There are so many people who go through life just “following the rules” and can’t imagine a life other than what society has taught them. They don’t really think for themselves or seem to have any bit of imagination. They can’t relate to you at all when you tell them of your upcoming adventure. They actually panic on your behalf and they think you are crazy. They are the naysayers. They tell you what you are planning is too dangerous and come up with ridiculous examples of what could go wrong. They think you are ruining your life. Some of them actually calculate the dollar value you will be missing out on by taking this adventure. Here’s the funny thing, it doesn’t matter what kind of adventure you are talking about. Five years ago when I was planning an Appalachian thruhike I received comments like “you will be eaten by bears,” or “ you will lose your job,” or “your boyfriend will leave you.” My manager at work actually told me how much income I would be missing out on. When we went to Spain to hike the Camino de Santiago and travel a bit of Europe, I was asked “why would you want to leave Canada? There’s so much to explore here,” and “why are you wasting so much money on travelling?” Since those adventure I have sold my possessions and moved onto a short bus. Again, I was told “it won’t work out, don’t do it,” and “you are throwing away your future,” and “you are going to be homeless.” Right now I am in the midst of planning a Pacific Crest trail thruhike and even though most of my friends know that I have already successfully thruhiked the Appalachian Trail and drastically changed my lifestyle, I have still received a few negative comments. When I talk to others who have chosen a different path than what society expects I am saddened to hear all of the horrible things that have been said to them. It seems that most people are afraid to try anything new and go to lengths to dissuade anybody around them from trying anything even slightly different than what they are accustomed to. I have had an amazing past four years living out my dreams. I wish I had started following my intuition years ago, I would have raised my children so differently. I would have taught them to think for themselves. I would have taught them to do their own thing even if it didn’t look like you could make an income from it. My son wanted to be a rock star and sadly even though he is exceptionally talented I always told him he needed a back up plan. Had I been true to myself, I may have been more receptive to my kids unconventional ideas. I used to allow society to dictate what I thought normal was. For me, that was a terrible mistake! I have missed out on so much! If there is something you have always wanted to try or a goal you have wanted to achieve then go for it! Don’t let our culture or society tell you what you can or cannot do! Don’t let the naysayers ruin this for you! Live your dream! ..... and teach your kids to do the same!