HOW WE DID IT

First things first— I don’t love to read. And I really don’t love to read highly evolved, difficult to comprehend syntax. So my writing is hopefully clear and concise, but perhaps too elementary for highly evolved linguists. That’s how I like it. I hope you do too. 

 

Before we get started, I would like to give an abbreviated background on Anna’s and my relationship, especially for the benefit of our newcomers. 

 

My father and her mother were childhood friends. We’ve known each other our entire lives but didn’t really interact much. I saw her at a party in high school and thought she was the prettiest girl I had ever seen. And I did absolutely nothing about it. During the college and young adult years I always hoped to run into her when we were back home for holidays. Again, I didn’t do anything to make that happen.

 

Finally in 2012, social media informed me that Anna had moved from NYC to Austin, TX. This was my chance. I asked her to have a drink with me on Christmas night. At the end of the night, I knew I wanted to marry her. Second date was 27th December and third date was over New Year’s. At this point, we were both in love. She moved in with me in February 2013, we were engaged in August and married in May 2014. 

 

So here we are in Houston, TX. I am married to the girl I always wanted. Living in the house I always wanted. Swimming in the backyard pool that I always wanted. Driving the car I always wanted. I had everything I wanted. And, there were a few problems. 

 

1) Anna had moved from NYC to Austin (for about 2 months) and then to Houston. And when one moves from NYC to Houston, Houston can feel a bit too suburban. 

2) we wanted a lifestyle where we could spend the majority of our time together. My career did not allow for that and I was sensing it was time for a change. 

3) people were asking us about having babies and all we wanted to do was travel. 

 

Now, you should know something fundamental about us. We have both done a tremendous amount of personal development work on ourselves (credit to Landmark Worldwide). What that means, in short, is that we are pretty self-aware— meaning we know ourselves very well, we know how to peel back the layers and understand the human complexities, and most importantly, we know that “how it is” is not “how it has to be”.

 

It also means that we have a certain responsibility to create the life we want. It’s up to us to have life go the way we want, and we can’t really have it any other way.

 

So now what?  There are some things we are super-clear about:  1) we both want to travel around the world, the so-called gap year we never took. 2) I am ready for a change professionally. Not sure what yet but definitely ready for something different. 

 

Knowing these two super-clear things, we set about defining and executing a plan for me to leave my job so that we could travel the world. The plan was quite simple:  

1. continue to save using the tools we learned with our financial advisor

2. reduce overhead

3. increase our cash where possible

 

So we put in place a plan to:

a. sell our home (increase cash and reduce overhead)

b. sell our cars (increase cash and reduce overhead— no car payment, no insurance)

c. leave my job by year-end

 

If that sounds overly simplistic, then perhaps I’ve deliberately made it that way. Look, selling the house and cars was the easy bit. The hard part was convincing myself that I was ready to leave my job to travel the world. Except that remember, I am quite self-aware. And I knew that I was ready for something different. I had enjoyed a wonderful career during the 12 years with my company. I had grown professionally, contributed greatly to the organization, learned a hell of a lot along the way, and made great friends.

 

Yet, I knew it was time to make a change when opportunities arose and I was not particularly interested. I knew that I owed it to myself to complete on that terrific chapter of life and start on a new one. I knew I needed a life where I would always feel alive. I needed a life where I could travel, meet beautiful people, hear their stories and be touched by the experience. 

 

And now….we are off to do just that!  

 

Come along with us….in any way you like. Here's how:

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Go Play,

Derek