Recently, I announced we’re taking a Round the World (RTW) trip. We’re incredibly excited and consider it to be part of our BREAK FREE plan. To summarize, my wife’s contract was up at her job, and I asked for an unpaid leave from my corporate job – which was granted. We sold our house in New Orleans along with about half of our furniture inside and now we’re taking off to explore the world for 9 months.
It was such an easy decision and we’ve had no issues with doing it. Money really is no object when you find what you love… Just Kidding! If you threw the BS flag here, you’re correct… it wasn’t easy at all. I’m going to summarize in timeframes… otherwise, I’ll be all over the place.
9 years ago (2004)
I graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Finance and headed to Dallas to start my career as a Consultant working for Accenture. Within a year, I bought a new car and managed to bring my total consumer debt up over $50,000! I was awesome. Actually I sucked so far at post-college life, but one thing I did have going for me was the girl who I had been dating for a few months.
7 years ago (2006)
I had my breaking point and wondered why the hell I felt like I was working just to pay off my debt. I had a great job but the only thing to show for it was a huge pile of debt! Something snapped in me, and I started my journey of paying off debt. In two years, I managed to pay off my entire $50,000 of debt. Luckily, the girl decided to stay with me through it.
4 years ago (2009)
The amazing girl said “Yes” when I asked her to marry me. I learned to use my job as a tool and was making good money. However, I felt something was missing. I wasn’t helping other people like I wanted, and I wasn’t fulfilled by work. Over the previous two years since I paid off my debt, I began reading many books and starting to discover what I wanted to do in life.
Luckily, we entered our marriage debt free and were both adept at saving money when we combined our finances. We moved to New Orleans for my wife’s job and bought a fixer-upper house.
1 year ago (2012)
We finished our full remodel of our house and were both gainfully employed. We fell in love with New Orleans, our neighborhood, and our friends here. However, we knew we had a tough decision to make as we would have to decide what to do when my wife’s contract was up in October of 2012.
Her employer asked her to stay, but we have both always had this crazy idea of traveling the world. We knew kids would come into the picture soon, and we sure wouldn’t get to do our crazy traveling when that happened. Would we really want to give up everything we’ve worked so hard for just to go travel? Would we fall behind financially and how the heck would we pay for it? We had doubts, lots of doubts.
6 months ago (end of 2012)
We were still struggling big time with making our decision. We were incredibly satisfied with our lives and felt dumb for even thinking about leaving it. But something still pushed us on. We had experienced some tough life events that planted things in our head; we only live once.
We talked. A lot. We made spreadsheets to objectively weigh the benefits of staying vs. leaving. The spreadsheets didn’t make it any easier! We received a ton of encouragement from friends and family as well as people on this blog. We believed the regret of not doing it would be worse than any financial outcome of doing it. We decided to do it.
We still question why we’d leave our house, our neighborhood, our town, and our friends but we know we can always come back. This is our time and things have worked out really well that have encouraged us this is the right decision. It’s never easy and we’ll never be 100% certain, but at least we’re comfortable with it now. We prepared ourselves financially over the last five years so that’s made it easier.
My BREAK FREE story
My wife has her own BREAK FREE story, as do I. However, both our stories involve each other so that’s encouraging for me! I’ll only speak to my BREAK FREE story which relates to my career.
I’ve always loved helping people, but I lost my way in the corporate world after college and I was focused more on money than helping. However, in the last few years I’ve rediscovered my way through the blog and have started to map out my future. After we get back from our trip in January 2014, I’ll continue working full time at my corporate job (which I appreciate very much) while I continue to build out BREAK FREE.
In a couple of years, this will be my full time thing. I want to continue helping people pursue their passion while dominating money and work. It’s only through being smart with both of these that we can set ourselves up to succeed doing what we love. In addition to making money off the blog, I want to start a physical presence by building a challenge course to teach leadership and help others BREAK FREE. I hope to continue to build the curriculum and help individuals as well as companies get to their end goals through activities and speaking engagements.
Our travels are a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I also want to use the time wisely to continue to build all of this out. Now that I’ve told you the plan, I have to stick to it! Thanks again for participating in this journey, and I look forward to hearing more about your journey. As I mentioned last week, I want to hear your BREAK FREE story and will start highlighting other’s stories on this blog – you can check some of them out here.