Supporting a Career Break Dream
A Career Break Three Years in the Making
I’ve followed a very traditional career path. I graduated college and spent a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer before landing my first job in 2004. I moved across the country and settled in Portland, Oregon where I began climbing the ladder in my field. In 2006 I changed employers. In 2008 I changed again. With each new job I acquired a larger salary and more impressive title.
In March of 2008 my husband Brian and I were hiking in the Oregon backcountry. It had been a long, gray, Pacific Northwest winter and we were feeling disillusioned and unsatisfied. As we hiked we discussed a big, looming life question “Isn’t there more to life than this?”
I had become increasingly disillusioned with my job. I longed for freedom and creativity and adventure. I was making more money than I ever had before but I had no control over my own time.
I had always dreamed of traveling the world but never had the means to do it. As we hiked I slowly realized that if Brian and I were diligent about saving money we could use that money to travel long-term. In the middle of the Oregon forest I posed two questions to Brian:
“Why are we working like this if we aren’t happy? What if we quit our jobs and traveled the world?”
It took two years for that initial conversation to turn into a real plan. During those two years I realized that fulfilling my desire to travel was more than just a crazy idea, it was a critical part of who I longed to become.
I had to approach the topic with Brian again and this time it wasn’t just a philosophical “what if?” I wondered, what will Brian think? And I also wondered, what will I do if Brian says no?
It took some time but in the end Brian was supportive of my dream. He wrote a post about his experience called Coming to Terms with Life Change. We are now planning and saving towards long-term travel and we hope to leave on our adventure sometime in early 2012.
When Brian and I were married we vowed that we would support each other’s dreams. We had no idea that my dream would lead our lives in this direction. I’m grateful that Brian chose to support my dream and I hope that someday I can support his dream too.
Above all else, I hope that the experience of traveling the world will open new doors for us and introduce us to opportunities we would not have otherwise. I hope that traveling the world will allow us to build new dreams together.