For many people, settling down is part of their overall life goal. Whether this picture of the future involves a significant other, children, 100 pets or none of the above, the idea of finding a place to live—a place they plan to stay in for quite awhile, if not forever—exists in the minds of most people. Even those who decide to travel when they are young often decide to settle into a state of stability once they have established their career. While, the idea of settling down is one most people enjoy, not all people have this dream. I have the utmost respect towards people who do decide to settle down, but, honestly, I think it would make me absolutely miserable. Following is a list of reasons as to why I think I would find settling down to be insufferable.
1. I never want to stop traveling.
There are 196 countries in the world. This means that if you were to spend six months in each country, it would take you 98 years to visit each country. This isn't taking into account the first portion of your life that you more than likely spent in one country. While it may be great to spend a few days or weeks in a country, it's impossible to truly experience any culture in such a short period of time. I don't want to ever stop being able to experience other cultures and the knowledge that comes with them.
2. Being in one place or situation too long can make you less able to deal with change.
I've moved more than a dozen times in my life and staying in one place more than a few years makes me extremely restless. Being in situations that push you outside of your comfort zone, situations where you are forced to adjust to new situations in short periods of time make you more comfortable with change. When you become accustomed to being in the same situation for an extended period of time, you often become less willing to go outside your comfort zone because being inside your comfort zone becomes comfortable.
3. I refuse to settle down just to fulfill the expectations society has for my life.
Even though some people may truly want to settle down, for most people—even if they don't realize it—settling down is just the next step in the "checklist of life." Society creates a pretty little idea of what an acceptable life should be: go to school, maybe travel a little, get a job, get married, have kids, settle down and repeat similar routine everyday until you die. No, thank you. When you choose to follow this preconceived idea of life you run the risk of losing everything you once hoped would happen in your life. Your dreams can get pushed to the back of your mind, your hobbies take a backseat to whatever else you "must" do, and the risks you may have made before settling down have been drowned out by the dull roar of uniformity.
4. I want to find myself - not once, but over and over again everyday.
When you decide to settle down, you are (at least for the most part) deciding that you are who you want to be. You've just accepted the idea of finding yourself within the constructs of one place. I don't want to do this. I want to be constantly challenged and forced to reevaluate who I am as a person. I want to form my identity on my own merits and experiences instead of on the influences of those around me. When we stay in one place too long, we often become complacent to the point that those around us have a bigger effect on our identity than we do ourselves. While it's great to have a small group of close friends who do have an influence on your identity, if you settle down and accept that these people and only a few dozen others will have any impact on your identity, you are losing yourself to them.