Most of my readers started following this blog when I was a full-time tax lawyer, part-time wedding photographer, and was posting photography, cooking, decorating, and diy ideas from my apartment in Toronto.
Then in October I got all “goals-oriented” on you with my 30-before-30 list.
And then, boom, in November I announced that I was leaving my job, moving to Buenos Aires, and becoming a full-time entrepreneur. I’m quite sure in the span of just a few days, I left most of you scratching your heads wondering “What just happened here? What on earth is she doing?”
And I admit that I didn’t do a great job of explaining. Maybe because I didn’t really know myself. And maybe I still don’t. But I do know that all of these choices have been in response to the nagging voice in my head that was telling me there was something more. That my days didn’t need to be spent in a solitary little box in the sky with no view of the outside world. That I didn’t need to walk to my office every morning in my grey suit with a million other people walking to their offices in their grey suits. That I didn’t need to be unhappy. That I was supposed to be working for myself, doing something creative, something with real people.
I’ve had this feeling of “something more” whenever I’ve been employed in a traditional professional job. When I started working in finance it hit almost immediately, and I decided to take some time off to travel and then to go to law school. It took me only a few weeks of being an articling student before it returned. And one relatively recent day, these feelings just became too much. That was it. I couldn’t take it anymore. We had the opportunity to make a change and we ran with it.
Yesterday, Kim from So Many Places travel blog wrote an excellent blog post entitled “Why I’m Quitting My Job to Travel“, and it perfectly explains our motivation. So, rather than paraphrase Kim’s post, I’m going to quote her directly (but please, go read the whole post, it’s excellent).
A lot of people think of our upcoming travels as a vacation and so their minds quickly conjure up easy days on the beach and carefree evenings roaming through ancient, romantic cities. What they don’t understand is that this is a quest to find what it is I seek. It is a quest to calm this thing inside for more, the thing that makes me burn the candle at both ends, that makes me push and push and push, the relentless and endless desire to find satisfaction with myself and what I will do with my life. My one life. Can anyone really understand the implication of that sentence? One life. Just one. Why aren’t we all running like we are on fire towards our wildest dreams?
And that’s precisely it. That’s what I’m doing. Quitting my job, coming to BA, working on my businesses, that’s me running like I am on fire towards my wildest dreams.
I think in the back of our minds, my husband and I have known since we arrived in Toronto that something wasn’t quite right. We didn’t buy a house or a condo – despite spending several months looking. We lived in a small, relatively inexpensive partially furnished one bedroom apartment (and accordingly didn’t own much furniture). We didn’t buy a car. We walked places instead of taking transit. And we lived like we were students, not DINKS: we rarely went shopping; we rarely ate out; we rarely went drinking. We went to shows on $15 last minute tickets. Every once in awhile we would splurge on a nice dinner (and we still spent money on travel) but otherwise, we saved. And, because we were both lucky enough to have good salaries, soon we were able to quit our jobs and spend our time starting our own business(es).
But then a funny thing happened, my husband’s employer asked if he would stay on working remotely on a reduced work week (leaving him 60%+ of his time to work on figuring out what he wants to do with his life). He took them up on the offer. And today, we can live (modestly), and even save a little, off his salary and my anticipated photography income for the year.
And that, my friends, is how we made our decision to leave.
And “Why Buenos Aires?” everyone asks. Well, first off, it’s temporary. We’re going to be located in Vancouver for the summer wedding season – and we think we are going to make Vancouver our permanent home-base. But back to BsAs. We knew we wanted to spend this first three months somewhere overseas; we don’t need to be in Canada to read and learn and start. And well, BsAs is beautiful. It’s summer. We’ve been here before and done the tourist circuit, so there aren’t many distractions. Also, it’s close (relatively speaking) to Ushuaia the jumping off point for most Antarctic cruises.
So what was the single step that started this journey? Looking back, I think it was listening to that little voice in my head that was telling me something was missing. And the second step was saying it out loud. And here we are today.
As we were walking to dinner on our second night here, I realized that for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel like something was missing. Instead, I just felt happy.
So. Very. Happy.