What If I Never Want To Settle?


I’m restless. I feel trapped when I stay in a place for too long, or when I get stuck in a routine. I have an overwhelming need to flee and explore.

I never used to be like this. School-aged me always had a plan- degree, good corporate job, big house, nice car, holiday home. That was it. Now adult me is working towards those things but I want to throw it all away.

And I’m sure I’m not the only one.

People always say that you should see the world while you’re young. You’ll never have as much free time and as few responsibilities as you do now. They also tell you that you can’t do that forever. That one day you’ll need to return home, get a job where you stare at cubicle walls and computer screens all day, and get married so you have someone to buy a house with and share your one week of holiday a year with.

What if I don’t want that though? What if I never want to settle? What if I want to swim in the seven seas, or bathe in waterfalls? What if I want to explore medieval castles and spend my days wandering along the cobblestone streets of old towns? What if I want to spend my life jumping from one continent to the next, never stopping in one place for too long?

Part of me knows it’s a good idea to plan for a stable future — and fourteen year old me is still in there somewhere. But part of me is terrified that a life like that won’t be exciting or satisfying enough.

The thing that scares me the most, more than spiders, or dying, or loneliness, is that I’ll get to old age and still be mediocre. That I won’t have thrilling stories to tell about my world travels, that I won’t be interesting, and that I’ll look back on my life with regret.

You see, the thing about life is, it always seems like a good idea to have stability and routine when you’re looking forward, but when you’re looking back the unpredictability and the wild rides is what brings the biggest grin to your face.

So what if I never want to settle? What if I never want to be tied down by a house or a tiring, unsatisfying job? What if I don’t want routine or I don’t want to tick society’s’ boxes? Not having plans is terrifying in some ways, but it’s not half as terrifying as getting to old age and realizing you’ve wasted your life.

And who knows, maybe I’ll finally want to settle when I’m 80, but I’m damn sure I’ll have some fascinating stories to tell when I do!