Yes, it’s true. Much to the dismay of concerned family members and confused bosses, we both got out of the 9-5 to see the world and create our own financial freedom.
Jarden quit his full-time job almost a year ago, doing side jobs here and there and building a couple companies of his own. He’s been out of the rat race for a while now.
As for me, it took a lot for me to finally pull the plug on my free health insurance and reliable income.
In all honesty, I hated working at the majority of my various jobs. It’s not the difficult work and long hours I despise, it’s the whole system itself. I can happily stare at a computer screen for 12 hours a day working on my blog, but it kills me to do it for even half the amount of time, working on things that I’m not passionate about.
I was tired of waking up at 6am, sitting in traffic for an hour, working repetitively for 9 hours, and then sitting in more traffic to get home by 6pm, exhausted and crying because I was too tired to do anything but sleep. I hated fulfilling the dreams of someone else while mine got put on the back burner. And I LOATHED having to debate on whether I was “sick enough” to call in to work. At one point I even decided that simultaneously throwing up and having the runs wouldn’t cut it because we were already short that particular day. TMI, but that was my reality.
Do you want to know the responses I received as I expressed how much I hated working? “No one likes to work, but we have to do it anyway”, and “That’s the way the world works.” It was depressing to say the least, and I just couldn’t accept it.
It was the beginning of 2014 when I discovered travel blogs. I found a community of people who didn’t follow the social norm, people who decided they wanted something different. I was 23 years old, with no real obligations holding me back, and yet I was miserable, seemingly going nowhere with my life. At my last job, a new employee’s vacation time was 3 days. Yes, you heard me, THREEEEEEE DAYYYYYSSS. Where the heck can a girl from Hawaii go with that?
I knew I had to make a change. At the time, even with 2 full-time incomes, we still were living paycheck to paycheck. I was mentally drained, getting sick all the time, living for the weekend and wishing for something more. (Jarden had similar feelings, which is why he got out of his FT job.) We both made a goal to work really hard, save up a ton, and eventually leave it all behind.
Jarden luckily found a new job (with higher pay!) and some extra part-time work. We wanted to save up a bunch, and we both busted our butts for it. Yes there was a lot of changes and uncertainty. I was constantly filled with worry, anxiety, and doubt, but I was also full of hope, and I never lost sight of my end goal. More opportunities came, things slowly fell into place, our savings eventually grew, and I continued to work full-time until early September 2015, leaving my job a year earlier than expected.
Quitting your job is hard, but the whole time leading up to it is hard too. I questioned myself daily. It was scary and rocky, and it honestly still is. We didn’t have kids, but we had a mortgage, and car payments, and countless other bills. It’s tough and wasn’t an easy decision to make, but the risk was worth the reward for us. I definitely know I’ve never been happier than I am now. I now have the freedom to work on my own creative projects from home. My husband was able to start up his own company, and we both are able to travel anywhere, at any time, without having to get permission from a boss first.
Are things uncertain? Definitely. Our financial situation could change at any time, and I have no idea what the future holds, but that’s all the more reason to get out there and live out our dreams. Who knows, I may have to go back to a full-time job in 3 months, or 3 years, or maybe (hopefully!) never, but we refused to sit back and wait for the perfect moment to see the world.
I’ve learned that there is no perfect moment for anything in life. There will always be a reason not to take a chance. But, if you really don’t like the situation you’re in, you’ll try and find a way to change it. Yes, sometimes I question my decisions, but even if it all goes horrible, I could always get another job. Sometimes people act like I gave up my one opportunity to work for the rest of my life. Newsflash: IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Just because it’s unconventional, doesn’t mean it’s horrible and wrong.
We are happy with our choices, because we know we won’t always be able to travel like how we are now. I’m currently writing this in an Airbnb in Sydney, Australia, after a day of sightseeing at one of the most famous landmarks on earth. My husband is by my side, some of my best friends are in the other room next door, and the next 15 days are full of complete, liberating freedom, with blue and pink unicorn hair to seal the deal. (Because no job dress code has ever allowed it before!)
No matter what happens, I know I won’t regret going after my dream, and I definitely won’t regret traveling to different countries that I probably wouldn’t have seen if I didn’t quit my job. I’m ready to enjoy the ride, whatever challenges it may bring. The time is now.
“Maybe it won’t work out, but maybe seeing if it does will be the best adventure yet.”