A harmless fantasy: Escaping the 9-5

Today at work, my mind wandered… I indulged in a fantasy I’ve had many a time before. It’s nothing naughty now, in case you were wondering. My fantasy was about ditching the 9-5. Ditching the idea of saving for a mortgage. Ditching Qatar. Ditching this phase of my career. I actually quite like my job, but…

Even though I’m living the dream in many ways, I’m not sure I’m living my dream. You know?

Here’s how my fantasy looks: I go travelling for as long as I can on the budget I have (I’m thinking 3-6 months). I sell as much of my stuff as I possible can, donate a bunch of it, and send the rest – shouldn’t be a whole lot – home. I travel with hand luggage only. I visit places most people I know have never been. I go trekking. I hike. I see wild animals. I go to beautiful, unspoiled places. I volunteer my time with schools or charities. I spend a lot of time with people whose first language isn’t English. I connect with who I am in a deeper way.

And then an email pings into my inbox, and I’m back to reality. Back to clocking in and out. Back to 30 minutes for lunch. Back to a dress code. Back to a hierarchy. Back to implementing decisions I don’t really agree with. Back to office politics.

Could I do it?


Technically, of course, the answer is yes. When I leave Qatar, I’ll have some savings behind me that I can spend however I want.

My Dad’s voice rings in my ears telling me that money is a deposit for a house. I look enviously at my friends’ Masters degrees and think that’s where my money should go.

Wouldn’t spending the money on travel be a bit of a trivial way to spend what I’ve earned?

Or would it be the most valuable experience of my life?


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Comment (4)

  • Janith| August 26, 2015

    Im now a fan of your site. I come here often to see what’s new you have been writing. This topic is something I also wonder sometimes. Even just now I was having a chat with one of my friends about how systematic our life has become lately.

    But one thing he said kept me thinking for a while. He said that we are so scared of ‘what will happen next’. Scared of what will happen if we just get away from this life for a bit and do what we love.

    I think its just that we need to live in the ‘present’. I think we are thinking too much of what could happen tomorrow and we forget that we need to live today first, so that we can get to tomorrow.

    my thoughts are, spending money on travel is always gives you a chance to look at what is happening around you and a chance to connects to it. So No, I don’t think its a waste. in fact, i think it’ll be an investment.

    ehhh well, this is just my thoughts. 🙂

    • Only in Doha| August 26, 2015

      Yeah, I agree. I was reading a blog yesterday about a girl who has done just this – packed up a well paid job to go and live her dream. It’s equally inspiring and scary!


    • Omar| August 26, 2015

      That is a lovely way to look at it.

  • Omar| August 26, 2015

    Saving for a house is the smart thing to do. I have a similar one myself, but then I think I’d probably be miserable after a while or get mugged.

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