It’s official – I’ve joined the ranks of the thousands of millennials who have quit their jobs to travel the world.
You might think I’m beside myself with excitement, and in a way I am. I’ve just finished up my last work contract and bowed out of the world of producing reality TV indefinitely. In 13 days, I leave for Mexico City to begin a life of full-time travel. I’m ecstatic!
But this is also a bittersweet feeling.
I’ve just turned 30. I spent most of my 20s building an immensely rewarding career as a reality TV producer. Saying goodbye has been much harder than I expected.
In the past 8 years, I traveled all over the country. I worked alongside creative maniacs that would become my best friends. I met and interviewed fascinating (and many times bizarre) humans from all over the planet. I helped make some pretty funny (and sometimes inspiring) TV. I even made a few appearances of my own. I moved up the ranks and lived an unconventional and exciting life.
I worked on average more than 60 hours a week on a dozen different shows, endlessly striving for that perfect location/shot/sound byte/cut to tell the story the best way possible. This career challenged me mentally, physically, and emotionally every single day. It was often difficult, at times excruciatingly so, and I had more than one occasion of burnout.
But I’m grateful for the opportunities for growth it forced on me. I may have had my complaints, but deep down I loved the challenge. If I’d chosen a more traditional path, I wouldn’t be half as strong, confident, intuitive, or resourceful as I am today.
But now, I’m stepping out onto an unfamiliar path. I’m leaping into the unknown. I’m taking on a brand new challenge – starting from scratch as a freelance writer, blogger, videographer, and digital nomad.
This is the dream: To become a full-time traveler and adventure seeker. I want to work for myself and live an unconventional life of my creation. I want to embrace personal growth. No, I want to challenge the hell out of myself. I want to create content that inspires other people to get out there and enjoy the amazing things this world has to offer. And I want to make enough money to keep doing it, forever.
I’m terrified to start over in an arena where no one knows me and I have little to no credibility. But I also remember that just over 8 years ago, I was a shrimpy intern for a TV network, terrified to answer the phone, terrified to look the executives in the eyes, terrified to screw up. It took time and a lot of screwing up to figure out how to be successful in a competitive field, but I did it. There is no reason I can’t do that again, right? (Gulp.)
This does mean I’m going to screw up a lot in the next few years, and I’m prepared for that. That’s how you master any skill. Knowing there’s a lot of failure lurking ahead makes me feel like puking a little bit. But after having been through a trial by fire once before, I feel confident that I’ll get through it.
This is a risk, but it’s a calculated one. When I decided to take this leap over a year ago, I sold most of my possessions and started saving my money. I have enough to get me through 15 months of not making a single cent. If by the end of that 15 months I haven’t made any headway or decide I hate the idea of working for myself, I will be 100% happy to come back to LA and resume my career in TV. That’s a pretty solid safety net.
And even if that happens, I can at least say that I tried. I tried something that few people have the guts to do. I went after my dream with every single fiber of my being and gave it a fair shot.
From Mexico City, I’m off for 3 months of backpacking in Central America. After that I’ll be home in Texas for the holidays, and then I have a one way ticket to Thailand on Christmas Day. I have no idea what the next year holds for me, but the unknown is the most exciting (and terrifying) part.
Hey life! I’m ready for some adventure. Let’s do this.
Are you interested in joining me? Or the real question – are you ready to laugh at me screw up as I figure out what the hell I’m doing here?
SIGN UP HERE FOR MY MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
* indicates required
Have you ever taken a leap with the faith that a net will appear? How did it turn out for you?