I QUIT MY FULL-TIME JOB TO TRAVEL (AND WORK)

by FI Fighter on May 24, 2016

in Career, Guest Post, Success Stories, Thoughts

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Shout out to my NorCal homegirl Sharon for doing something ONLY 1 in 1,000,000 people out there even have the audacity to daydream about doing. Sharon most recently QUIT her day job so that she can pursue a life really worth living. Sharon, I’m rooting for you every step of the way! You’ve already motivated and inspired me so much on my own journey… Now go out there and accomplish some AMAZING things!!!

 

Reposted with permission from Me Want Travel. Here is a link to the original article.

 

In June of 2015, I bought a one-way ticket to Stockholm for May 30, 2016. I remember that day vividly. I spent the entire Sunday staring at my laptop screen, adding the plane ticket to my cart, looking at the checkout page, refraining from clicking the submit button, freaking out with my friend Heesun, closing my laptop, and coming back to it… I was a whirlwind of emotions and back-and-forth thoughts. The thought of leaving everything behind and traveling the world had been on my mind for weeks, maybe months. But was I brave enough to actually do it?

After much debate, I finally made the purchase and there was no turning back.

I told myself in the event that I didn’t have the balls to quit my job and live abroad, I could just use the ticket as a short 1-to-2 week vacation. But as months went by, my confidence in my decision increased.

Fast forward 11 months later, and I’ve now put in my 2 weeks notice for my full-time position and am preparing for the world travels that lie before me.

But first let me explain why I’m doing this (sharing my abridged version below).

I’m planning to join the growing community of digital nomads to create a lifestyle change for myself. 

I figured out what I really want in life: TIME. I want time to see the world, to create music, and to work on something meaningful. I want to have a discussion with someone in Nicaragua about their perspectives, or ask a Paris local about how they think life should be lived. I want to swim in the waters of the Maldives and bask in Earth’s beauty. I want to make music with people from all ends of the globe, and see the world from the rich to the poor and explore how I can help mitigate the economic disparity. I want to give people opportunities and inspire people to LIVE their dreams.

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Instead I’ve been trading time for money. I’ve been spending 45 hours a week working for the man, trying to accept that life is supposed to be this way. That 5-15 days of paid time off is sufficient.  I kept telling myself that my complaints are invalid and that I’m being ungrateful…that life requires us to work in an office for another 30 years.

But then I thought, what if there IS another way, and I just haven’t figured it out? 

For those who love what they’re doing and have no complaints – don’t listen to my crap.

But after my 2014 solo Europe trip my life and perspectives sort of changed.

I fully realized how fleeting life is and what I was missing out on, and I started asking myself…what am I doing?! I began wondering if I would be proud of the life I had lived if I were laying on my deathbed. Does my degree at Berkeley and experience at a coveted tech giant really matter? What IS success? Is success a superficial concept? What is the purpose of my existence?!

I think the only way for me to answer my lingering questions is to take a chance. If I stay complacent and comfortable, I will never be able to build a life I want, and I’ll always have to wonder “what if?”. I decided that in order to make this dream of TIME a reality I needed to work my ass off. stopped giving a fuck, and I started giving more fucks about making it happen.

I studied a lot. I read over 20-30 digital nomad/marketing/entrepreneurship books, joined communities, talked to nomads, and learned about how to generate passive income.  Then, I began freelancing and working on multiple income streams. I was already racking up savings with 4 years of living at home, but I was now reducing expenses even more by spending my time working on projects instead of going out. 4-Hour WorkweekRich Dad Poor Dad, and DigitalNomadWannabe were three resources that especially pushed me off my ass and made me realize that it’s all possible. I realized that location independence, and ultimately financial independence, are achievable through building online entities from ground up. As “Rich Dad Poor Dad” says, I needed to stop working for money and make money work for me. And what better way to figure it out while traveling the world?

Essentially quitting my job and living abroad as a digital nomad has one goal: maximizing my time on this planet Earth. Time and health are the main, most standard currencies over money. A $100 bill means different things to different people, but 100 years means the same thing for everyone: one lifetime. Life is short. Money can be made, but time cannot.

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So what will my life abroad look like?

I can’t say I won’t be having an occasional margarita on the beach, but I envision most of my time will be spent on my laptop, working. I plan to stay at Wi-Fi friendly destinations on a monthly basis and work longer than full-time hours to turn my dreams into reality. I want to figure out the perfect balance between work and travel and attempt to prove that they can co-exist harmoniously rather than separately.

While I’m on this journey to pursue a lifestyle change for myself, I will never take my privileged life for granted. I’m really grateful that I’m in a position where I am safe, secure, and can dream of bigger opportunities. But in order for me to grow I believe I need to challenge myself and leave my comfort zone. Those who know me understand my motto has always been to “live, love, and inspire”. And in order for me to live out my motto I have to see this journey through.

Maybe I’ll come back to the Bay Area, California after a year and decide to take a day job. Maybe I’ll “fail” (but is there really such a thing?). Or maybe I will explore the world indefinitely and never look back. Who knows what’s going to happen?

But I can’t wait to find out. 🙂

 

Follow Sharon along on her new journey!

Digital Nomad Quest

Me Want Travel

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SharonNo Gravatar May 24, 2016 at 10:16 am

I’m so happy we got each other’s backs and are each other’s sounding boards. You made the transition so much easier for me. I’m just trying to be a financially free boss like you! LET’S DO THIS!

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2 FI FighterNo Gravatar May 26, 2016 at 11:57 pm

Sharon,

You GOT THIS! Feel free to reach out anytime if you ever need anything.

All the best!

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3 ANo Gravatar May 24, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Thanks for sharing, definitely an exciting story to read. Hope she is travel hacking like you are J :).

A

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4 FI FighterNo Gravatar May 26, 2016 at 11:58 pm

A,

If she’s not yet travel hacking, I’m sure it’ll only be a matter of time… I have a way of influencing people 😉

Take care!

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5 RobertNo Gravatar May 25, 2016 at 2:24 am

Wow, inspiring article, i am working on becoming truly free, aswell. I recently started some web magazines and negociated pay per click advertising. Wish me luck 🙂

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6 FI FighterNo Gravatar May 26, 2016 at 11:58 pm

Robert,

Best of luck! You can do it!!!

Cheers!

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7 Financial SlackerNo Gravatar May 25, 2016 at 9:22 pm

Congratulations!

I will enjoy following along as you embark on your journey.

Feels great, doesn’t it?

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8 SharonNo Gravatar June 5, 2016 at 8:24 am

Definitely feels awesome 😀

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9 No Nonsense LandlordNo Gravatar May 29, 2016 at 5:13 am

Taking risks pays off. Once you have worked for yourself, you can no longer be an employee. Be careful of the ones that say you are lucky. They want your money and are too risk-adverse (or lazy) to do it themselves.

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10 SharonNo Gravatar June 5, 2016 at 8:31 am

I agree with that. Though I know I am privileged, there are tons of people who make excuses (that in reality can be resolved) and then call others “lucky” when they succeed. Thanks for your comment – I’ll definitely keep it in mind as I continue my journey! 🙂

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11 JonNo Gravatar May 30, 2016 at 2:24 pm

It’s fun to see the wave of bloggers who have recently declared freedom in one way or another.

Unrelated question: FIF, I am looking at a rental house that I think is in the sweet spot in ROI. However, I am not sure how to get started. I would appreciate hearing your insight on basics of DIY renting, such as how to market a property, how to do a credit check on renters, how to write up the contract and so on. Do you have any existing posts or perhaps an e-book on the topic?

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12 CourtneyNo Gravatar May 31, 2016 at 3:03 pm

AWESOME! Thank you Sharon for being an inspiration. It takes a lot of courage and self reflection to change your life like this! We hit the road in our Airstream next year for many of the same reasons. We eventually want to do the international travel thing too but it still seems pretty daunting. But we’ve realized we can do whatever we set our minds too as long as we’re flexible. Congrats again!

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13 SharonNo Gravatar June 5, 2016 at 8:24 am

Thanks Courtney! I hope to be a true inspiration via achieving financial independence…we shall see how that goes! Love your site BTW. International travel isn’t too bad 🙂 it’s been amazing so far living in different countries and the expenses can be much lower than imagined. In Thailand you can live comfortably off of $600/month!

Thanks again for the comment 🙂

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14 Working BeeNo Gravatar June 2, 2016 at 10:26 pm

wow, very brave, very inspiring!
While I am still suffering one more year syndrome, I totally believe it’s doable for such journey once she is made up her mind to just do it!

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15 SharonNo Gravatar June 5, 2016 at 8:17 am

Time to just go for it! Thanks so much 🙂

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16 Living FreeNo Gravatar December 15, 2016 at 2:06 am

Interestingly, I just visited Stockholm last month. I totally agree with your perspective. Life is so short. You don’t know what’s out there until you explore and see things with your own eyes. It’s definitely not worth it to trade your time for money.

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