Hi, my name is Jordan Lejuwaan. I’m the creator of HighExistence and I wanted to tell you how all of this began.
I attended the University of Southern California in 2008/2009 for my freshman year of college on a full-ride academic scholarship. I had a ton of fun, met some great people and learned a lot. But when the first semester had ended and I was going home for Winter break, I began to question if I really wanted to spend three more years in college in order to attain an undergraduate business degree. Yes, college was great — the freedom, constant partying, friends, lack of financial responsibility, intriguing classes, etc, etc. But I felt like there was something else that I would rather doing with my time.
Over the course of Winter Break I started meditating on a daily basis and my confusion began to get a little bit more clear. I also started reading some self-improvement books and stories of other people who had gone against the grain. Needless to say my activities during that break were not steering me towards wanting to sit behind a desk for the next three years. However, when break was over, the only epiphany that had come to me was that I wanted to travel. The only country I had been to outside of the U.S. was England for 2 months when I was 10 and I loved it, so I wanted to see more. But I still didn’t have any kind of plan of when or how I was going to travel, so I just went back to school and classes and homework and tests.
Fast-forward to late January 2009, a month after coming back to school. I had began pledging at a fraternity on campus so my attachment to the school was only growing, but classes were becoming less and less appealing. I had learned from the previous semester that I simply had to figure out which classes were necessary to go to and the rest could be skipped (college is not hard for a business major). Chief among those ditch-able classes were my business classes, the courses that would be teaching me “so much” about business that I would deserve a degree in the subject. I found that to be a problem…
So I started asking junior and senior business majors in my fraternity if business classes would ever teach something beyond the completely useless crap I was memorizing at the time. The response? “Not really.” Now I was really thinking hard about what I wanted to do with the next three years of my life.
February 2nd, 2009 – I woke up extremely hung-over and confused. My phone was gone. I was in my own bed but I had no idea how I had gotten there. There was an invite (a party at a secret venue where each guy in the fraternity invited a girl) the previous night and I remembered nothing beyond dinner at a Sushi Bar. Sake bombs had done their job very well. But that’s not what was special about that morning, not even close. For some reason, right when I woke up, I knew that I wanted to drop out of college and start traveling. I didn’t want to wait three years, I wanted to do it now.
So long story short, I stopped attended classes and began working on this website with hopes that it would fund my travels. The rationale was that I would learn more by traveling the world for three years than by sitting in a classroom.
I get two reactions when I tell people my plan:
1) You are an idiot! You have a full-ride to a great university and you are throwing it away to travel??? Wait three years and travel AFTER you get your degree. It’s the safe thing to do, you know.
2) Wow, that takes some major guts. To be honest, I would love to do what you’re doing but I need a degree/ my parents would never let me/ I’m too scared/ I don’t have the money to do that/ (insert excuse here).
Either way, you can imagine I took a lot of criticism from family, friends, frat brothers and school administrators. Deciding to stray from the path is NOT an easy decision for the very reason that not many people approve. It’s hard to scare and/or disappoint the people that care about you. That is why I want to make this article the High Existence forum for sharing unconventional dreams.
So if you have a dream, a secret yearning, or any other kind of unconventional fantasy, please feel free to share them in the comments section below. I would love to help out anyone that has big ambitions in any way possible. You’re not crazy for wanting to do what you want to do, you’re just different. So please, SHARE YOUR DREAM BELOW!
My Dream: To become completely location-independent financially so that I can travel the world without worry. I never want to work for anyone EVER. The only plan I have is to go with the flow of things. Crazy right? I certainly hope so.
**Edit 8/17 Guess who else did exactly what I did?