What the Heck Am I Doing With My Life?

Today we’re excited to welcome our first guest contributor to Inspiring Travellers, Adam Pervez from Happiness Plunge. If you would like to guest post, please review our guidelines and drop us a line.

What the heck am I doing with my life?

That’s a question I had as I sat unhappily in my apartment in Brande, Denmark wondering how I found myself despondent and stressed out despite achieving exactly what I had set out to accomplish. I am an engineer, I worked in the Persian Gulf for an oil services company, I got a MBA in Spain from one of the best business schools in the world, and I achieved my “dream” of working in renewable energy in Scandinavia.

Pervez, teaching villagers how to set up a solar system in Honduras.

I realized I had to start from scratch and ask myself the important questions I’ve never really pondered like what my purpose and passions in life are. I called this process The Happiness Plunge as once you know who you are, what you are meant to do with your life, and what would make you happy, it’s impossible not to take the plunge into this new, better, healthier life. But it’s still a plunge since we so often have to leave the comfortable, “normal” life behind.

But hey, we are different, right?

Pervez, with a class of students in Yoloaiquin, El Salvador

In my case, my happiness plunge is what I call “The Happy Nomad Tour.” I’m living a life that encompasses my passions of traveling, writing, helping others, teaching, learning, and telling stories. I travel and volunteer each place I go trying to leave them a bit better than how I found them.

So far in Latin America I’ve cleaned dog cages at an abandoned dog shelter, done menial tasks at a nursing home, helped an indigenous women’s co-op with their website, done publicity and marketing for an organization that takes used bikes and turns them into human-powered machines, installed solar panels and built a website for an indigenous Mayan co-op, helped a new NGO with strategies to become more financially sustainable, helped a medical/dental brigade with English/Spanish translation, and helped an eco-lodge with their website and gardening/home improvement. And I’ve just gotten started so there are lots more experiences to come.

Pervez, riding a bike blending machine while volunteering at Maya Pedal in Guatemala.

I knew before I got started that it would be hard to give more than I take since my trip and lifestyle relies so much on the kindness of others. I stay with local people for free, for example, instead of the synthetic experience of staying in a hotel or hostel. But I have been overwhelmed with the kindness of strangers who help me without ulterior motive or reason to do so.

In many ways it’s reinforced my faith in humanity. I know that’s a loaded sentence but it’s true and the people I’ve met along my journey have been amazing. It’s almost impossible for me to picture myself back in my corporate life. This new life is infinitely more enriching, interesting, and challenging.

The best streetfood experience of my life – in Guatemala

I don’t advocate my style of traveling, nor my style of living. Rather, I advocate self-discovery and understanding who you really are, what your motivations are and what your purpose is. If we were all out there pursuing our passions, the world would be a much happier and better place! I now do my best to help people question the path they are on so they can think about how to live up to their full potential.

What would the world look like if all tourists had a goal of improving the places they visit instead of taking as much as they can from them? Ponder that the next time you’re on the beach.

Bio: Adam Pervez gave up his comfortable, six-figure life to hit the road, pursue his passions, and live the life of a nomad to make the world a bit better. Follow his Happy Nomad Tour at Happiness Plunge or on Facebook or Twitter.

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