“Once upon a time I woke up and realized the American Dream…” is really something I do not dream about anymore.
I guess the American Dream can be defined differently for everyone, but what I see as the “typical” American Dream is to own a nice big house, drive the newest cars, have a solid career, and enough money saved to take a two week vacation every year. But does all of this bring true happiness?
We recently ventured back to the US to visit family and friends after a little over a year living in Costa Rica. We got together one night with a group of friends and I asked one of our friends’ the initial question, “How are you doing?” In which, I received the response, “Livin’ the dream, livin’ the dream!” Now, in words, this sounds great, but the energy that was coming from our friend was, “Get me out of here!” He seemed a bit preoccupied but did ask us a couple questions about us. Unfortunately, we felt he really wasn’t interested in the answers. Now, on the surface, it did seem like he was “Livin’ the dream”, for he possessed the large house in the burbs, the beautiful wife, the two wonderful children, the high status career, and the newest cars to go along with it. But you could feel that this was not his dream. Now, maybe he felt he was “Livin’ the dream”, and I wish the best for him, but this is not for me.
If this is the American Dream, then mine is not so American anymore.
Funny thing is that not too long ago I thought this is what I felt was my American Dream. I was striving very hard to get the big house with all the finest finishes, maybe even a couple of those around the US. I wanted a fancy sports car, maybe two. And eventually, if I worked hard enough to get all this stuff, I could make some time to do a little travel. I was living my life in the future.
Then, with the birth of our son, along with some poorly timed investments and discovery of the internet as means of survival, all my ideals changed. And so did my priorities. I no longer was striving for consumeristic “things”. I now wanted time and experiences with my wife and children. But I knew it would be difficult where we were with our old ideals and “America” around us.
So we set off on our adventure and in search of new dreams!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy having those things that many Americans dream of – a nice house, but not one that I necessarily own; a good car, or some type of reliable transportation; a beautiful wife, she is more beautiful now than ever before and in more ways than one; two wonderful children, who I love spending so much time with everyday; and my not-so-high status, internet career.
Since moving to Costa Rica a year and a half ago I feel our views on many aspects of life and this world have either solidified or totally changed. We will be sharing these in more detail with our blog.
But for now, my dream….. to live life to its fullest, spend as much time as possible with my family, open the eyes and minds of my children, grow in ways I never dreamed, and experience many (not all) things first hand that this world has to offer!READ:
Redefining an American Dream
Curious how traveling families view the American Dream? Be sure to check out these great families who have written about the same topic recently:
Brandon Pearce from Fullness of Life- The Global American Dream
Nancy from Family on Bikes- What is the American Dream?
Lisa from Around the World in Easy Ways- An American Dream Fairy Tale
Talon from 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure- The American Dream
Lisa Wood from New Life on the Road- Living the Australian Dream
Lainie from Raising Miro- Erosion of the American Dream
Bohemian Mom- The Illusion of the American Dream
Family Travel Bucket List- Bye Bye Miss American Dream
The Great Family Escape- The Real American Dream