I am on vacation on paradise island. It is incredible here. And just like any other visit to an exotic place, after a few days, I never want to leave. I want to live here. Grow my own mango trees. Keep some chickens and be happy for the rest of my life.
No deadlines, no conference calls, no update meetings. No more Powerpoint or Excel. No screaming bosses or painful appraisals. Just me, the chickens, and the mango trees.
I have saved some money and I could sell my house. That would give me enough to last at least a couple of years. Money is not keeping me from emigrating to paradise island. So what is?
The thing is, it just doesn’t feel right. Staying here and living the easy life without any responsibilities, it just doesn’t feel right. I am programmed to work hard, earn money and be a responsible citizen. My whole life has been focused on getting a good job and earning good money. In school, your grades have to be good because you want to be admitted to a good University. In University you work hard because you want to be hired by that top firm.
You have to make sure that all your extra-curricular activities look good on your resume. So going to Spain for a few months to learn the language is okay because it looks good on your resume. Teaching poor underprivileged children English in Bolivia is fine because it looks good on your resume. However, being thirty and growing mango trees for a few years definitely does not look good on your resume.
So for the most part of my life, I have learned that getting and keeping a good job is one of the most important things in life. I am programmed that way.
So next week I will return to Amsterdam, show my holiday pictures to my colleagues, treat them with some local snacks I bought here, and start preparing that Powerpoint presentation. Within two days, all that will be left of my mango trees are dreams.