Tuesday, 13 January 2009

What to call myself?

When you're travelling you meet a lot of new people who seem to be persistently asking "What do you do?" It's a question I'm struggling to answer.

Possible answers include:
Backpacking / Travelling - isn't this something that you only do when you leave uni? I fear that saying you are "travelling" at the age of 28 implies that you have been a drop out since finishing my degree. I'm also trying to avoid flea infested hostels and be a flashpacker.
Unemployed - this seems to provoke a conversation killing "I'm sorry" and the assumption that you have been fired from your previous job.
Retired - not strictly true, but gets across the message that you are out of work by choice. Also makes you sound minted (and I have been told pretentious), which I can only wish were (I hope isn't) true.

I need to develop an answer that both accurately describes what I am doing and impresses all the attractive single ladies that I hope to meet. "I'm on a gap year?"


  1. Taking a year out from banking?

    Then there is added "frisson" from people wondering whether you were thrown out/made enough to retire :-)

  2. Speaking from experience, well at least with the unemployed bit, I choose 'bum' as my title, particularly recently. Before that it was the 'taking time out to re-evaluate my career' option, heck they don't need to know you were in banking. Unfortunately 'professional blogger' probably won't get the ladies...but 'banking-dog millionaire' might!

  3. 5 options for you. If you can get all 5 references then i'll be very impressed.

    1. I'm on a mission from God.
    2. I'm a professional killer
    3. Theorizing that one could time travel within their own lifetime, I stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished .... I woke to find myself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not my own and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. My only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from my own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only I can see and hear. And so I find himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that my next leap will be the leap home.
    4. I am fact, I am fiction I'm a walking contradiction
    5. I was sent to prison by a military court for a crime I didn't commit. I promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, I survive as a soldier of fortune. If you have a problem, if no-one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire me.

  4. 1. Blues Brothers
    2. Grosse Point Blank
    3. Quantum Leap
    4. ????
    5. A Team

    I'll admit I double checked on Google for a couple of them. Which actually means I haven't done very well......

  5. Freelance travel journalist, innit ;-)

  6. @ Kate - great suggestion. I'll give that one a try!

  7. Or just "a writer" - nice an elusive. "Downshifting" could be another. "Lifelong nomad"?

  8. 4. Was a bit of a tough one - and I misquoted! It's from Taxi Driver, and it's from a Kris Kristofferson song 'He's A Pilgrim'. The actual line is 'He`s a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction'.

    And fair enough with google - that's to be expected.