Last year I reflected on Ian’s and my decision to quit our jobs, kiss our ‘normal’ lives goodbye, and embrace the unknown as traveling entrepreneurs. The outcome of that reflection was 10 Reasons I’ll Never Regret Quitting My Job to Travel. Since then, we’ve collected another year’s worth of destinations, travel experiences, and business experiments which have all contributed to our ongoing happiness and success as nomadic business partners. This lifestyle has also resulted in positive health and happiness effects on me as an individual. So now, another year older (and wiser), I can add even more reasons to our original list.
After 1 year and 10 months of nomadic bliss — gosh, has it only been that long? — below are 10 additional reasons I’ll never regret taking the leap!
1. I have more time to explore new passions and try new things.
And this makes life VASTLY more interesting. I’m usually not afraid to try new things, but working full-time for someone else sure cut down on the time I had available to do so. I may not stick with every new thing I try, but I’m opening myself up to gaining a better understanding of something unfamiliar, and I think that is extremely important.
I also recently revisited a past passion and business idea of mine and officially launched my online marketing business, creating websites and branding for startups and new bloggers. Check out Boost Marketing by Diana!
2. I can easily avoid (most of) my stressors.
Rush hour traffic? Depressingly cold and crappy weather? Conversing with unpleasant people? No thank you. These things make me cranky and unpleasant to be around. Thankfully, all these things — and more — are easily avoidable when you’re choosing where you want to be and setting your own schedule. And I’m keeping myself and the people around me more cheerful by doing so (which I’m sure Ian appreciates)!
3. I’ve gained perspective on life.
Stepping outside of the career-minded American mindset, I’ve developed a better understanding of myself and what’s important to me, and I’m now better able to focus on the things I really want to accomplish in life. Hint: Being rich and famous is NOT on my list.
4. I’m learning to let things go.
I’ve always struggled with obsessing over things that are bothering me — typically interactions with people who act rude or unkind or in some way just play out less positively than I’d expect. But since I’m now consciously trying to lead a less stressful life, I acknowledge that worrying about or confronting many of these situations either accomplishes nothing or makes matters worse. So I’m training myself to not sweat the small stuff. That driver that won’t let me merge, there’s no point in honking at them. That woman cutting in front of me at the grocery store? Whatever, I’m in no hurry. It’s amazing how small adjustments like this can have a big positive impact on my mood.
5. I thrive on change, and our life is ever-evolving.
Change keeps me on my toes. For me, change is something that’s stressful in a positive way. Since taking the leap, we’ve returned to visit our old jobs and friends to find that in many ways very little has changed. I rediscovered some of the same frustrations that bugged me for years.
6. I feel less ‘busy’ all the time.
For me feeling busy usually means feeling stressed. And I used to feel that way all the time when I was working every weekday 8:30 – 5:30, dealing with a daily commute, trying to eat right and also squeezing in time to exercise and spend time with friends. It was overwhelming. But now that I work for myself, I work much more efficiently, creating extra time for anything in my life that I feel needs more attention. It’s a much more relaxed way of living, and I’m so much healthier as a result! I’ve only been sick one time in the last two years!
7. My day-to-day is never boring.
I literally can’t remember the last time I uttered the phrase ‘I’m bored.’
Being in unfamiliar places is pretty exhilarating, and with ever-changing “office” views, it sure makes self-employment more fun. Also, whenever I do start to grow tired of working on a particular project, I don’t hesitate to take a break from it and work on something else. (And I accomplish SO much more with this approach.) Even relatively mundane things like browsing Facebook is less boring — especially when your Facebook feed is multilingual. Regularly making new friends in different countries means I’m constantly exposed to Norwegian, Spanish, German, Italian… and yes, English, too.
8. I’m more creative.
All the other things on this list have done wonders for my creativity! This year I illustrated my own logo for North to South (see it at the top of this website), designed oodles of travel quotes for Stylish Travel Girl (the ones you see on this page, plus more), sold some handmade luxury silk camera straps on Etsy, started posting a collection of travel outfits on Stylish Travel Girl, and started sketching again (I used to draw when I was younger). Plus I began doing logo design again for my online marketing business — check out the latest website and logo design I completed, for a new tire business in LA, here.
9. My bucket list has never seen so much action.
This one’s obvious, but I certainly can’t take it for granted.
Zip-lining in Costa Rica, seeing my first sloth… visiting ALL 50 U.S. STATES!!! And I finally got my nose pierced. Those were just a few of the things we did in 2015. My life has never been more interesting, and I love it!
10. I actually get enough sleep.
This is perhaps the best part of all.
I’m a night owl. I have a hard time falling asleep before midnight, and that did not mesh well with a standard day job schedule. I would catch colds ALL THE TIME because I was perpetually not getting enough sleep, averaging 5-6 hours per night if I was lucky. But now, my Fitbit tells me I’m getting almost 8 hours every single night! Since all my work is online now, I can start working in the afternoon and continue working into the night if I like — and sleep in the next day! This schedule works immensely better for me — not to mention the additional perks of being less crabby and being a more efficient worker!
Plus, we can stay up late taking photos of the stars for our Milky Way photography blog without worrying about waking up at a certain time in the morning.
As I said a year ago, we don’t have everything figured out, but we’re having an absolutely amazing time seeing new places and experimenting with new business ideas at the same time. And we still couldn’t be happier!
View my list of 10 Reasons I’ll Never Regret Quitting My Job to Travel from last year here:
Want to know what it takes to call it quits? Read my article on how to Quit Your Job and Travel the World.
Find out how we started making plans in “It started with a date.” – The Coffee Shop Conversation that Doomed My Desk Job.
About the Author
- In March 2014, Diana called it quits on her traditional American working life and set out to explore the world with her partner in crime (and love of her life) Ian Norman. They now live a sustainable life of full time travel, working for themselves and seeking adventure at the same time. Here on North to South, Diana documents their journey in achieving and maintaining this "road less traveled" way of life.
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Diana, love your site! The design is so eye-catching! Did you design it yourself? (Mine needs a makeover…) Good luck with your travel writing, I’ll be following your progress!
Thanks, Claire! I started my site with the Flato WordPress theme and have made several of my own modifications to turn it into something I really love the look of. I’m looking forward to following your writing as well!
P.S. I just read your article in Cosmo. You’re a fantastic writer. (Something that’s pretty hard to come by, as I’m sure you know, in the travel blog world.) Keep up the great work. Will be following!