For the longest time in my travels, I would stay in airBnb’s that were cheap, cramped, and often cockroach-infested. I’d stay at hostels, studios, and dorms.
I did it because money was tight. I had a bit of money saved up, but I didn’t know how long it could last. I had left a six-figure job as a partner in a branding agency to pursue something more meaningful, something I was actually passionate about, something less stressful.
I had worked hard non-stop for so many years, doing the grind, maintaining the hustle that it got tiring, exhausting, to the point where I would just wake up and wish it were all a dream and I wouldn’t have to go to work that day.
Eventually, I lucked out. My branding agency had signed a deal with another agency; a merger of sorts and I’d only have to stay for a year or so before leaving.
The moment my time there ended, I packed my bags, booked a one-way ticket to SouthEast Asia and started traveling. But because I couldn’t tell what was to come along with the fact that I was unemployed, I chose to stay only at the places with the cheapest rents.
I wish I hadn’t. The months that I had stayed at cheap accommodations is undoubtedly one of the most time wasting moments in my life.
You see, when you settle for the cheapest of everything all the time, you’re establishing a mindset that’s not only unprogressive, but unambitious. By always settling for the cheapest of everything, you’re telling yourself that you lack the capability to make it back. You’re holding yourself back because you lack the confidence to make more than the amount you spend. Instead of looking forward towards your ambitions and being confident that you’re capable of more, you hold onto what you have and you try to make it last. You’re not being progressive, you’re being regressive.
For months, I couldn’t concentrate on what I had to do. I had bad sleep night after night, waking up to other people’s snoring, creaky beds, bugs crawling on me and it affected me. It affected my performance. And it continued, for months until I was finally fed up with it. It continued until I told myself that it was time to go all in; it was either make it or break it but the choice had to be made, because if I do fail, what’s the worst that could happen? I’ll get a job and life moves on.
If you hold back on your quality of life for the sake of prolonging what’s inevitable anyways, and suffer in my performance because of it, then is it really worth it? It isn’t.