Bye Traditional Corporate World
September 25, 2019
The desire to travel has always been in my blood. Some of my fondest childhood memories are family roadtrips or weekends in the mountains. My parents instilled my sense of wanderlust, encouraging my curiousity to explore and learn more about the world around me. They taught me to love and respect nature as we hiked among pine trees and adventured through tidepools. They taught me to be open to new experiences and cultures. To this day I crave foods I've never tried and culutres I've yet to experience.
As I got older though, more responsibility crept into my life. I followed the traditional path of getting a college degree and working full-time in the corportate world. This is what life is right? Study like crazy in college, get a job, work your way up the corporate ladder, only take two weeks off a year, then be able to see the rest of the world when you can finally retire? I did it, I fit in, worked a lot, and at times enjoyed it. I would often work overtime, switch my schedule to accommodate others, and do others work to ensure everything got done. I felt it would pay off in the end. Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn't. But what I slowly began to notice over the years was that I was simply missing my own life.
I took the first step towards leaving the corporate world when I left my well-paid 60 hours a week job. I was the job, it was what I lived and breathed. It was a high-energy fun job that I loved, but I eventually realized everything else in my life always took the backburner. Family, relationships with people outside of my job, personal goals and growth, and traveling all took the backburner. I constantly felt burnt out. Even when I would try to get away for a day or two, something always came up. It was live the job or escape the job. I took a few days up in the mountains with no service, reflected on my situation, and made the decision to quit. I knew I wanted more from life other than a career that would exhaust me and wipe me clean of who I am.
My next career move took me closer to something I truly care about. It included multiple layers of what I love to do and am passionate about. I was finally in the non-profit world that I had wanted to be apart of for so many years and felt like I was where I was supposed to be. When I started recognizing signs that it was not the right place for me, I was stuck with a hard decision. Because the organization still holds a special place in my heart, I will not speak as to why I left. But, the situation made me take a deeper look into my core values and how I want to live my life.
At the end of the day, spending quality time with those I love is what matters to me. Being able to live life and not watch it pass by as I sit in an office is also important to me. For me, that means traveling, exploring, and being outside. I want to share kindness, help others, and be a good human. I want to live with intention and in the moment.
So I took the plunge, quit what I once thought was the 'dream job', and made some drastic changes. I got my TEFL (teaching english as a foreign language) certification, I began working online for two TEFL companies, Tim and I moved overseas for a while, and are now traveling around the United States while still planning on traveling internationally from time to time. We're building a life that we want to live and can be proud of. We get to make the decisions ourselves when and where we travel rather than asking permission from someone else.
Now, not all days are casually exploring a new city or country, hiking to the most beautiful views, trying new food or breweries. Those days are wonderful and feed my wanderlust soul, but there's still hard work to be done and lots of it. We work whenever we can. Tim and I find ourselves working in Airbnbs, at our campspot, in coffee shops and breweries, or at the park. Some days are the best days ever and others are hard as hell and make us wonder what the hell we're doing. But, to us, it's worth it.
It's no surprise to me that my days as a little one brought me to travel through three continents, 11 European countries, and 17 states. So far, that is. Although cliche, I am a true wanderlust. The word itself comes from the german words wandern and lust, meaning a derire to hike. I often have that desire to hike. Our life looks different than the traditional and people may question why or think we're crazy at times, but I'm more than ok with that. At the end of the day, leaving the traditional corporate world was one of the best decisions of my life.