It’s been almost 3 years since Rachel and I gave up our careers and most of our worldly possessions to create a nomadic lifestyle. It wasn’t an easy decision, especially since we were both in very comfortable jobs.
There was one thing, especially for me, that spurned me on and pushed me to take the plunge: it was the belief that there is no God.
I understand how controversial a statement this is, but I make no apologies for it. I don’t believe in God. I respect other people’s right to religion, of course.
I’m simply a science man. If I go to the doctor with an illness I’ll only accept the treatment that has been tested scientifically and pre-approved. You would do the same, I’m sure. If I had to choose between a witch doctor and a medical doctor, I know which one I’d go for.
It seemed logical to me while I was at university that I should use the same reasoning for religion: after all, religious belief is often the biggest single influence on our lives. Why shouldn’t we want some evidence, even a tiny amount, to validate those beliefs?
Since there isn’t any evidence to support the existence of God, I officially became an atheist, and with that came the realisation that when my time in this world is up, I’m worm food. My consciousness will be no more. What a horrible thought! At the time I could see why people preferred the idea of religion and an everlasting heaven.
While I was content with my life in the UK, I didn’t feel proud about the way things were going. Everything was just ‘Okay’. I ran scenarios through my head that would inevitably end up with me getting a terminal illness – a lovely idea, I know. And the more I thought about this, the more I knew that ultimately, there was so much more that I could be doing with my one chance at life.
I’d like to point out that I’m not one for cheesy soundbites, and I most certainly don’t agree with the cheesiest saying of them all – Live each day as if it were your last. This is terrible advice; I’d be a lazy, overweight alcoholic if I listened to that.
I believe that when my time is up, I want to know that I tried to make the most of things, that I didn’t settle for ‘Okay’. And so it was, I resolved to leave the UK and go in search of whatever it was that I was searching for. I don’t believe in fate, or chance, or luck – everything has a cause and effect – I knew Rachel and I were the masters of our own future. It was up to us to make things happen.
We planned our departure two years in advance; saving, applying for jobs abroad & discussing what it was that we were both searching for. I sold or threw out everything. Like many other travellers, the contents of my bag were all that I owned, and it felt good.
We’d paid ourselves out of debt the year before. We were officially unplugged from society – no phone, no transport, no computers, no income, no outgoings – just a bag of clothes. I knew that I didn’t always want to live like that. Yet, it felt amazing to have almost nothing that dictated our lives.
Even now, 2 years and 10 months on, we’re unplugged in many respects from the social matrix. Our social lifeline is the internet.
Looking back, it’s hard to believe that we were ever part of the UK masses. We’re not exactly living by the edge of our seats right now, of course. There’s certainly more that we could be doing with ourselves. But things are more than ‘Okay’ now. We’re having a fantastic time.
My atheist stance has grown even stronger since our exile from British shores, and so has my tolerance to those who hold religious faith dearly. I am, however, more eager to reconnect into the social matrix. In what capacity that will take, when, or where, is yet to be decided.
A recent photo from the South of France