Why I’m quitting my job to travel

by Kim on January 11, 2012 · 128 comments

A real life picture of my cubicle

Why I’m quitting my job to travel

I started this post months ago after I was asked a simple question in two different situations. First, by the founder of BootsnAll in preparation for the 2011 Meet, Plan, Go event and then by Alexis Grant when I was interviewed for her guide on career breaks.

The question was simple but the answer is incredibly complex.

The question was why?  Why travel?  And why give it all up just to scratch the itch?

In my various attempts to respond to the question (I’ve been asked a hundred more times since those first initial queries) I usually end up providing an answer like this:

Because I just kept wondering is this it?  

That answer is the truth, but it’s just the tiny piece of truth that pokes out of the surface. The mass of the truth lies below in the deep waters.  That’s the part I’m trying to explain today.  

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In the first draft of this post I wrote that I didn’t always have this desire for more.  But that’s not the truth.  The truth is that this desire has always lived inside of me, as far back as I can remember.  But it would sometimes go dormant for months at a time and that made it easy to ignore or dismiss when it did rise to the surface.  

And so the trajectory of my life went like this: I was a child, a dreamer, headstrong and hard to please. Then I was a teenager, both wild and cautious, waiting for life to begin.  Then a college student, free and idealistic, and my future was wide open. I could feel the edge of it, my legs dangling over, the possibility of it all.

Then, suddenly, I was an adult with a career that I hadn’t even been looking for. Deep down I knew that this was not the same kind of possibility that I had felt for myself as a college student, this was not the more that I dreamed of as a child.  

Yet pursuing my career was thrilling, for awhile, the act of proving myself to myself.  The act of becoming independent, of earning real money, of striking out on my own and surviving.  I was proud of myself.  But deep inside there lived a hollow space where the truth lived.  The truth knew that I had traded in my potential, my desire for more,  for the traditional model of success.

In almost no time I was financially stable.  Then I was married, owned a home.  I’d secured a good job making more money than I had ever dreamed of making in my field.  I’d caught up to the carrot at the end of the stick and taken a big, whomping bite.

That was when I realized that the carrot at the end of the stick didn’t fill me up the way I had assumed it would, the way I assumed it filled everyone up.  Because, see, while I knew that I had traded in whatever special possibility I had felt for myself when I was younger, I also wholeheartedly believed that reaching that carrot would fill me up.  I thought it would be enough.  And by this time I had convinced myself that enough was all I could really hope for, that I should be happy and grateful to get it.  Who was I to want more?

Life began to feel very empty.  Not that it wasn’t nice: dinners with friends, fun trips, nice clothes.  It was a full life with good people around me.  But I couldn’t shake the feeling: shouldn’t there be more?

I knew that the thing tugging inside of me was a yearning to reach my potential, to unlock something that wanted to be set free.  I realized that in the years I had been chasing the carrot on the stick I had turned my back on myself.  I’d given up the more.  I’d lost my sense of possibility.

I don’t really even know what the more is. All I know is that more has something to do with traveling and writing. I know it has something to do with stepping away from my cubicle and my dictated schedule and living. It has something to do with expanding the orb that my life rotates in. The more, it is a physical desire, a yearning, the way others must yearn for a child or for someone who is gone.

So I decided to chase the more, because I realized that it was really the only authentic decision.  And then, of course, as I have documented in this blog, came all of the emotional turmoil. The fear, the questioning, the letting go of physical things. The stress, the joy, the exhilaration, the sadness and sometimes even the longing to want what everyone else seems to want.  The longing to be content with the kind of life that I was living and the anger at myself for not wanting it.  The anger for making things harder on myself.  The guilt for dragging Brian through the mud with me.

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A lot of people think of our upcoming travels as a vacation and so their minds quickly conjure up easy days on the beach and carefree evenings roaming through ancient, romantic cities. What they don’t understand is that this is a quest to find what it is I seek. It is a quest to calm this thing inside for more, the thing that makes me burn the candle at both ends, that makes me push and push and push, the relentless and endless desire to find satisfaction with myself and what I will do with my life. My one life.  Can anyone really understand the implication of that sentence?  One life.  Just one. Why aren’t we all running like we are on fire towards our wildest dreams?

Brian, who knows me better than anyone, says that I will never be content. But I don’t know if he’s right. I can almost envision a life in which I would be content.  First of all, it is a life in which I am a writer.  Second of all, it is a life in which I am around nature, living in the mountains where I can easily hike or run in the forest. Third of all, it is a life in which I have close connections to people. When it gets down to it, that is all I really want.

But I feel like I cannot find those things until we do this traveling.  I can only explain that this traveling feels like an integral part of the journey on my path to finding more.

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And this leads me back to where I started.  How to answer why when there is no logical, sensible answer.  Why?  Because my soul tells me to.  Why? Because I just believe that this is the right step.

Maybe after all of that this explains it best:

Brian said once, as I voiced my frustration at trying to explain the unexplainable “Kim, why do birds migrate? They can’t explain why, they just do. They’re overcome with an urge to go a certain way and they get where they need to go because of it.”   

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{ 108 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin M January 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Beautifully written as always. :)

You have a skill for putting into words what I, and I have no doubts, many others, feel about this longing to just GO.

My plans for the near-future have changed from where I thought I would be right now. I’ve (slowly) been learning that I shouldn’t try planning everything out and just let life do what it’s going to do. In re-arranging plans for the next few years, I’ve realized I want travel to be a major priority, so travel bloggers such as yourself continue to serve as inspiration and proof I can do just that.

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Kim January 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Thanks Kristin :) I certainly know a thing or two about things changing. It’s true that we can’t control everything in life but I think if we keep out end-goal in mind we will get there. It’s that long and windy road thing. I have no doubt you will travel wherever you dream!

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Eliza January 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Kim,
I’m ashamed to admit I have not been following your blog this past year… Please accept my apology and know that I’ll be checking in regularly now.

This is incredible! You are a gifted writer and I’m SO grateful you are my friend. Thank you for your inspiration, enthusiasm and brilliant blogging! This post has reinforced my own desire to discover my gifts and dreams and to pursue them with wild abandon. I’m keeping this quote from you near as I begin my adventures and exploration.

“One life. Just one. Why aren’t we all running like we are on fire towards our wildest dreams?”

Thank you so much! I’m so excited to witness your journey.

Much love,
Eliza

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Kim January 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Hi Eliza :)

You do not need to be ashamed that you weren’t reading the blog but I am happy to know that you are reading now :) Thank you so much for your kind words and your friendship. You, too, are an inspiration. I’ve actually started a blog post about us which I hope to finish eventually. We have both come so far.

XO

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Ed December 18, 2013 at 7:33 pm

ONE LIFE. JUST ONE. Why aren’t we all running like we are on fire towards our wildest dreams? So many people (voluminous of them) are really running like fire to chase their dreams. A challenge to the children of the light.

And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. (Luke 16:8)

Hi kim.. i read your blogs just today. I had spent more than 2 hours browsing on your works and they seem endless. So hard to catch up. As I read.. it just inspired me to comment in such a fashion. Something in my heart was hit by your tagline. :)

I hope when i switch channel (like on TV) i could return to your program.
So far all the articles i’ve read were great.
Thanks.
Ed

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Kim December 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Thank you Ed, I’m so glad that you are enjoying the blog. It’s three years old so I’ve definitely written a lot in that time!

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Machelle January 11, 2012 at 7:56 pm

That was beautiful. I can relate to this post so much. I have always had a longing to see new things and experience life further than the boundaries of the town I live in. One day I will see the places I want to see. Good luck on your journey, even if you are never content, this world is huge and you have all the time to find it.

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Kim January 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Ah, thank you Machelle. I understand that longing to experience life further than the boundaries of the town you live in. It’s strange that it took me moving across the country to really pinpoint the feeling I always had that I didn’t quite fit in there.

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Jason January 11, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I have been a cube dweller in the same “industry” as you for 11 years now. Just say no to cubicles and never return! It sucks away your life force and makes you bitter. All of my co-workers that have been there longer than me are some of the most bitter people I have ever met. But at least you have a better view than me!

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Kim January 11, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Not gonna lie, my view is great, but I’d rather be outside!! Yes, I have come to the realization that no matter what happens in the future I am going to do my best not to end up back in a cubicle. I’m just not happy in a cubicle and I can’t imagine how I ever would be.

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Brian January 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Wonderfully written Kim.

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Kim January 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Thanks Brian :)

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Lisa January 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm

I wish you blessings and fun throughout this journey. I love your statement, my soul told me.

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Kim January 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Thanks for your kind words Lisa.

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Jana January 11, 2012 at 11:58 pm

I’ve been following your blog for some time now, but I think this is my first time commenting. First of all, you really have a way with words! This post is beautifully written.

I can identify a lot with your feelings. But I honestly think the most important things in life are the things that have no logic to them. The things we just feel compelled to do, even though there might not be any practical reason. I also think that this feeling of wanting “more” is what it means to be alive. Even after you make your dream come true, after a while you might find yourself once again feeling restless and ready to pursue a new adventure. But like you said, we only have one life and we never know when it’s going to end. I totally agree that everyone should be on fire running after their dreams, whatever those dreams happen to be at the moment. =)

I’m excited to see you start your journey!

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Hi Jana, thanks for commenting and for your insight. There is a quote, somewhere, about how logic destroys good ideas… or something along those lines, I’m totally butchering it. But I think that, as you say, some of the biggest things make no sense and can’t be explained, and yet there they are day after day tapping you on the shoulder anyway.

Also, I think that you are right about once I reach this “more” I’ll probably get restless for a new “more.” It’s a blessing and a curse, I think, something that I both love about myself and wish I could quell sometimes. But the driving desire I have to experience LIFE in big, capital letters, I would never wish that away :)

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Torre – Fearful Adventurer January 12, 2012 at 12:02 am

Love. Love. Love.

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Thanks Torre lady!

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Annching - Avery By Wang January 12, 2012 at 12:10 am

Wow – I am in love with this post, especially that last line. It resonates so much with me: Why do birds migrate? They can’t explain why, they just do. They’re overcome with an urge to go a certain way and they get where they need to go because of it.

Some things can’t really be explained – some things, as strange as it is for a lot of people to understand, are intrinsically in us, rather than created externally by others – but that doesn’t mean that they are any less worthwhile or possible.

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Yes, yes, yes. I think we all have things that are intrinsically in us. I was reading something about someone (I have the worst memory EVER) who said that they believed that everyone has an internal compass and the purpose of life is to uncover it and then follow where it leads. An interesting thought.

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Allison January 12, 2012 at 4:18 am

This is beautifully written!

Less than a month ago, I left the safety of my salary, my legal career (that took years and years of education and being a junior lawyer) to be self-employed full time. Since it is the “low season” for weddings in North America, I decided to spend the next three months working on my businesses from a beautiful little apartment in Buenos Aires.

That feeling of “there must be something more” that I’ve also had most of my life, well as I was walking to dinner yesterday evening, I realized it was gone. Instead I felt fulfilled, and so very happy.

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Allison, wow!! You have an amazing story. And what a great relief to hear that your feeling for something more has been recognized. Good for you for being brave and taking a risk. :)

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Hannah January 12, 2012 at 4:31 am

“Why aren’t we all running like we are on fire towards our wildest dreams?”

Kim, I love everything you write. Your words are so beautifully resonant and I always feel as though I could have written them myself – or rather I wish I had!

I feel exactly the some way about this, and predict I will be forever chasing the elusive ‘more’. I have realised though that it will be a continuous journey I don’t actually want to end, as I hope to always have a dream to chase and a passion that sets my soul on fire as much as travel does.

Like you, I feel the flames at my feet and am continually running towards my dreams. And you’re a marathon runner, so if anyone can keep running, you can my friend xxx

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Hannah, I know that you have the same internal burning, I could sense it from the time I started reading your blog. Thanks for your wonderfully kind words and your support. It’s funny because ever since I started this blog and I’ve begun to feel like the world is full of people that are running towards their dreams. It’s such an amazing thing to connect with people from all over that are fighting the good fight.

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Matt January 12, 2012 at 5:24 am

Great Post. I am excited for you!

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Thank you Matt. I am so so so so soooooo ridiculously excited!!

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Carmel January 12, 2012 at 7:09 am

I used to have a blog called “Trapped in my cubicle”, so I can obviously relate to wanting to get out. :)

Seriously though, when you’re out on the road and tired/frustrated/homesick wanting to cry (or already crying), come back to this post, read what you said want and realize that you’re probably doing exactly that. Because it’s not a vacation, as some people believe, it’s going to be hard at times, but change is hard. And ultimately you’ll be so much better off for it. Even on my little 10-week backpacking trip, there were times I wanted to give up and run to my family’s in Spain and just stay there, but I’m glad I didn’t. I came out of that trip so much more confident and comfortable with myself. Unfortunately I lost some of that confidence upon my return and my 2 months of job searching for a crappy admin position, but I know it’s still there. It’s part of what’s nagging me to get back out there and do it again. When you’re truly listening to your heart, you can’t go wrong.

Now, how about that run soon??

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Carmel! About a year before I started this blog I started one called “life without a desk.” I never told anyone about that one and it eventually faded away…

I will follow your advice and read this blog when I begin to loose my nerve or am having a bad day on the road. Part of the reason I started writing so early was because I wanted to remember all of the hard work it took to get here and to capture the DESIRE that I have to do this. I didn’t want to start traveling and quickly forget how much it means, you know? So thank you for reminding me of that.

We can do that run anytime, just say the word!

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Jaclyn January 12, 2012 at 7:25 am

Kim,
You expressed my feelings perfectly! It was as if you were in my mind explaining to me how I felt!
You explained the unexplainable to me. Your writing is beautiful.

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Hi Jaclyn,

Thank you. The highest compliment I can receive is that I have expressed feelings in a way that resonates, so thank you. Kind words like yours honestly keep me going sometimes.

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Sarah January 12, 2012 at 7:27 am

Kim, I beg you, no wait, implore you to write more about things like this that scare you, or confuse you, because when you do, your words bring with them such truth and beauty that the world is better for it. You are already tapping into your true potential, just keep going :)

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Ahhh, Sarah, thank you so much! These are the things that I enjoy writing most but are also scared and worried to write. I’m always so afraid they will be received the wrong way.

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Charles McCool January 12, 2012 at 7:36 am

Follow your soul, it always knows. Best wishes!

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm

That is the damn truth!

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Miruna January 12, 2012 at 8:16 am

Great post!
You have to have a lot of courage to follow your dreams and I admire you for that. I am between two roads right now and I’m still undecided but I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Good for you!
Regards,
Miruna

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Thanks Miruna, and best wishes to you as you decide which path to choose. I definitely understand what a complicated time it can be.

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Sunee January 12, 2012 at 8:32 am

I love this post, Kim! I can so relate to what you’re saying and I love Brian’s comparison. And you’re right, with only this one life, why *aren’t* we all rushing towards our dreams? Food for thought.

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Yes, when you really sit down and think about it it seems insane that we aren’t all just running wild towards what makes us alive. How easily we ignore what is right in front of us.

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Dalene January 12, 2012 at 8:44 am

Nearly everything I read about you getting ready for your journey makes me want to scream: “Oh YEAH, me too!” It’s eerie. You are in my brain. Well, my brain before starting travel. :) But everything you say still rings so very true. And just the other day, while Pete and I were on a 5-day technology detox, I started penning a “why we travel” post because I never have. And now I don’t have to finish it! You wrote it for me. :)

(Even your vision for a contented life – that is mine too. EERINESS!)

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Dalene! Thank you, and I can’t wait to read that post about why you travel. Watching you is like looking into the future (at least, I like it think so… if we are so lucky!)

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Christine January 12, 2012 at 9:29 am

“One life. Just one. Why aren’t we all running like we are on fire towards our wildest dreams?”

Absolutely amazing way to look at life! I am going to reflect on this thought as I contemplate my future path! Good luck to you and Brian in your path.

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Thanks Christine. I hope your future path leads you exactly where you need to go.

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Rhonda January 12, 2012 at 10:48 am

Great post Kim. After a few tries you really eloquently put into words what you’re searching for…even while not knowing what you’re really searching for!
I understand exactly how you feel and that is why we’re leaving again. Not because we have a bad life now because we don’t…but because we want our life to be more than ordinary. We want to experience everything and everywhere and meet people from all parts of the world in all walks of life and feel as though we didn’t just live according to the status quo.
What some of us dream of isn’t for everyone and that is ok. That is what makes this ONE life we have ours…to follow our dreams.
It’s interesting how you did pinpoint the 3 things that are really important to you and that may be the key to finding your “more”.
Good luck and enjoy the journey!

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Rhonda, thanks! It’s so weird but while I can’t exactly explain or point to what I am looking for I can so totally FEEL it. It exists, just not in any kind of way that I can explain. That sounds crazy!! But I feel it inside of me, simple as that.

I love what you say about all of us have our own individual dreams and that’s what makes our life OURS. It’s so true. We can only live authentically as ourselves. What we want may make no sense to anyone else but it doesn’t have to because they are OUR dreams, not theirs.

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Jennie Day-Burget January 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm

So, I have to ask the question I’d ask any of my clients setting off in a new direction… ‘how do you measure success?’

Or, is success, in this case, unmeasurable and if so, how will you know when the itch has been scratched?

JDB

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Good question JDB and I don’t 100% know the answer. I think that part of the measure of success will be having those three things that I know are a crucial part of a happy life for me. But more than that I just think that I will know when the itch has been scratched, it’s a feeling thing, and scratching it might not look like anything I would imagine it to look like. I guess this whole thing for me has been that I don’t know what the end looks like. All I’ve ever been able to see is the next step. It’s like I keep stepping and the next step keeps appearing but that’s about as much as I know about it, except for that constant feeling I have inside. I know it sounds a little wacky, but it’s the truth.

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Nicolás Tapia January 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Kim… perhaps it’s better to live with no goals now. You’re living the dream of thousands, which is be completely free to travel and get to know new cultures and experiences. Just live with no goals and no expectations, enjoy every new thing as a new reached goal and probably you won’t feel empty anymore. We always dream with the perfect house, the perfect love, the perfect life… but once we get there, we dream with something else… make that “else” from simply tasting a new kind of food, a bus ride in a new place or a meeting new people.

Enjoy it.

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Kim January 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I love this. It is about living in the moment. Thanks for this advice.

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jade January 13, 2012 at 1:47 am

Congrats and good luck and woo hoo!!!

While I am not positive… I’m pretty sure no one who has traveled the world regretted a single day! Happy exploring!

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Kim January 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Jade, I haven’t found anyone yet who regretted it!

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Deborah January 13, 2012 at 9:56 am

Kim, I recognize the irony of this, but the truth is that this post moves me so deeply that I can’t even begin to explain it.

I love what Brian says. What a perfect ending to this post, literally and figuratively.

Thank you so much for sharing this personal journey with all of us.

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Kim January 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Deb, it is so rewarding for me to hear that, thank you so much. It has been a pleasure sharing the journey, that’s for sure.

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Ashley Lenzen January 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Brilliant post! You’ve managed to say everything I haven’t been able to put into words when people ask me why I’m doing what I’m doing, including the initial anger at myself for not being satisfied with my life before and the desire to reclaim the sense of possibility. I love the way you have with words and I can’t wait to follow your journey!

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Kim January 14, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Hi Ashley, thank you!! It took a lot of writing and rewriting until I finally felt like I had explained it… and even then there are still things I can’t put into words.

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Bex January 15, 2012 at 2:27 am

So true! You have to be true to yourself – no matter how ‘happy’ you are on the tip of the iceberg, unless you deal with the massive depths and delve deep – you’ll never truly be happy until you’ve faced up to the ‘truth’ and sated it. And it might never be sated – your happiness might be in being on the road for a long time to come – and that’s fantastic.
Too many people feel they have to fit societal ‘norms’ – I’m glad you’ve broken the mould.
If/when you get to Greece – get in touch!

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Kim January 15, 2012 at 8:48 am

Thanks Bex. Yeah, it will be interesting to see what or when my desire is sated. It’s a journey, for sure, but I have never regretted taking it!

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TamarP January 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm

This came at a perfect time for me. I made the decision to move overseas, quite my (secure and well paying) job to search for something “more”. All I know is that I am not fulfilled where I am…but now I am second guessing myself. Is this the right decision? Will I regret it? What if things go wrong? Reading this reminds me that I am on the right track. Thank you for such a beautifully written piece. I can’t wait to read the others :)

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Kim January 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Thank you so much and congratulations on your bravery. There is so much fear and questioning that comes along with making these big decisions- it’s a normal part of the process, I think. It’s the time where we get to prove to the universe how badly we want it! Stay strong and hugs to you :)

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brian January 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm

What a great post! I threw it all into the wind in may…trust me, you never know what to expect and it feels fantastic. Best of luck, I look forward to reading your future adventures!

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Kim January 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I am soooo looking forward to learning these things when we travel. Congrats on throwing it all into the wind, looks like you aren’t regretting a second of it :)

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tunimaal January 15, 2012 at 6:44 pm

I like the last sentence, what Brian said. It’s definitly true. Who really knows why they want to travel that much. Great article and good luck for everything

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Kim January 15, 2012 at 11:06 pm

It really is unexplainable. Thanks for your well wishes.

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Rain January 16, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Wow! I have to admire your courage. I love to travel and write. I hope someday that I could completely stop working full-time to focus on traveling, it just seems so difficult when one considers the resources one needs to travel. Good luck to both of you!

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Kim January 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Hi :) Yes, it takes a lot of resources. We have been saving for a really, really, REALLY long time and have no idea how it all will go when we are on the road, but we are very excited to find out. Good luck to you too :)

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Therese January 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm

YES- love the migration quote.

So proud of you for trusting that voice within you and for following it… wherever it may lead :)

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?”

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Kim January 16, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I love love love Mary Oliver. That’s a favorite stanza of hers. Another one I love: When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. Damn, she’s fantastic.

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Harrison January 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Congrats and good luck on your RTW travels!

What’s funny is that I traveled to Portland, and love it there. That’s actually one place I could see myself living if I decided to stay long-term within the US.

And the sportswear industry is big out there as well, which fits along with my career goals. But like you, I love, love to travel … so I’m still in the conflicted mode of how to do both :)

Again, look forward to following your journeys!

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Kim January 16, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Hi Harrison. Portland is AMAZING!!! We love, love, LOVE it here and would definitely be happy to come back here after we travel. But travel is calling to us now…

Lots of great sportswear industry as you say: Nike, of course, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, etc. Pretty great.

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Tours of Italy January 18, 2012 at 6:56 am

Hi,
You are the best writer who gives largest information to us. thanks for keeping us updated..

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andrea January 20, 2012 at 3:25 am

Kim, great blog post! It was if you were inside my head and writing my words in regards to being content as a writer, living in nature and close connections. This is what I so desire and I’m working way towards exiting the cubicle life for 2012. I agree life is meant to live consciously and authentically. Not according what everyone thinks we should do.

Best of luck in your endeavors and happy travels. You’re an inspiration.

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Kim January 20, 2012 at 9:59 am

Hi Andrea and thank you :) Congrats on leaving the cubicle in 2012- looks like we’ll be making our grand escape around the same time. There is a quote I always remember which goes something like this “The secret to getting what you want is to decide what you want.” We are lucky to know what we want and, I feel, obligated to take that blessing and run with it. Best of luck to you :)

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Linda Benton February 27, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Hi Kim,

As a fellow traveller and soul-searcher, reading your blog was a delight. I too felt the same things you describe so eloquently.

Back in 2009 my hubby & I left well paid, exciting careers to explore the world and fill that ‘missing puzzle piece’. Travelling the world opened our hearts and brought so much inspiration and fulfilment to our lives that we wrote a book about it – hoping others would also be inspired to follow their dreams for a bigger life.

I hope you too find what you are searching for on your travels – & I look forward to hearing your stories.

Best wishes for an amazing adventure.

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Kim February 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Hi Linda,

Thank you so much for your kind comment. I love hearing from others that have been in our position before. Thanks for your support!

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AnnieGirl May 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

Run Forest Run!!!

As you know I/we get it in the Knecht/Bangert household. I am just proud of you for doing it sooner than I/we did. Now I have the opportunity to do it with 12 year old twins and my husband for twice the price! ;-)

The picture of your cubicle mad my skin crawl! You will be very happy on the road and will love the magic that is going to happen!

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Kim May 14, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Yes, but such an amazing opportunity for your kids. More money, true, but experiences that are worth the price!

Let me tell you, I’m not missing that cubicle for one second ;)

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Klaus Kommoss May 23, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Like probably many visitors to this site I find it so interesting and, in fact, deeply moving how you try to explain what motivates you to break away, to break the rules, and take the leap into the unknown. I’m one of those who has done the very same thing you are doing and lived a most wonderful life ever since. For me the final stage of this life-changing move took shape already 25 years ago. In a way I would love to tell you more about it, however, my first advice is, don’t listen too much to advice. You are doing something profoundly healthy. Trust this inner voice. The solution is not out there as you already sense, it’s inside. I’m a writer too, keep nailing it down in words. Don’t be surprised when it changes over time. Questions transform into language and words, answers are wordless. When you really understand a question you have the answer. I wish you so much luck. It may be a bit lonely out there sometimes, but it’s wonderful.

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Kim May 29, 2012 at 11:08 am

Klaus, I just love this. Everything about it. I try not to listen to too much advice. Or rather, I listen, but trust that I will learn my own lessons in my own time. I do trust that inner voice and that is how I know that I am not moving in the wrong directions. Thanks for this wonderful comment.

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Sam June 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm

What you have written could be me writing about myself! Thank you for sharing this. I am planning to start some travels later this year,so I can start to explore the ‘more’. Look forward to following your journey xx

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Kim June 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Sam, I am sending you all of my best wishes. Exploring the ‘more’ isn’t easy but I do think it will ultimately be worth it. It has definitely been a roller coaster for me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way :)

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allison August 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm

This post is absolutely amazing. I’m so thankful you put into words things I was feeling, without *actually* knowing what I was feeling. The transition from childhood dreams, teenage rebellion, and this life I never planned… and wanting the more. I feel like I know myself better now!

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Kim August 12, 2012 at 9:52 am

Allison, this is the highest compliment. I’m so glad it resonated with you as it does for many, many people. We are not alone!

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andrew August 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Great decision! enjoy your travels.

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Kim August 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Thanks Andrew… we’ve just left and I’m enjoying them already :)

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Trish Moratto September 3, 2012 at 8:20 am

So happy I found your blog. I’ve been following it for awhile but I really got to dig in and read a lot this morning. You and Brian are just a few months ahead of my husband Ryan and I. We are in the throes of the last min preparation. I just read the post about when you flew out, leaving your sister at the airport etc. We are leaving at the end of Sept with the house rented out, jobs quit, everything sold…can’t wait to continue to follow your travels. Trish @EternalWanderin

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Sacha & Jmayel October 8, 2012 at 1:07 am

GREAT post Kim, completely get where you are coming from. My husband and I left the UK in April this year and moved to Thailand in search of more, the best decision we have made!
Good luck with all your future travels :-)

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Kim October 8, 2012 at 6:53 am

Good luck to you and your husband as well. I agree, this was the best decision (and the scariest) that we have ever made. I’m so glad I listened to my inner self.

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Doris November 3, 2012 at 2:39 am

yes that’s the damn truth! follow your soul! you so brave to leave everything behind just to explore the world

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Kim November 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Thank you Doris! Such a windy, beautiful path the soul follows :)

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honeymoonsafaris November 5, 2012 at 4:46 am

Do your thing Kim! the world is there to be explored.

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Kim November 12, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Thank you! I’m am so enjoying exploring it.

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Jacqueline November 15, 2012 at 10:34 am

I know exactly what you mean, Kim! I took a slightly non-traditional route after doing all the ‘right’ things in college. It landed me in the middle-of-nowhere Hunan province as a volunteer teacher, and that year forever changed me. I spent two more years in China in Hangzhou and Beijing working for the Olympics before moving back to the States and on to San Francisco.

Got a very good corporate job and did that for the past 3 years, but like you, I felt something was missing, and since I had already had a taste of adventure and what life could be like, it was a deep conflict.

Within the past few months, I made a decision that the life I really want, although unconventional, is worth it! I set sail on the 28th in the Sea of Cortez to start my RTW journey and pursue my childhood passion of adventuring and writing! It helps to know that other women have gone before me, and not only have survived, but thrived! Best of luck on all your journeys!

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Nili February 7, 2013 at 9:58 am

Hi Kim
I am living one of my dreams thru ur travels. I would have loved to do what you are doing, but I have 2small children to consider at the moment. So maybe when they are grown up, I will grab my hubby and go travelling.
Good luck. Love ur blogs and cannot wait for more pictures.

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Kim February 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Thank you Nilli. I am glad I can keep your appetite wet until your time for traveling comes.

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Suitcase Stories - Nicole February 13, 2013 at 7:04 am

Hi Kim,

Ive followed along on your journey for quite some time now but have never commented. But this post has led me to my very first comment.

I loved hearing about what drove you to your decision to give it all up for travel. My hubby and I did the same thing 12 months ago. And we get people questioning our choice all the time. But we know we have made the right choice.. It wasnt even a choice really, it was just what the universe had planned for us.

I love hearing about your journey. It inspires us and helps us believe that permanent travel IS doable. Keep on keeping on and sharing your adventure with the world – We love it!

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Kim February 13, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Hi Nicole. I’m glad you’re saying hello!

I love this “It wasn’t even a choice really, it was just what the universe had planned for us.” I feel the same way.

It is such a pleasure to share the journey so thank YOU for following along. And congrats to you and your husband for taking the leap.

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Emily of Roads Less Traveled April 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Fantastic post — and it hit home for me so much. My hubby and I ran away from home to travel full-time by RV and sailboat 6 years ago, and we haven’t looked back since. We were further down the road of life than you, and we ran off at an age when all our friends were reaching the pinnacle of their careers in roles of enviable leadership, padding retirement accounts that will let them live in comfort in the last years of their lives.

But we wanted much more than that – and we wanted it now. I had the same reaction as you, too, when I tried to put into words exactly why we ditched 25 years worth of stuff, and what that delicious thrill felt like when we were finally free and living our dream on the road… “the dream” wasn’t a dreamy dream – it was more of a primal urge… http://roadslesstraveled.us/why-do-it

I wrote that post 5 years ago, and our dream has evolved immeasurably since then…

Now I no longer ponder why we left. Instead, I ponder what happens after you have fulfilled your dream and you discover that it was only a first step… that your dream needs refining and honing… and that the vision you had in your cubicle all those years ago was definitely on the right track but was quite far off the mark…

We all need to muster the courage to pursue our dreams – no matter how daunting – because it is only by fulfilling those dreams that we can grow and move on to other, bigger dreams… Our friends with the comfy retirement accounts may only have time to live their first dream – the one they’ve had since before they had kids – and they may run out of courage and energy before they get around to it…
Emily of Roads Less Traveled recently posted..Shipwreck in Paradise – A unique ship hits the beach!

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Kim April 5, 2013 at 12:14 am

Emily, I so relate to this:

“Now I no longer ponder why we left. Instead, I ponder what happens after you have fulfilled your dream and you discover that it was only a first step… that your dream needs refining and honing… and that the vision you had in your cubicle all those years ago was definitely on the right track but was quite far off the mark”

I feel this way now as well. I have reached that initial dream but it was just the first step! My dream has changed and grown so much… but you are right, had I not chased this initial dream I would have never evolved into these new dreams. Such a wonderful way of seeing things, I’d never quite looked at it that way before.

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Ahlumba June 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Wow! What a step of faith..I found your blog earlier this week. What initially captured me and my attention was the title ‘why I quit my job’ I knew I had to read it for everyday I walk into that office it’s almost like a part of my dream and a part of me dies for I am faced with the constant reality that I am living a life less than my worth…

You inspire me and I look forward to reading your post

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Kim June 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Thank you Ahlumba. I think that so many people don’t even know that they are selling themselves short. Now that you know, you have already taken the first step towards changing.

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Kyi June 21, 2013 at 3:01 am

Hi Kim & Brian,

What an inspiration you both are. This post is written exceptionally. I was so thrilled to read your transitions through your blog posts.

Thanks for sharing and taking us along your journey.

Have a good day!

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Kim June 21, 2013 at 5:59 am

Hi Kyi, thank you so much. I’m glad you’re reading.

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Barry Tubb July 18, 2013 at 5:18 am

If you have a second please watch the teaser of my indie movie I’ve been making for years now. I’d love to arm you with a couple hoodies (maroon and grey) and see what you come up with on your journeys and give credit. The plan is to start principal photography next year on a ranch in Marfa, Tx.
Your fellow traveler,

B. Tubb

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Natacha November 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I savored your words as if it were chocolate, the whole time convinced that somehow you took a vacay in my very cerebrum. Every word…every single one…resonates with me. Thank you for being a vessel to the many from around the globe that will read your words and be inspired by it.
Currently In my last month of medical school, with years of time and loads of money invested into that elusive MD, yet even I know this can’t be it.
I desire to just “go” and practice medicine where it is most appreciated and needed, whilst being one with Earth. Alas, massive student loans and residency will keep me grounded in the States for awhile. But I am thankful that in this one life I was given, I took advantage and traveled and lived in 34 countries. It is simply in my blood. I will never stop. And like you, one day I’ll just “go”.

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Kim November 9, 2013 at 8:02 am

And when you do go it will be an amazing experience to use that MD to help those around the globe. YOU will do special things :)

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Oliver January 16, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Tremendous read! Considering the fact this post dates back almost exactly two years now and your blog is still brimming with inspiration, it seems like your path is paved with pure life indeed! Good to see you probably found “more” and there’s almost certainly much more to be discovered…
It also reminds me a bit of the good old Stevenson quote: “The price we have to pay for money is sometimes liberty.”. Glad you decided to restore it…
All the best and keep at it!
Oliver recently posted..What if money was no object ~ Alan Watts

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Kim January 18, 2014 at 4:29 am

Oliver, I did find more. Now that I think about it, I should really write a follow-up to this post (since it has been two years).

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Suraj February 21, 2014 at 6:27 am

Why giving up for writing and travelling? Its d same reason why jimi hendrix plays the guitar, why David Blaine does whatever he does. Why Oprah does what she does. Why Mick Jagger prances like a horse trying to imitate a chicken for as long as we can remember. Everyone of us was born to do something we cannot explain. But the problem with us is that we r taught not to do things without any GOOD REASON any GOOD EXPLANATION. We are taught from a very young age that we should have an explanation for everything. We lost our spontaneity along the way and it takes a leap of faith in craziness to get it back. Somethings don’t need explaining…living does not need explaining. Breathing does not need explaining…

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Kim February 22, 2014 at 5:42 am

Yes. Perfectly put Suraj.

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