Every time I watch Discovery Travel & Living on TV or read Lonely Planet magazine, I desperately long for travelling around the world. This feeling intensifies after reading posts such as 8 Exotic Destinations You Can Afford. I get all pumped up ready to pack my bags. But then I realize: Oh wait, I have a startup.
Startup requires a lot of sacrifices from you. You have to work extremely hard (think 100+ hours per week) for several years. All this hard work is justified in hope of an eventual big pay-off which may happen in a year, five years or may not happen ever. That big-payoff has potential to make you financially independent and then you can go travel the world (or explore other exotic interests such as taking a stab at string theory). But the big question is what if that eventual pay-off never happens? It is certainly a possibility because majority of businesses will either fail or will become self-sustaining for years to come. Acquisitions, IPOs and FU money is a rarity, not a norm.
I think the dilemma of exploring your passions v/s doing a startup is interesting especially for young founders who are in 20s or early 30s. Every sage professes that this is the right age to travel (or do crazy wild things) because you don’t yet have a family to support or other responsibilities which may chain you to a particular sedentary lifestyle. But an equally strong logic goes in favor of doing a startup: you don’t yet have a family to support, so you can fully dedicate yourself to a startup and increase chances of the eventual payoff. Then you have the financial freedom (hence and more importantly freedom of time) and to travel to exotic places you have always dreamed of.
I honestly don’t have a definite answer to this but as evident by working hard on my startup, you can see which camp I belong to. May be, one fine day in future, I will start on my own epic journey of 70 countries. Or, may be not.