About going home and what’s next

(This article is part of a series called:  Checking in at 12 months.)

Our odyssey around the world began when I asked myself a simple question:  How do I want to spend the next 15 years of my life?  In even more basic terms:  What’s next?  Did I want to maintain the status quo?  Deep down, I knew the answer was ‘No’, but I didn’t know exactly what else I wanted to do.  Rather than wait around for the answer, I decided to follow a dream I have carried in my heart ever since my children were born – to travel and see the world.  This wasn’t the answer to what will come next, but as I saw it, this was a way to step out of my old life, to break free if you will, from all that might be holding me back from realizing what could come next.

While walking the Camino de Santiago, an idea began to percolate.  It wasn’t a new idea but up until that point it had been vague.  After talking to a variety of people of different ages and backgrounds, this idea began to take a more defined shape until one day I was inspired to take my career in a new, but related direction.  I got really excited about this idea.  So excited in fact that for the first time I considered going home, right then and there.  Instead of packing my bags, I let the idea settle and the emotions run their course.  Over the following months I did research into MBA and eMBA programs that could help me achieve my goals.  One program resonated with me and I felt my future was clear.  Of course I would have to get my company to support my goals, and get accepted into the program – minor obstacles in my mind.

But then doubts crept in.  These were not based on fear or feelings of inadequacy or a fear of failure.  I was quite confident that if I really wanted this, I could achieve it.  The doubts were about whether or not I wanted the lifestyle that accompanied this type of career.  Back to the 9-5 grind, dealing with traffic, cubicles, hating Mondays, etc.  You see something strange has happened to me while travelling.  I have blossomed in this nomadic lifestyle.  People say I look younger, I smile a lot more, I feel happy and content. I am discovering a part of me that has been hidden – the carefree, spontaneous, unscheduled me.  I know I can’t travel forever and eventually I do have to earn a living again.  But I am now questioning what kind of lifestyle I want to have.  The picture that is formulating in my mind looks very different from the life I left behind.  It’s still fuzzy around the edges, but I’m confident it will become clearer with time.

While I was contemplating how I could redesign my life, the unthinkable happened.  My employer advised me that my sabbatical would not be extended.  I was given the choice to return to work or resign.  I chose the latter.  How did I react to this?  Once I got over the initial surprise that I was now unemployed, I felt tremendous relief.  I felt the last tie that was connecting me to my old life was now broken.  I have broken free completely.  I am completely free.  And it feels wonderful.  Well, a little scary too, but mostly wonderful.  Now, I really can redesign my life with no ties to the past…….except for one major obstacle:  my husband.  I’ll share my thoughts on that in the section: About our relationship.

Now I am thinking about what I want my new lifestyle to look like, and then how can I earn income to support it.  Location independent income appeals to me and really does seem to be the answer but I am somewhat baffled as to how to do it.  I have a few ideas and I will explore some of these in the coming months.  One thing is for sure, the life ahead looks full of promise and adventure even though I don’t have all the details figured out.

 

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4 Responses
  1. Jurgen Portz says:

    Christina,

    Thanks for sharing your 12 month update. I love seeing your posts and insights and wish both you and Chris a fabulous next 6 months. You guys are right to avoid the upcoming Canadian winter!

    Cheers,

    Jurgen

  2. Angus says:

    A change would be good for me too and I would love to find something that combines income with a passion but so far no luck and we’re pretty much stuck here in Ottawa for a number of reasons.

    I think you and Chris could write travel books or turn your blogging into something that generates revenue and gets you free accomodations and perks.

    • christina says:

      I would love to figure out how to combine travel with earning income through writing and photography. When we’re taking a break in Thailand, we’ll start exploring some ideas we have.

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