Reminder: Last week, I wrote a post called It Never Gets Easier Than Now. This week I’m featuring responses from people I admire on what’s easier to do when we’re younger.
Dr. BJ Fogg, Professor at Stanford, Director of the Persuasive Technology Lab, and founder of Yackpack, writes:
As you get older you lose the freedom to devote months of your life to something whimsical, be it travel, a hobby, or a startup. You eventually see the limiting factor in life is not money but time — big chunks of free time.
In my 20s I put a sleeping bag in a backpack and set out to circumnavigate the world — flying, boating, hitching, sleeping in strangers’ homes. Another year I decided to learn French, just for fun. So I picked a city off a map and moved there. I knew nobody, I had no language school to welcome me, and I spoke only 50 words of French. I decided I would live like a French student as much as possible. So I ate at their cafeterias, I studied hard (mostly on my own), and I made friends with the locals (and never, ever talked to Americans). I went to church and starting play the piano for the congregation. Two French families sort of adopted me. They took me to their family reunions, their summer homes, and sailing on the Mediterranean. Twelve weeks seemed like two years. When I came back home, I passed the Ph.D. proficiency in French. But the real value was becoming French for three months, making great friends, and seeing life in a new way.
In my 40s now, I would love to repeat this in China or Thailand, but it just seems too complicated now. If I could find a big block of time, I wouldn’t be able to forget everything back home enough to brainwash myself into another culture. . . . Maybe.
See the original article that inspired this, It Never Gets Easier Than Now.