A year ago, I and my girlfriend kissed the employment sector goodbye. Decisions we each made individually and borne of absolutely different circumstances. The one thing we both had in common though, apart from being a couple, was that we were driven by the same dream. A dream bigger than the dead end jobs we were in could afford us. One that extended way beyond our realms of comfort and glided adrift clouds of ambition.
You see, we have a gluttonous desire to actually ‘live’ every day and experience it like it was our last, and we both wanted something more for ourselves other than a fat paycheck and job security. None of that gave us any satisfaction. Salary at the end of the month with no time to enjoy or live life in its fullest capacity was but ash to our tongues. Tasteless. Lacking in any sort of allure to tickle our interest in ‘eight-to-five’s’ no further than a child is excited by a dry stick lying on a lawn.
So we hit the road, in a rather figurative sense, and it’s been a wonderful tale of man versus the elements ever since. Disappointment after disappointment, married with just the right type of blessings to keep our dreams alive. Yet and still, the disappointments keep rolling in. The type that come into your life in a riot of cracking lightning and nasty storms, then cling onto your back like a bad deformity. And don’t forget the countless needy tales your pockets orate to you every now and then in nostalgic fashion. Ever fashioned with a remembrance of the good old days, when religious spending and wanton abandon were like sugar to our tea.
Silly of us though, we still don’t want to leave this life. Not when our employed friends and college-mates complain about how horrid and empty their lives are. Not when they say they wish they were us, free to do as we please, breathing in the fragrances of each day with more fervor than the previous. No. Not even when our parents breathe flame and fury over how much we’ve wasted the knowledge acquired during our years in university.
Most of all, we can’t give up this life that grants us new stories to tell each day. For all our days start on clean slates. No day is ever the same as the previous, nor will it be like the next. We get to explore Nairobi in ways no one would imagine. Out and about on dry, hell-hot days; in the cover of pouring rain; atop motorbikes that fail to consider the worth of a good-day’s service; even once on the back of a mkokoteni (hand-cart) loaded with a cement mixer headed to a construction site.
Okay, I made that last one up – but through all the pain and the tears, the blood and the sweat, the one thing that keeps us sane is the fact that we are doing something we love. That we are yet to fully reach the maturity of our potential, and still do our accounts with single digit figures, does not dissuade our drive. To our parents we seem oblivious to sound reason, maybe even an itsy bit batty, but we know what we want in life and that’s all that counts.
We share the dream of one day travelling the world and marveling in all its glorious beauty, as do many more I suppose, but until that day when our finances are straight and our money is right, we start with our homeland – Kenya. We’ll turn it into our own private world as we discover and absorb all the pulses of its beat and the sounds of its rhythm. We’ll use the mess that is ourselves to share our dream with the world, in the hope that somebody out there will be inspired enough to discover what it is that they really want to do or achieve in life. To show that if you can’t get work, you make work. And best of all, we’ll be doing it on a budget.
Each weekend, we‘ll make a different memory using a lean budget. To show fellow Kenyans you don’t really need to have all the money to have some fun; that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication; and that Kenya is much vaster than the travel directories and tourism websites will ever tell you.
The present struggling and barely getting by might be our order of the day, but with the kind of back we put into our business, it’ll all be gone long before we know it.
And if your life story shares our joys and troubles, welcome aboard.