The Onward Self

“Work is the curse of the drinking classes.”
-Oscar Wilde

I had wanted to write about my adventures here in Italy–the inspiring art of Florence, the historic streets of Assisi, the delicious gelato that keeps tempting me. Today, however, is not a day for such posts. Today is more for self-reflection in the face of adversity on the road.

Would be nice to have time to enjoy more of this
Would be nice to have time to enjoy more of this

Yesterday I awoke at 2 in the morning to start my usual shift and was greeted by a message from my boss, insisting on a phone call. This is highly unusual, but not entirely out of the ordinary. I won’t go into details, but I’m now out of work. And stuck in this little town in Italy until the end of the month, at which time I already have a flight booked back to Tokyo. This certainly isn’t the ideal situation I had been hoping to encounter while traversing the globe.

Maybe it’s appropriate that I’m reading Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.

I suppose I won’t be indulging so much in local microbrews for 4 euros. I can also cut out the temptation of all that cheese and gelato.

You mean I CAN'T eat all the gelato now?
You mean I CAN’T eat all the gelato now?

Now comes the next step–the choices and decisions that lay ahead.

Despite my family’s desire to have me back home, I’m determined to continue with this journey in one way or another. I had planned a full year abroad, and wanted to extend it–I was searching for somewhere to be a semi-permanent base rather than hopping around every couple months. It appears that might be easier to manage now.

Life in Taipei is pretty good
Life in Taipei is pretty good

I found cities in which I would like live in Asia–I found comfort in Taipei and Tokyo, and even in Seoul (though it took a little longer to grow on me). Unfortunately, it’s too late to apply for teaching positions at universities as the semester is about to begin, if it hasn’t already, which leaves me with more corporate options through which to sift. I’ve already begun applying for positions and hope to find something suits me.

There is one other option in Cambodia that I have been contemplating. I’ve started helping a non-profit with social media management, and I was interested in heading there to volunteer¬†around my previous schedule. Now that I have much more time, I can volunteer with the organization full time–the only problem being that I wouldn’t get paid anything for six to twelve months.

Maybe this will be my life
Maybe this will be my life

This leads to the option that I could raise money via Kickstarter or some other crowdfunding website. I certainly wouldn’t need much to cover expenses in Cambodia, and I could even donate any excess funds raised to the organization, but I’m still unsure if it’s the path I want to pursue–I’ve never been good at asking for money. There’s also the possibility that I could find enough freelance work to offset the financial burden.

What do my readers think? Should I find a corporate career outside the US or start fundraising to help children in Cambodia?

1 thought on “The Onward Self”

  1. Hi,Matt:) Im very glad to visit your website and read your posts .i see you always have a very enjoyable journey wherever you are , is really amazing,life supposed to be like this. I’m now working in a restaurant in america ,my job is very boring ,but is a good way to rise money for university .I’m planing on getting my master degree here.ohh.. my name is grace ,nice seeing you here :) sorry about my english ,i wish you understand what am saying . enjoy your day ~

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: