This Is What I’ve Learned During My Quarter-Life Crisis Trip to Bali

Avoiding the real world has given me more insight than I could have ever imagined.

Kerri Mottola
Jul 25, 2017 · 2 min read

Fifty-four days ago I went for an interview in New York City. I was looking for a stable, nine to five job that would pay me a decent salary so I can start digging myself out of debt (because that’s what you’re supposed to do once you graduate college).

Today, I hopped on my motor scooter, breezed past the rice field, stopped for a smoothie bowl, and then parked at one of the most beautiful co-working spaces in the world.

In the midst of a ‘there has to be more out there’ post-graduation crisis, I decided to venture to Bali to complete an internship with Start Me Up. After a few weeks of being immersed in the world of remote work, I realized that my outlook on life has been limited in a lot of ways.

Important life choices have been influenced by expectation. My parents expect me to get a job (at least that’s what I thought in my own head). My school expected me to choose a career path at 18 years old. We, as young people, are expected to settle down quickly, sometimes before we even experience the world outside of our own place of comfort.

This experience has exposed me to people from all over the world that challenged expectations. They resisted that linear fashion in which we tend to look at our lives.

School > Graduate > Job > Promotion > Money > Comfort > Happiness

No. That would not be the way for these nomads. They chased happiness first, not stability or comfort or anything else that we perceive to be most important.

Here, most people are working to make an income by doing what they like to do. Whether it’s a revolutionary stock photo company, a socially responsible backpack brand, or a dentist that’s out to change the world, ‘Hubudians’ are making a living by pursuing what wakes them up in the morning.

Being here has challenged me to think about what I’ve been conditioned to view as “the right path”. Does it even exist? Perhaps making money doing something I love to do is not a naive concept. Maybe it’s real.

Now, after this shift in perspective, I am challenging myself to alleviate the pressures of expectations. I look forward to taking small risks each day and experimenting with different aspects of business that are fun to me.

I know that each chance I get I will be working toward finding my place in business; the place that inspires young people to challenge the expectations. Until then, I sit on my bean bag chair in Hubud, admiring the work of those who’ve inspired me.

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