Cez

“Why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world–to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.”

Ayn Rand

I now think in retrospection of the tremendous efforts I put in to get where I was, and the simple realization that this wasn’t where I wanted to be. That’s one of the hardest things to swallow – a thought that you were working so hard towards a goal you didn’t want to achieve. There is an alternative, and this is the story of my journey to dreams.

No more rush.

I had this moment less than two years ago. Sitting at my desk, in one of the biggest banks in the World, sipping on coffee. Yeah, that’s the perk of the job, you can bring a cup to work and refill it every so often with a brown mixture of milk, sugar and energy kick. As a bundled package, with such an amazing perk I also received a steady flow of stress – a norm in the banking industry. Predictable working hours, aspiring opportunities, official dress code, reasonable pay, all those things make people believe that this career is a good place to be. Many people would love to be in the position I was back then, and I don’t blame them, I wanted to be there too.

Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China

It took a few years to get to this stage in life, when I thought I had everything figured out. After failing my High School final exams, I didn’t have a chance applying for University. Money was also an issue, so I went to work. At the age of 19 I left Poland, went to live in UK and became a butcher (following in my father’s profession). I didn’t speak much English, so I was grateful for this opportunity. While working there 2 years, I realised that this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I learned English, passed my exams and applied to University of Wolverhampton, where I got accepted and studied Accounting and Finance. For the next 3 years I studied hard and worked hard to support myself (full-time university course and full-time jobs).

Jetting off to the skies or freaking out in the air, it's always the best together
Jetting off to the skies or freaking out in the air, it’s always the best together

Upon graduation with a first-class degree, I applied for ACCA (professional accounting qualification) and received a £16,000 scholarship to do an MBA (Masters of Business Administration). Everything was paid for and ready to go. If I were asked then where I saw myself in 5 years time, I had a definite answer. I had my career planned and was slowly but surely moving towards my targets.

Sitting behind my desk, at the job I had not dared to dream of just a few years back, a thought started to grow. A thought about leaving everything behind and pursuing a life of a traveller. Learning from my best friend’s example – Agness – to change the environment and go far away from the world I knew and understood.

It’s joy to bring a smile to someone’s face

Being an accountant type, it didn’t start with a simple realisation “I want to travel”. It was more of a thought process that eventually led to that point. A kind of conversation in my head:

What are you working so hard for?

For money. It’s hard to deny the fact that waking up in the morning to go to work brings a lot of stress. It leaves me tired in the evening and is anything but a necessity to get money.

What will you do once you become rich?

Travel the world and see all those things I used to watch on Discovery Channel when I was younger, but this time being able to interact with all that surrounds me.

What stops you from traveling now?

I don’t know…

And then it dawned on me – I want to travel and there are no real obstacles stopping me. I’m healthy, still young, full of energy and open to the world of opportunities. I don’t need to work in a suit. At the same time, I didn’t have much money saved, but to hell with it, let’s rock. So I bought a one-way ticket to Vietnam. After some preparations (buying useless jungle survival equipment) and finishing with all the unfinished things, I was left with around $400. Nevertheless, I had a lot of new energy and passion in life, which helped me later survive on what I had and continue up to now.

The grass on the other side

Of course it wasn’t always green, but I wouldn’t swap my life now with anyone! Ever since my departure at the end of 2011, I have lived my life to the fullest. I never before had the guts to leave everything behind and cycle a country (Vietnam, 2500 km, in June and July 2012) or pet a full grown tiger on my lap (October 2012) or even hitchhike a country (in 2011). While on the road I have been a teacher, web designer, photographer and blogger, but I want to do more. Ahead, there will be years of journeys through all continents and many moments of joy and struggle (“no struggle, no joy”). All of this is possible, thanks to one single decision – to do what I wanted to do, not what I was expected to do. Ayn Rand, whom I quoted at the beginning of this page, couldn’t be closer to the truth. And I’ve never been closer to happiness than I am now.

42 Comments

  • Hey Catherine !

    Nice to see you here :) Which part of the Great Wall have you visited?

    Good luck with your final design!

    • Hey Li Bo!

      It’s great to be back in touch with you! How are you doing? Just sent you over the photos, just make sure your brother does not delete them again :)
      I’m in Xiushan now but I’m going to Tibet in few days (hopefully they will let me cross the border). I miss you too. Hope to see you again in ZhangJiaJie or maybe somewhere else!

      Have fun and say hello to everyone from me,
      Cez.

  • Hi, Cez! I’m not sure can you remember me? My name is Anh, and I’m Vietnamese. We have the opportunity to meet together on a bus, when I’m on the way to resolve problems with the ticket for my vacation, and you are intending to Nha Trang, but not booking a ticket … haha . That is a few months, right? Well, sorry for not doing this sooner. At that time, I was very busy and I’ve forgotten … but today, while rearranging a few things, I saw your namecard … and decided to write you a few lines.

    • Hey Anh,

      How are you? So great to hear from you!

      I am going to Vietnam very soon and I hope we can meet there, I’ll write an email to you in a moment, so that we can stay in touch.

      See you soon,
      Cez

      • So you remember me….How great. I’m good, I hope we can meet again, too. So take care good of yourself and come back to Vietnam soon, okay? See you.

  • I believed you made the right decision of seeing the beauty of this world. Stay safe and bring lots of memories and enrich your self with travel experiences..like what I do..maybe one day, I meet you in the other side of the world…it’s a small world after all!

    have fun!

    Ruby from Bavaria!

    • Hey Ruby,

      Indeed, a very small world On two occasions I met someone in one country and few months down the line in another. I hope it could be quite the same with meeting someone online and then by a chance on a bus.

      Continue your epic journey and don’t stop writing about it!

      Safe travels,
      Cez

  • You do great work- I can’t encourage people enough to use you for their migration needs. I might never had the guts to follow through with the move from Blogger to WordPress had Agness not approached me and all the hard work you put in.

    • Thanks Erik, it’s a pleasure for me to work with you and I love working with wordpress. Tomorrow, the world will see your brand new blog :)

  • Great wall was magnificently speechless to me. Didn’t think loads of things when being up there but yea seeing new places, learning new things from other cultures is apparently one of the best things. I jumped into your blog accidentally but turned out i found a great spirit from you guys and admire how you made it happen. I travelled a bit then been stuck with my 9 to 5 job and other jobs again. Wondering when i can pack my backpacks and hit the road for a real journey.

    • Thanks for your comment Octavia. I fully agree with you, we recognise the important moments in life afterwards, not at the time they happen, such is standing on the Great Wall of China. Thanks for your kind words. Hope you’ll be able to hit the road soon and please get in touch when you do. Would be lovely to meet somewhere in the world.

  • I’m inspired with the stories of both of you Cez and Agness. Im also a travel enthusiast and have been mainly Southeast Asia. Keep on dreaming big! You surely inspire many travellers who have read this blog.
    More power to both of u

    • Hi Evan, you have no idea how your comment made our day! Thank you so much for the kind words. We are thrilled to hear that. How did you like SE Asia? Thanks for stopping by and we are sending our love from China!! Positive energy and power rule!!!

  • Congratulations – great wall. Your words so true: “constant dreamer and adventure hunter, who slowly, but surely makes his dreams come true” I always tell to my friends: the very best you can do is to quit your nine-to-five-job. Because it’s better to travel the world. One month ago we returned from Thailand and Malaysia and had a short stopover in Oman. I follow you on twitter and facebook. Regards from Germany.

    • Hey Andreas. Thanks a lot for stopping by. How was Oman, did you enjoy yourself? Hope to make it there one day ;-). Thanks for your support. Feels great to keep in touch!

  • Love this blog, so inspirational! I love how free you guys always seem, I cannot wait to go back to Asia :)

      • im so glad that u are really my idol for travelling. Im not so sure that i can do just like what u has been do. I like your travelling style and may be one day…you both really make me feel happy and strong to travel. *Im sorry, im not good in english*

  • Hey Guys,
    just found your homepageadress at the Ming Palace Youth Hostel in Guilin,
    now I’m about to read your travelling story.
    You are inspirational! :) safe travels!

  • Hi Cez and Agness,
    I have to say you have great travel blog its one of my favorite. May I have a question about the google map you have on sidebar? What plugin do you use? In my plugin (Comprehensive Google Map) when I click one of the pin it open the pin but it doesn´t go directly to post. How did you do that?
    Thank you for your answer and wish you best luck on the road!
    Vit from Prague

    • Hey Vit,

      Thanks for your comment and kind words! I’m happy you like our blog.

      Our map is built-in within the theme, so I didn’t have to use any plugin. Nevertheless, I can help you getting the pins to send people directly to your posts. Just send me an email through our contact page. Alternatively, you can ask on comprehensive google map plugin support forum, I’m sure it’s explained there too.

      Have an amazing day,
      Cez

  • Hi from Iran!

    Have you ever thought about travelling in Iran?!
    You can find a lot of interesting experiences and moments in Iran. If you plan for this, let me know. I can help and host you here.

    Hope to see you in near future

    Saeid Sardari

    • Hi Saeid.

      Iran is on our bucket list and we hope to visit it soon. Thanks for the message and greetings from China!

  • Hey, Agness and Cez!
    I’m from Brazil and it’s a pity I came across your blog only today.
    I must admit that, for a moment, I felt like changing my life to travel the world and be amazed by everything I might bump into.
    I’ve been working hard to make money, I’m now a business owner and I lived in Ningbo – near Shanghai, China – from December 2011 to May 2012, also for business purposes.
    However, your words in your profiles really made me think “OMG, is working this hard really worth it? Will I have time and energy to enjoy my life when I supposedly get rich?”.
    I had seen a blog showing some tips on how to travel on the cheap, but after reading your post about Singapore, I realized I could do similarly.
    I’ll surely make travelling (not only abroad) a priority in my life.

    Congratulations on your blog. I’ll read all yours posts :)

    • Hey Luis, thank you for your comment. Words like yours give us power to go further! I’m very happy we inspire you to go and make your dreams come true, and we’d really love to help you. So, if you have any questions, please contact us and we’ll answer promptly. Happy travels!

  • Spectecular to read about your travels dear CEZ! YOu had fantastic memories. Now, I’m about going to Philipines and I got girlfriend there who’s willing to tramp with me just like you do hehe
    I wanna meet you two in person somewhere , let’s keep in touch guys :)

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