Plans For the Future: My 5-10 Year Goals

Someone recently asked me, “Where do you see yourself in ten years?”

I like to think about the answer to this question at night when I can’t sleep, while staring at the glow in the dark stars on my ceiling. Sleepless nights happen more frequently since I returned to university for my third year. Maybe it’s because I can’t put down my work and fully relax. Who knows? I like to think that it’s because late nights are the only time when I have the quiet space in which to do a little thinking outside of definitions and geographic concepts. It’s my favourite time of the day; the time I allow myself to dream big. Typically I dwell on thoughts of love and adventure and the possibilities my future holds. Sometimes I catch myself worrying way too much about the little details of my future. You know. The ones that aren’t going to matter until the right moment, and may never matter at all. Actually, that’s exactly what I’m doing right now. It’s 11pm, and I got back from my last class an hour ago. My thoughts are rambling, and my writing is somewhat crappy. I blame the lateness of the hour.  

So, back to where I started. Where will I be ten years from now?

My writing corner (aka - my bedroom)
My writing corner (aka – my bedroom)

How am I supposed to know? Ten years is very far off. Five years is a more doable distance. I know that no matter what I think life will look like five years from now, I likely have it all wrong. Still, it’s fun to dream.

In just a year (maybe two, if I can’t keep up the pace), I’ll be graduating with an honours bachelor’s degree in Geography. William, my companion and love, will be leaving to Europe next fall. He’s happily found a way to pursue his biggest dream of becoming a visual developer. We’ll be long-distance again. I’m struggling with this, but I think it really is for the best. We’re both wanting to pursue our own separate dreams and passions and grow up a little more. We think that independence is just as important a concept in a relationship as togetherness, so separating to work on our futures isn’t a deal-breaker. I want to travel and be an adventurer and experience the world on my own for a while. He wants to get an education and start a business. Hopefully we’ll grow in the same direction. I kinda like him.

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Once I’ve finished school, I want to have my freelancing to the point where I’m not only supporting myself, I’m also able to put money in my savings. Right now I’m making enough money to pay my own rent, buy my own food, and support all my basic needs. All from my online work, just a year after officially moving out from under my parents’ wings! I’m proud of that, but I want to keep growing my businesses and teaching myself new skills. Always room for improvement, right?

After that… Well, I was looking at a map the other night, and I’m overwhelmed by the possibilities. Here are my ideas so far. What do you think?

  • Biking across the U.S. or Canada. We Canadians just completed a massive car-free recreational trail across the country. Might invite some other adventurers to go with me. Interested?
  • Housesitting Europe and the world. I’m thinking that this might be a great way to continue the nomadic lifestyle while saving the bank and possibly building my savings. Would love tips and advice from those who have done it!
  • Tricking out a van and wandering wherever I want while continuing to build my businesses and continuing my education on my own.
  • Interning or volunteering. Not my favourite option, unless I just find something incredible and irresistible. I’m currently working with (ex)refugees and would like to keep doing that somehow.
  • Trying to figure out how to get to Antarctica (my last unvisited continent).
  • My newest, biggest, craziest dream: to start with housesitting in Europe, and then pick up a motorcycle, head through Eastern Europe, across the bottom tail of Russia, through Kazakhstan and into China and Mongolia. I’d love to check out India and Nepal as well. Maybe Japan if I get far enough in that direction. I KNOW this is crazy and huge and complicated. But it’s also awesome, right? I’m down with dreaming big. I’d love to pull it off.

So where do I see myself in five years? Hopefully in the middle or near the end of one of these adventures. I’d like to be a little more put together, but I’m ok with being a little messy at the same time. I’d love to have decided on a life companion within the next five to ten years. This is something that’s starting to sneak its way into my thoughts. I’m not ready yet, but it’s like a switch flipped recently and suddenly I’m thinking about it. Time seemed to start moving faster when I hit twenty. I realized that when I was little, I thought I’d be married this year, with kids in a couple of years. This is what most of my friends are in the process of doing. Obviously, it doesn’t have to go that way. I’m ok with taking as much time as I need. But it seemed far away, and now it doesn’t. Now I look five years ahead and see myself as an adult, maybe even a parent. It isn’t impossible. And ten years from now, I’ll be thirty. It’s a little crazy. Time is deceptive. The average Tuesdays like this one build up, then it’s already been five years. So, we’ll see. Who knows where I’ll really end up?

6 Comment

  1. David Brovont says: Reply

    As far as getting to Antarctica; the (US) National Science Foundation through the US Antarctic Program and various contractors operates McMurdo and South Pole stations. Lots of jobs from cook, to fuel services to science related. You can stay for the Antarctic summer or year round. You can also work aboard their ice breaking science vessel.I’ve been down their twice. It was an absolutely amazing experience. Incredibly beautiful in a very unique way. More sea life than you would imagine and with no fear of humans. I walked on the ice with penguins and came right up to the seals. Highly recommend Antarctica; you almost feel like you’re on another world. In the meantime, best wishes on your third year of college.

    1. Wow, sounds like an incredible adventure! Thanks for the info. Antarctica is high on the priority list for me.

  2. anneanderson1 says: Reply

    I’m 45, and love this! I too, spent my 20’s adventuring with my love and companion (who I met at 19), and without him. We missed each other when we weren’t together, but now, many years married and parents to 3 daughters – one of which became an actual ADULT this year (!), we never, ever regret our adventures spent apart, we cherish those times, knowing that since we met fairly young, and essentially grew up together, having experiences away from one another made us better. I’m pretty certain that whatever you do, you’ll love it, find the beauty in it and grow from it. It’s a great time you are in. Be wild, be crazy, love deeply and explore broadly.

    1. This is so encouraging! I love hearing success stories. The statistics on marriage scare me, and people who meet young (like me and Will) don’t usually end up staying together forever. So it’s lovely to hear from someone in a similar situation but farther down the road. Thank you for the encouragement. :)

  3. You know I’m just smiling. Wanna take the motorcycle class together in the spring? I’ve been thinking about that too 😘

  4. Carmen says: Reply

    Lovely! I also thought I’d chip in on the relationship angle. I’m 45, happily married to my soul mate and with two teenage beautiful spirits for daughters.

    We met at 18 on a GAP year between school and university and navigated a long distance relationship as he returned to his native New Zealand for that, whilst I stayed in England. We survived but I won’t pretend that my heart didn’t break a little every time we said goodbye, though I suspect you already know that feeling. He was always very confident we would be life partners; I was more insecure at times (hello university partying!) but equally committed.

    My parents are married and very much in love having been together since they were 15 – 50 years! There are happy endings in real life.

    I am so impressed you are financially self sufficient. You are one in a million Hannah; I bet William feels the same. Have a great third year!

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