Thursday, July 03, 2008


People often say, when hearing of my travels or plans to travel, "I'm so jealous!" To which I always want to, well, I'm not going to say what I want to say, I'm just going to say, you really shouldn't say that. Yes, yes, I know it's just a common expression, but a lot of the things we just do, "are things we just do and they don't have much meaning behind them." But they DO! I just try to be happy for people when they are getting to do what they want to do. And if I'm not happy about it, I either try to tell them that I don't agree with what they are doing, or just keep my mouth shut.

The other day at lunch my uncle said to me (totally unrelated to my travels), "you know Tony (that's what my family calls me), people just find it really hard to be happy for other people's success." I found that to be quite poignant. But get this:

My traveling is not because of my success. I just travel because seeing new things and feeling adventurous makes me feel happy (and broadens my mind).

Now, here is my point:

If you've ever told me that you are jealous of my travels, please don't feel bad. I urge you not to say that to people, but I'm not condemning you for it. Here is what I want to show you, the downside to my travels.

I'm not a rich man, not by any stretch. In fact, I've had to live at my parent's house for the last year because I can't afford rent. Are you jealous of that? The price listed above is how much it is costing me to visit Bhutan for 3 nights. That price does not include hotels, transportation, entertainment or food. I'm completely overextended already, so that cost is going on my credit card. But you know what? It's worth it. Now you know the cost.

You know I love you, but please, just be happy that I'm happy.


Ben said...

OK, properly speaking, I'm not jealous.

I'm envious.

Anton said...


Martha Elaine Belden said...

oh anton... you know me so well. thanks for your note, because yes... i would have been worried. and yes... i know you love me. and i hope you know i love you, too.

i do want to clarify, however, that when i've said i'm jealous i hope it doesn't strike you in the same way as it does when others say it. when i say it, i am referring more to the fact that you're actually doing it. i think you and i share a lot of the same passions... the difference is, you don't let fear stop you from going after them... and that's what makes me jealous (if you can call it that). you know i long to travel and see the world... but i don't because i'm scared. financial reasons, health reasons, time reasons, work reasons. i always find reasons not to go... and i wish that weren't so.

but while i'm jealous of your determination, i'm also insanely happy for you that you get to go on these adventures that i truly believe keep you alive.

as i've said before... i'll miss you dearly while you're gone. but i can't wait to hear all the stories and see all the pictures when you return :) so have fun and then come home, make some kick-ass films and earn the money to pay off that credit card so you can start all over again.

Anton said...

Thank you Martha!

I was really discouraged after I got that bill from Bhutan. Your comment means a lot to me :)

crackers and cheese said...

I know that I've left "I'm jealous" comments, and I'm sorry if I have in any way contributed to the feelings that resulted in this post.

I am envious of other's travel adventures and the "freedom" that it seems that other people have. I do dream of roadtripping around the US, returning to Europe, and going to other destinations around the globe. You're right, if I really truly want to go on this roadtrip, I could drop everything (classes, work, clients) and go.

But the truth is, I'm right where I chose to be, and though some days I don't feel like it, I'm right where I want to be also. I want to be in grad school, I want to be a psychologist, and I'm on that path, and though sometimes other things seem very tempting and more appealing than studying and working and researching, this opportunity is too good and too rare to give up for almost anything. I'm not confined because I chose these walls.

I do love to travel, and I believe that it will continue to be a big part of my life, but it does require sacrifices that I'm willing to make. Older car. Smaller home. I graduated a semester early from TCU in a large part so I could work and save money for my trip to Europe last summer. But right now, this opportunity I have in front of me is too great to sacrifice for dreams of travel. So, I've chosen to put some of those dreams on hold as I pursue my lifelong career dream.

So, I guess I shouldn't be jealous :) But I can still live vicariously through yours and others' travels until I embark on my next great travel adventure. But I know that I'm on an adventure too, though it often doesn't look as exciting as going to Bhutan.

So, I am happy for you, and I'll try to keep my jealousy to a minimum. You're living a life that you want, a life of your choosing, and like Martha said, I also believe that these adventures keep you alive. So many people wither away, never doing the things they'd rather be doing, but you're not one of those people. Thank goodness.

Sarah Kendel said...

I feel you!
I especially dislike it when people say, "I'm so jealous! I hope you realize how lucky you are to get to do something like this!!"

Amy said...

I don't think "I'm so jealous!" is negative at all in this context. I think people are being honest and amazed at how cool it is and they wish they could do the same thing too. I personally really like it when people are honest!

So, with all sincerity: I'm really jealous of your upcoming travels! I want to go to those places too. Maybe someday I will. :)

TheLoanDude said...

I'm jealous!! That just happened. No explanation needed - you know me.

You're jealous of my short hair...wait, no you're not.

It was good to chill for the UFC fights. Did that take you back to the beatdowns that you received from Grady? I sure hope so...we understand one another's plight.

Estee Joy said...

im happy your happy but im still jealous that i cant be happy doing the happy traveling you get to do. kapish?

tahj said...

this is a good post, anton. the lifestyle you're living right now can make people uncomfortable--mainly because they see you and realize in themselves they have dreams they haven't gone after. that is a hard thing to deal with.

i love the last part where you present the cost (full of sacrifices) and how it's worth it. yes!

on the flip side, your adventures can be an inspiration to people and even as they think "i'm so jealous!" they might be beginning to believe in themselves...i hope that is the case. anyway, keep at it!