Teacher quits day job to live out all your adventures
HAVE you ever wanted to see the view from Everest, wondered what it would be like to spend a year in the military, live in a nudist colony, cycle across a country or work on the ski fields, yet life seems to have kept you too busy to explore these options?
Or worse, you thought you weren't up to it?
One former Gympie teacher has turned these very conundrums into his life purpose - at least for the next few years - and he wants those of us at home to get involved right now.
Sebastian Kath (pictured), or "Baz" to his friends, has turned a much-awaited working holiday to Europe into a journey of self-discovery, charity work and heaps of fun.
Via his website What Should Baz Do ( http://www.whatshouldbazdo.com), he at first invited friends and family, and now a worldwide audience, to participate in making real-life "Choose Your Own Adventure" decisions for him.
Baz makes himself available for challenges and destinations, then heads off to complete tasks, all dictated by votes to the website.
"I was always hearing people saying things like I'd love to travel, or I'd love to learn a language or an instrument," the 28-year-old exercise science/teaching graduate said this week.
"But they always seemed to think other things needed to be achieved first, like paying off the mortgage, or that they were too old to start learning something new.
"Or they might be paralysed by indecision, not knowing where to start - I can totally relate to that."
Putting such difficult decisions into the hands of another was Baz's previously preferred method - and that was the germ of his idea.
"Then one day as I was working alongside a guy who was unhappy with his job, but doing it to pay the mortgage, I realised I was hopping on the exact same treadmill and that instead I should take the opportunity to get out and explore the world," he said.
And so he did, shortly after following up on some work options overseas. While teaching in London, Baz was invited to participate in a Beyond Education Needs volunteer program, which led to him mentoring teachers in India.
Participating along the way in other sponsorship-generating charity programs such as Movember, Sober October and the current Feb Fast - going without alcohol, sugar or biting his nails for the whole of February - has helped to scratch Baz's charitable itch.
"I want to explore the world, interact with all walks of life, and experience as much of what Earth has to offer as possible while I'm able," he said this week in London.
"But maybe more importantly I want to leave a positive impact on the planet in my wake and hopefully encourage, inspire others to do the same."
So what's it all about, this website? Baz describes it as an opportunity for his audience to challenge him to step outside of his comfort zone - physically, mentally or spiritually. Then, the audience - his voters/supporters - can share in his experiences of activities and destinations as he reports back via photos and blogs.
"Or they can come with me too," he added.
Visitors to http://www.whatshouldbazdo.com are invited to suggest a life for Baz to pursue, including where to live and what his life goal or occupation should be, and a unique charity challenge to complete while there.
Once accepted, all suggestions become open for voting by readers, with Baz committed to finding a way to make their choice become reality.
"Some of my friends initially thought I was just sort of having a lucky dip-type holiday, but what I'm really hoping I can put to the test and prove to people is that the old saying is true - if you just commit your mind to it, you can achieve anything," he said.
Baz summarised his motivation in the words of noted personal development author Stephen Covey: "Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important."
Baz says he is finalising the details for his next mini side adventure. The destination is Austria, but the challenges and fellow participants are yet to be determined.
"People often say to me, 'Yes, but what are you going to do for money there?', and I say to them that is part of the challenge, to achieve the goals despite the barriers, including money," he said.
"And even if at the end of five years, if I have no extra money, I'll still be so much the richer for all the experiences, new human connections and heaps of fun and adventure.
"Who knows, there may even be a book to write at the end!"