What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

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Grow Up and Sell Your Talent

It often happens when I travel for a long period of time that I analise and try to understand how people make a living in the country I’m in. Selling chicha morada in Ecuador or pizza in the beach stands in Mancora or cleaning shoes in Lima are some of the jobs that make me think why there’s no such a freedom in Spain. There’s someone willing to cook and sell it in the street, why not allowing it? It might be healthier than in a lot of places where they charge you double for the same thing. It shouldn’t be so hard to sell your talent, whatever it is.

Selling all kinds of instruments in Morocco and call the tourists to the beat of the tambourine? Why not?

A very pleasant gardener that smiles at you in Manila


Give instructions to the boatman and observe the Venezuelan cayos (small islands) every day with a Caribbean tranquility, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to? Where can I sign?

cayos caribe venezolano

Selling Doraemon dorayakis in Taipei, be happy and smile at everyone that goes around? I could get used to eating them every day.


Tuk tuk driver of the most soap-opera like tuk tuk in the history of India?

conductor tuk tuk

Being Guardia Civil in Manila and get stuck in the 15th century?

guardia civil

Being the last Kalinga tattoo maker in the rice fields of the Philippines and meeting people from all around the world every day?



With these views? This woman must have a lot of stories to tell! Unfortunately, she doesn’t speak English.


Cooking food and selling it for 1 to 3 dollars a whole menu so that you can have permanent clients every day? Why they didn’t think about it before! Ops, fees of course. Damn the fees that suffocate people and make some at the top get richer. Those same that eat in minimalistic restaurants and don’t give a damn about what the neighbour has to eat that day.

In this trip around South America I’m evaluating things, again, especially about the capitalistic model in which we live and absorbes us. I’ve met an Argentinian guy, for instance, that was for a few months selling pizza in his country to be able to finance his non returning trip around Southamerica. Isn’t that acceptable? Would I have come up with that idea? Probably not. Why? Maybe due to the system we’ve grown up and to which they push us: to an ‘stable and decent”. Believe me when I say that I’ve worked in less decent jobs than selling pizza in the street and they were all in an office full of jailed and depressed people.

I believe that when you have a goal that you want to accomplish anything or almost anything you do is reasonable to get it. You only know how and why, especially WHY. In my case I had it clear before coming why I wanted to make this trip and worked hard for it, now that I’m here I have it even more clear and I’m discovering new ways of extending my trips while spending less and less money.

The endless and typical question, what would like to be when you grow up?

Straight to the point, how many times have you asked a child, what do you want to be when you grow up? instead of, what are your dreams? or what do you want to do to change this world? We get overwhelmed with unnecesary information, sentences that are empty of meaning to please others when it’s more simple than we think.

How many times have you been asked that same question and you answer the first thing that comes to your mind to fit and please others? How many times have you left your dreams aside?

What do I want to be when I grow up? To BE that’s what I want. To be me and not to belong to anything established that oppresses me and follow the steps my destiny has for me. It’s really good for society to have doctors, engineers, cooks, gardeners… but please, first of all BE before getting the label.

Seriously, this world needs more people passionated about what they do, not only about their label.


You can find more jobs around the world that I discovered travelling in the photo album People > jobs:

jobs around the world


4 Replies to “What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?”

  1. Something to keep in mind that not everyone has as much choice in becoming what they want and it’s good to recognize the privilege that we have as travelers coming from developed countries. Even within the US, I have friends who would love to travel, but can’t travel due to high amounts of debt. It’s great to become what you want, but it’s good not to forget that we’re lucky to have this ability.

    1. Absolutely! I agree and I’m not saying otherwise. We are very lucky, indeed but not comparing us to the population that has big amounts of debt but the one that actually has no doubts because they don’t even have the money to do so. There are much more in that situation in the world! Maybe people need to change concepts on what makes them happy, going into debt or living with less?

      1. I think this explains it better than I can: http://foxnomad.com/2010/11/18/everyone-cant-travel/

        Re My friends: Almost all of them are in debt due to educational debt trying to find jobs that make them happy. Most are doing everything in their power to get rid of it, but it’s not an easy thing. All I’m asking is that you realize that this kind of advice is only applicable to certain people–and many of the people you photographed might agree that they can’t do better than they’re already doing.

        1. I understand. If the people I took pictures of had the chance of changing jobs they’d probably do (and I never said otherwise) but they were happy with what they got and that’s what I meant.Thanks for the article.

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