Two suitcases and a one way plane ticket.
As I stood in the empty living room of my once comfortably furnished luxury apartment in San Francisco,’I wondered how I got here. All of the material things were gone –the car, the furniture, the clothing, the shoes. The apartment was the last thing to go. The scant remainder of everything I owned was now
safely stored in an unused closet in my parents home or in one of my suitcases.
And I couldn’t have been happier.
“Here is where the luster of life really begins.” I thought. I didn’t know how right I was.
My background is in health care. I worked for two years at the National Cancer Institute, but found Public Health to be unfulfilling. I moved to California. I was a young professional with a promising career in a large healthcare organization in San Francisco.
Great job, fantastic city, six weeks of paid vacation every year. I was living my own version of the American Dream.
My change started in 2006. In the middle of a lengthy business meeting a voice said, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” I jumped. The voice was so loud and clear, it was as if the person sitting next to me had said the words. I looked for the source of the voice and quickly realized that I was said these words to
myself. The message was clear. I asked myself if I didn’t want to do this anymore, what did I want to do?
My question was met with silence.
I went though my own process of exploration and change and through the many dead ends, u-turns, thrills, failures, and bouts of self-discovery I carved a new life pathway for myself. It involved four years, quitting a job that was financially rewarding, but spiritually unfulfilling, selling everything, moving abroad, and embarking on a new career. I am several years into this international journey. I have never regretted my decisions.
I have lived in and traveled to several countries, met wonderful and interesting people, spoken foreign languages, and managed to financially and emotionally support myself through it all. Most important, I managed to find career nirvana – well, I’m on my way to finding career nirvana.
This is my story of how – at the ripe old age of 30 I gave up everything and started anew abroad. I’ve encountered so many people who say, “That’s wonderful, I wanted to do that, but I could never find the courage.”
Well I’m nothing special. No more courageous than anyone else. I took a very tall leap off of a very short platform and lived to blog about it.
I’ve been there and done that myself. I am finding my own way to the other side. This is my story.