Today, one of my coworkers just up and left. He wasn’t part of my team, and I barely knew him. (Hell, I only met the guy like three weeks ago when we changed offices, but he sat in the cube next to me.) Today, however, he dropped a bombshell on his managers and his workgroup, by announcing today was his last day. He basically turned in his laptop and said goodbye, shook hands with his bewildered team and that was it.
I asked him where he was heading and he gave me this sort of sheepish smile and said he had a one-way ticket to Prague. He was leaving on Monday. Never been to Europe. Thought he had a couch to crash on when he got there. Thought he had a teaching job waiting for him (teaching English). Had COBRA for health care. (Though who knows if it would work in Europe). Knew he would be heading for India at some point, and then Asia.
He looked at me and shrugged and told me he was only 26 and that one day he’d be where I was, with the kids and the rest of it. He knew he probably had another 25 years of cube-life in him, but wasn’t quite ready to start that just yet. I told him that was cool and mentioned airbnb.com, in case his plans didn’t quite work out.
I have to admit, I’m a tad envious. Okay, more than envious. There was a time I thought I might do the same thing. Give it all up and travel the world on $6 a day. Fill up my days with new places and my evenings with music and one-night stands with dark-haired strangers. (And yeah, I did hang out in Ireland a bit here and there – did my share of youth hostels for a few weeks at a time. Fun, but shared showers get old fast. No, I didn’t do the one-night-stand thing, though several of my travelling companions did. Go Scrumpy Jack! Also managed to get groped a lot in clubs. *eyeroll* Good times.)
These days I don’t think it’s in me to wish for a Gypsy life. I like to travel, but I like my creature comforts too.
On the other hand, I kinda wonder about those words of his. Just where, exactly, am I? Settled? Cube-monkey by day, smut-writer by night? A mom? A wife? A keeper of cats?
I’m certainly not in Prague.