Am I selfish for wanting to see the world?

As an adult I’ve always been independent and been able to take care of myself but for some reason seek some type of approval on major decisions I’m going to take. This time it’s different, I’m not seeking anyone’s approval or permission. I have made up my mind; I know hundreds of people have done it and are doing it right now so it is possible.

I’ve made the decision and if everything goes as planned a year from now I’ll leave everything behind and backpack the world (well some of it). I’m going to save the money that needs to be saved. I’m going to make the plans that need to be planned. I’m going to do what needs to be done to make this possible. I know I can do it and know life is too short to not be happy but for some reason the thought that keeps crawling into my head is am I selfish for wanting to see the world?

I’ve put a lot of thought into it and in reality aside from family and friends if I left I wouldn’t be leaving much behind. I’m single have no children and live with my sister so I don’t have a mortgage either. Yes of course I have a car, some furniture and other belongings but those won’t be going anywhere while I’m gone. Oh and of course I almost forgot the most important one (the one everyone asks) what about my job. Well I have a short answer for that, I won’t be heart broken when I leave it. I could deal with that when I get back. It’s like I know I am not being selfish for wanting to do what I know will make me happy but a part of me still thinks you’re just going to leave them behind to see the world wow how selfish.

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  1. Jaime. You only have one life to live. There is only one thing guaranteed in this life, and that’s death….

    You have to make decisions based on your feelings, and your intuitions. Yes you’ll leave for a year, or possibly more but think about how you would feel if those years go by without you ever getting to experience the other side of the world. There are countless experiences to be had, friends to be mad, and memories to be locked into your mind forever! In the end when you’re on your deathbed, there will be only one question to ask, “did I do it right?”…

  2. Well I was going to type an essay here but the first comment says it all so…….what they said!!

  3. Absolutely not. My wife and I did it and it was hands down the best decision we have made in life. We’ve been back for about 10 months now, and we are plotting our next move, which will involve long term travel. I’d go so far as to say it’s selfish not to get out there and see the world, experience new things, and learn about new cultures.

  4. It is selfish, for the people who might try to discourage you to follow your dream. If you had family and kids and you wanted to leave them behind to travel, yeah that would be selfish.

    You have to live your life for you.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      @Jorge wow you are so right this is something I want to do & would regret if i didnt. Thanks for the good words of encouragement.
      @Poi thanks!
      @Adam thank you I never thought of it that way. It would be selfish if I didn’t go.
      @Nick thankfully no one has tried to not let me go. They may think im crazy for wanting to do this & not understand me, but they havent said no dont go.

  5. Bottom line: It’s YOUR one wild and precious life and you get to decide what to do with it. As long as you are single without kids, you don’t owe it to anybody to stay home and be unhappy.
    All of those things: your family, you car, gainful employment, will still be there waiting for you when you get back. This is a scenario where the rewards ARE actually far greater than the risks.
    Good luck!

  6. nah, not selfish at all. you’re just living the dream. Living it up is something we all want to do, but for some reason (and some people), mustering up the courage and resources to do it feels like it’s out of our league. you’re working hard to make this happen – enjoy yourself!

  7. I’m in the same position as you… young, open minded, no real ties, nothing to stop me really. Yes I will miss friends and family, but if I don’t do it young then I will only regret it in the long run.

    Are the people around you supportive? Where is the guilt that makes you feel like it is a selfish act coming from? It isn’t at all. It is your life and you live it once; It is what you make of it. In the long run, you only have yourself to answer to anyway!

    I wrote about how liberating my first travel experience was in my first blog post…

    Enjoy your travels man, just save that money and buy that plane ticket! You won’t regret it!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      @Stephanie thank you for the wonderful comment. Ive actually been reading your blog for a while and its one of the ones that got me to actually get the ball rolling and do this.
      @Melissa your right I am working hard to make this happen (we all know its not easy)!!!
      @Michael in a way they are supportive and in a way they are not (its like they understand what I want to do but they dont). I think I just think its selfish b/c it will actually be my 1st time leaving them behind for such a long period.

      In the end I know for sure I am going to save the money, buy the plane ticket & leave.

  8. Just go for it, and who cares what other people think? (Well, okay, we all care at least a little… but don’t let the haters discourage you!) As the other commenters have said, it’s YOUR life, and if you want to travel, then you should travel. If you don’t, you’ll only regret it later in life. And nobody wants to live with regrets like that.

  9. Brain512 says:

    Ay Jaime! Cut the cord!!!!!! I love you but dude you worry to much.
    don’t worry that your mom won’t have someone to make lunch for. Lol
    Seriously, I’ve known since you first told me that you would go on this journey. Even if that means dropping you off at the airport.


  10. No way! There is nothing selfish about wanting to see the world. You only have one life to live and you have to live it as damn hard as you can. When I went on my first RTW (2nd one in planning 🙂 I left behind my boyf of 5 years. For years I had been wanting to go travelling with him. For years he had been promising. Every year it got pushed back. Our relationship was not going well. He decided he wanted to start working straight out of uni so I made the hugest decision of my life and went without him. Needless to say we’re not together anymore, I met the love of my life on that trip which was the most fantastic thing I’ve ever done and he doesn’t stop me from doing what I want to most… travelling the world. In fact we are heading off on RTW2 together 🙂

    You are certainly not selfish. Nobody would think that. Especially since you are single, don’t have kids and not very attached to your job! Go for it dude!

  11. i like it 😉

  12. Oh so nice of you posting this blog here, I would really love to see your next post after that back packing experience…and you did a very good decision of following your heart and deciding on your own this time. I think what you are planning is very cool and many people would love to have this experience as well. Good Luck!

  13. im to lazy to read all the comment so im just gonna say
    THUG LIFE you do wat you wanna do….just like i did dont let anybody hold you back from what you wanna do….

  14. im excited for you jaime… go and travel the world, by the way, the secret for travelling without spending much is working anf volunteering along the way… see you on the road man!

  15. Hi again Jamie,

    This time I did read all the comments and have nothing to add in that regard. Hopefully now you are confident that you are not being selfish.

    Here is a link to one of my posts with an article about quitting your job to travel the world “12 Personal Websites that Will Make You Want to Quit Your Day Job”. You might find it illuminating.
    Dan recently posted..Back to the Beginning

    • Thanks for the comment!!! I am not more confident then ever to pursue this. I am so excited and thankful to be a part of such an amazing community!!!

  16. There is nothing selfish about wanting to lean into those things that energize you.
    Tandem World recently posted..Last Minute Travel on a Budget

  17. It is a superb subject to talk about. Appreciation for setting up this site. I know there are plenty looking for this kind of discussion.

  18. I Googled “am i selfish for wanting to travel”, and it brought me here.

    I’m struggling with the same burden of feeling guilty and selfish for wanting to explore the world. Unlike you, I do have some home obligations (husband, pets, but no children). With the exception of two friends, no one else is understanding or supportive of some ideas I have for some non-fiction travel books that would take me away from home for one month per year. They think the only way to live (and make a living) is slave away 9-5, retire at 65, THEN see the world. Perhaps it’s just jealousy? Regardless of the catalyst, it just feeds my own self-doubt.

    • Hey Savannah, I am glad google brought you here. I guess in my case I was lucky enough to do it while I did not have any obligations. As for you at the end of the day regardless of the obligations it is your life so I could only recommend looking over the entire picture and see what you can do to slowly amake your dream a reality. It takes time and is not easy and trust me people will never understand us for doing what we are doing. As for SELF-DOUBT oh it will always be there along with a million questions…

      If you need anyone to talk to you can always contact me… I have a form up there and will reply to ya ;)~

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