Yes, you read that correctly, I have officially quit my corporate career!
Question: Why in the world would someone work so hard in school and spend endless hours
building up a resume to land a corporate career and then give it all up to travel the world?
Before I dive into this, let me explain where my head was. About a month prior to this
revelation, I was in Honduras completing my advanced open water dive course and had the
opportunity to make a new friend. Little did I know that this new friendship was about to change my entire mentality and inspire a long overdue life change.
Allow me to introduce my new friend, Gerald. Gerald is from Austria and on a single mission:
Travel around the world one time without ever stepping foot on an airplane. We talked for hours
covering topics from traveling by cargo across the Atlantic, learning how to sail on a catamaran,
hitchhiking, surfing couches, and earning his dive instructor certification. At the end of this
conversation, I asked if he could be brutally honest with me. He agreed. I asked, “What is the
worst of the worst of all this?”. In my mind I was sure he was going to say the hitchhiking,
maybe running out of money and having to find work in a foreign country, or especially the couch surfing. He took a few seconds and then answered, “the worst is that I didn’t do this sooner because it’s so much easier than you think”. There I sat, speechless.
That conversation played over and over in my mind for well over a solid month, and on what was a typical Thursday, I clocked in, opened my email, and saw there was finally a new reply regarding our request for new office chairs. Chairs!!! I told you I’d get to the point about the chairs! You know the emails where the more you read, the higher your blood pressure goes? As I scrolled through this long (read: dreadful) chain of an email, every time my eyes hit the word budget my blood pressure increased. It had been twenty-eight months since this request had been submitted! Twenty-eight months — but who was counting!! My thoughts began to match my heart rate. That’s it! F this place. I’m outie 5,000. Why the eff am I working here? Dramatic? Sure. But it was the final straw for me. This camel’s back was now broken. I need to go now, or I will never go. And so, it began, I spent nearly every waking moment strategizing how to quit and travel full time.
I’ll spare you all the boring details and get to what really matters: money. After crunching the
numbers, it was quite clear that I could travel full time on one-way tickets and a minimalistic
approach for one year on what I would normally spend on 4-5 trips. If I’m going to be honest,
that whole living minimally part is going to be a bit of a challenge. This girl likes to scuba dive
and is accustomed to a certain standard of living. Let me tell you this friends, diving is not a
cheap sport, and neither are creature comforts while traveling.
So, there you have it. As the saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” My minds was set, and I started creating a viable plan and budget. Now I’m off to travel the world full time with fresh eyes and a free spirit. I have decided that my journey will start in the French Polynesians. Along the way I hope to not only find some amazing local dive shops, but FINALLY be able to engage in conservation efforts, able to hang with locals, learn how to cook as many different foods as possible, and meet more amazing people like Gerald!!
Arrivederci corporate world! It is my hope that you enjoyed this post and gained some encouragement of your own.
Much love, Ashley
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