re all human and fear is in our DNA but when I was travelling, I feared a lot less.

Wake up alarms were exciting, they meant the day’s adventures were about to begin. Traffic jams and long delays were still a pain but my schedule was more flexible. I was faced with problems I didn’t know the answer to but I was more optimistic and finding the solution was a mini adventure in itself. When I travelled, my bank account was always low but I could budget for the poor times and save for the richer days. I had no rent and if I couldn’t afford accommodation, I could work for my keep. I had no overheads. I only had a car from time to time which was hired and therefore covered. The weather could hinder plans but by doing so, allowed time to explore other places I may have otherwise missed.

As you can see, fears still existed but they were minimal and manageable. They came one by one instead of having to consider everything at once. Back home these things work like individual parts to a machine. If one stops the others are often affected. When I travel, they are all individual pieces that impact only themselves.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear - The Globe Wanderers

The Small Cost of Living

The cost of living is something we speak about in our day to day lives. The price of petrol, price of food and drink, VAT, council rates, interest rates. All of these things cost us but they don’t really have anything to do with the cost of living.

Theres 2 main words here. Cost and living.

Are costs just ways of monitoring what we spend and the price of things? I don’t think so.

The definition of cost:

Cost; an amount that has to be paid or spent to buy or obtain something.

I have no arguments with this. At face value it says what it is.

So maybe the question I’m asking is how much do we have to pay to feel as if we’re living? Maybe years of running the rat race is payment enough. Am I paying my dues now so that someday when I’m travelling, I look back and see the benefit of all those tiresome years?

If travel is that something we want to obtain then will some of us spend so many years trying to escape the rat race that by the time we finally feel we can go, we’re too spent, knackered and too familiar with our daily routine that we’re too scared and fearful to ever leave.

Its a dangerous balancing act at times. Many of us await the prefect time to go but life isn’t perfect and throws many things at us which means that perfect time may never come.

Enough of the Questions, Time for some Answers.

The trouble is, you think you have time - The Globe WanderersWhat is the cost of living? Maybe it’s simple. It needn’t cost you a single penny. Perhaps the cost is purely emotional and psychological.

If you value the experiences and adventures awaiting you over your routine back home, then you can ‘afford’ to go. If you’re ok with seeing your family and friends over FaceTime and Skype for a while instead of regularly face to face then you can ‘afford’ to go. If the idea of no routine and an open road ahead of you is something you crave more than buying the next iPhone and getting that promotion then you can ‘afford’ to go.

We can all afford to live the life we want to live. If that is travelling the globe then stop waiting for the right time. The right time is now. If you want to buy something which you can afford, you’ll go buy it. If you want to travel then realise you can afford it and go get it.

At the end of the day, it’s a leap of faith. Have a little faith in yourself. Now be gone with you.


Can you feel my pain? Have you escaped already and unlike me, never returned to the rat race? Or maybe you’ve mastered the art of juggling a job you love and your passion for travel? We’d love to hear your story :).


  • http://readyjetset.co Jenn Vargas

    I’m on my second go-around of escaping the rat race in search of a better balance in life. The last time I did it I sold all my stuff and bought a ticket to Thailand. This time I’m taking a slower approach – building up something that will be more sustainable than just ditching everything and running to a cheaper, more exciting part of the world. When I ran out of money the last time, I took a nice comfy job, settled back down, and almost daily checked the travel blogs and flight deals wishing I could get back out there. I hope there’s a happy medium somewhere!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hey Jenn. Thank you for reading 🙂
      A fellow member of the two times round the rat race club. Your first trip sounds similar to mine and escaping to Thailand. Hope it was everything you wanted it to be. Know it was for me 🙂
      Sure you’ll find your happy medium. Think Gabby and I have found ours, its just making it to that inevitable departure date now.
      Hang in there. The hardest part of is down as you already know how good it is once you take the leap.

  • http://www.jewelswandering.com julie @ jewelswandering

    I yearn to not work and just go travel, but I like the rat race as I know I”m saving for when I’m old and wrinkly. Do I still travel, oh absolutely! I move myself to a new city every few years and join the rat race and travel from my new launch pad – currently Singapore (previously London)!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi Julie.
      Haha, yeah its ok if you like the race your running. Yours sounds like a great balance. How are you liking Singapore? Have you planned where is next or not just yet?
      Thanks for your comment 🙂

      • http://www.jewelswandering.com julie @ jewelswandering

        No idea…! It’s wherever the wind blows me!! I never considered Singapore but then it just happened…

        • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

          Best and most exciting way to be 🙂

  • http://www.thedutchcountryside.com/ The Dutch countryside

    Well, since I’m still at university I need to graduate before fully escaping the rat race, but the previous semesters were quite exciting (with traveling almost twice a month and going back to uni at monday). Even though I was at uni I still had a blast, it was tiring, but I still had fun and wouldn’t do it any other way for sure.


    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Thanks for reading 🙂
      Ah thats great to have the opportunity to travel whilst studying etc. Where did you head to? Good luck with the rest of your course.

  • http://www.travelekspert.com Pati

    I try to escape the rat race by being a freelancer – the wages might be different and depending on each month – either low or high, but at least I can decide when I want to work and where – I just have a deadline 🙂


    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hey Pati. Cheers for your comment.
      Ah yeah, freelancing can be a great way to work your travels in. Like your style 🙂
      Thanks for reading

  • http://pintsizepilot.com Tara Wilson Cannon

    You brought back memories of how much I used to hate Sunday evenings when I had a full time job reporting to the man. One of my favorite things about working as a travel blogger (even when I am home), is not having the Monday morning blues ! Now I happily send my kids off to school and get to work writing with a coffee in hand.

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi Tara.
      Haha you feel my pain then? Sunday nights are horrid when rat racing.
      Ah blog writing, with coffee in hand and the kids off at school….sounds chilled and idyllic.
      Cheers for sharing 🙂

      • http://pintsizepilot.com Tara Wilson Cannon

        Turns out Friday will be less perfect as one will be home sick from school. 🙂 LOL. You can’t have it all, right?

  • http://www.loveandroad.com Love and Road

    Hi James,
    Every time I feel a bit homesick I remember the Monday morning mood, the commuting, the endless hours in the office… It boosts my confidence to stay on the road.

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hey guys.
      Oh thank you very much! Thats not made me sick with envy and more depressed on this Sunday afternoon 😉 Just kidding, but very jealous. Where will your Monday morning find you this week round?
      Thanks for reading.

  • Kimberly Erin

    AHAH I love this. As much as a touch of routine and a good friends base can be so fabulous and feel so good, I have to say, I found my inner nomad too and nothing feels as good as being on the road. HAHAH As a blogger I am working just as much, but it doesnt feel like work because I dont HAVE to be places THAT often… I love it

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hey Kimberley. Ah thanks, pleased you like it 🙂
      Travel blogging whilst on the road is idyllic. Guess thats why its become our calling right?
      We cant wait to be doing similarly full time. Cheers for reading!

  • http://www.compassandfork.com elizabeth

    A lot of society is set up to keep us in the rat race, getting free for a bit just makes you want more. I hate Mondays. I always loved the song “I don’t like Mondays.” A bit of a theme song.

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Great song, Elizabeth. Yea, good point. It is set us to keep us locked in the rat race. Makes it even more special when we escape it for however long 🙂

  • Chris Nash

    Ah, another interesting read as we creep ever closer to a time when we ma just need to return home to a life of more work and less adventure. Are you planning for the next escape, or is ‘life’ presently in the way?

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi Chris.
      Thanks for reading. We are currently planning the BIG escape. Plan is to head East overland 🙂 Counting the weeks, days and seconds at the mo 🙂

  • http://www.girlonthemoveblog.com Julie DenOuden

    Such a great read, thank you for sharing! I often struggle with the work/play balance and how that impacts my current and future situations so this gave me some great food for thought

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Thanks, Julie. Pleased you enjoyed reading.
      Food for thought? Ah I’m pleased it could do that 🙂
      Hope we all get that ‘balance’ nailed down soon.

  • http://www.tracietravels.com Tracie Howe

    I’ve experienced both perspectives and I think each person just needs to find their own balance. I do hate Mondays though! 😉

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Very true, Tracie. Thank you.
      Guess that balance comes differently to everyone. Mondays can still sod off though 😉

  • Joe Ankenbauer

    Travel Monday’s are the best! They definitely kick Rat Tace Monday’s ass! That being said, Rat Race Monday’s are helping with Travel Monday’s badassery

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi Joe. Haha, you’ve got a point. Maybe each rat race Monday that passes brings us closer to a travel Monday 🙂 Here’s hoping anyway!
      Cheers for reading.

  • sanketdhume

    This is such a deep post man! I can relate to this a lot since I’m also going through a phase where I’m trying to make a choice between one and the other and it’s a real tough cookie to crack. But I think what I’ve come to realize is that everybody’s version of ‘truth’ or ‘right’ is different, and people need to stop using them as absolute or collective terms. I think for me, personally, life is a lot about phases. There’s time when I feel happy and content with what we nomads often call the ‘rut’ and then there’s time when I can absolutely not stand it and I want to just break free and make reckless decisions. I guess experiencing the best of both worlds and being prepared for the worst of both is an important life lesson – very few of us are lucky enough to manage a balance between the both.

    Good luck and great post 🙂

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hey. Thank you so much for reading and your awesome comment.
      Exactly. Its different for everyone isn’t it and I agree, sometimes the ‘rut’ can be ok when all going the right way but that awesome sense of freedom is always teasing and tempting us in the background. A happy balance is a hard thing to find. Really hope you find it someday 🙂 Never give up!
      Thanks again 🙂

  • Tamara Wilcox

    I like having the balance in my life. True that our ordinary day to day routines can be boring or too predictable and sometimes stressful, but they are our opportunities to connect with neighbors/friends/family and serve one another. When I travel, it is more of a selfish adventure. I learn a lot and grow, but to me, that’s not “real” life.

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Thank you, Tamara.
      Its that elusive balance that is so precious. A few have mentioned that now which is so right its just finding that balance. Do you feel you belong where you’re based or do you dream to move away someday? I love to travel and do so much more but also move away from the UK sometime.

  • globetotting.com

    It’s never easy finding the perfect balance is it? I do like the stability of a home life but then again we do keep it interesting by moving countries every few years. That said, Monday mornings are the same the world over!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Never is 🙁 But an adventure seeking it out and achieving it one day 🙂
      Where are you currently living? Is the next destination being planned?
      Thanks for reading!

  • Gemma

    One of my favourite quotes –

    “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”

    I have to admit I do like routine after a while, it’s just the way my brain works but I do empathise with many of the points raised!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi Gemma, Ah I have never heard that saying before but won’t forget it. Nice one!
      Pleased you could relate to some of these points. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  • http://www.psimonmyway.com Trisha Velarmino

    Nice thought, James! I totally feel your sentiments. Thanks for sharing what you feel!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Cheers, Trisha. Appreciate it 🙂
      Thanks for reading. Its nice to hear there are others who feel similarly.

  • Natalie Tanner

    Interesting topic and such an important thing to discuss in our world today. Thanks for opening a dialogue.

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