I’m the girl who eagerly counts down the days to an upcoming tropical vacation — the warm sand, ocean breezes, umbrella drinks, lazy days and hot nights! But this trip was different. I could barely contain my excitement as I landed in Puerto Vallarta. This trip was more than just a beachy getaway. This trip was a celebration of the next chapter in my life — and not just because I would be turning 40 during it.
You see, I had just resigned from my middle management marketing position at a Fortune 10 company. Wondering why I quit my job? It had dawned on me six months earlier that I would soon be saying goodbye to my 30s. I had sat at my desk thinking, “Is this uninspired brown cubicle going to be my life for the next 25 years?” The realization shocked me as my future suddenly dimmed. NO. I needed so much more out of life.
So I began focusing on expanding the side business I’d been running for a handful of years: A freelance writing business that I’d always been passionate about. I decided that if I could sign five new ongoing clients, then I’d have a solid enough foundation to walk away from Corporate America. I gave myself one year to make it happen.
It took 4 months. And it wasn’t even hard. In fact, immediately upon adding one new client, several more followed. And referrals kept coming. This momentum built into an avalanche that I couldn’t have stopped even if I had wanted to. It’s like the Universe was making extra sure I couldn’t ignore its message that I was, indeed, on the right path.
Now, it’s not easy deciding you’re going to walk away from a salary and benefits and stock options and bonuses, no matter how much you dislike your job. But I also knew that those goodies had woven themselves into a pair of thick golden handcuffs that grew tighter and tighter the higher I climbed on that corporate ladder. I decided right then and there that I was choosing freedom.
So I walked into my director’s office, fighting the urge to chicken out, and told her my plans to pursue entrepreneurship on a full-time basis. We agreed on a two-month notice period, which would allow me to go on my pre-planned Puerto Vallarta vacation, and then come back to work for a few weeks after to wrap things up. I called it my parole period — the end of my “25 years to life” sentence was so close I could practically taste it!
Let me tell you, I’ve never had a more relaxing vacation in my life. All of my stress melted away as I sank into the lounge chair on the beach. I kept catching myself smiling — daydreaming about ALL the possibilities the Universe could now steer my direction. I had officially cleared out the clutter associated with the old, dark “Corporate America Box” in my life and paved a path for a shiny, new “Freelance Writing and Travel Blogging Box” to emerge. I felt like the proverbial butterfly emerging from the cocoon and spreading its wings for the first time.
Two of my closest girlfriends and my practically-a-sister cousin celebrated my career freedom with me, along with my 40th birthday, in Puerto Vallarta in April 2017. And just a few months later, I’m thrilled to say that I got everything I wished for when I blew out my birthday candles — launching this blog was at the top of that list.
I have the luxury of being able to run my freelance business from anywhere in the world with wifi (though I spend plenty of time working from home, with my mini schnauzer, Mason, serving as the world’s laziest coworker), giving me the flexibility stingy corporate vacation policies never could. I am free to explore every nook and cranny this world has to offer, eating delicious foods, marveling at beautiful architecture, and taking in the culture, customs and creatures of each community.
Sharing all of those elements with you — through photos, videos and my writing — brings my heart joy. Thank you for joining me on all of my adventures. I hope you’ll find my blog entertaining, informative and unapologetically gluttonous.
Jill, I’m SO happy for you!! I can’t wait to hear about your adventures! Xo
Thanks so much, Jami! I’m so happy you’re along for the ride 🙂
Jill! I found your website on Facebook and thought I’d check it out. Love this blog, so happy for you and excited to read more of your travel diaries. I haven’t traveled much at all but I’m definitely going to change that and I am always looking for inspiration. 🙂
Thank you, Ivy! Traveling is the only thing you can buy that makes your life richer … the experiences are just priceless! What’s on your bucket list? Maybe I can help you narrow down your next destination 🙂
Anywhere and everywhere honestly. I have never left the Northeast. Some of my dream vacations include Greece, Spain, Australia, Italy. I also want to live in different parts of the US throughout my life.
Warm weather is a must.
You’ll love the Mediterranean then … Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Croatia. I’d suggest a cruise so you can see several countries while only unpacking once 🙂
Italy is hands-down my favorite country. I’ve been 4 times and can’t get enough. I even spent 2 weeks there taking language and culinary classes. I’d highly recommend putting that at the top of your list. My favorite cities include Rome, Sorrento and Florence, and I also love Sicily. I also love Spain (Barcelona) and the little bit of Greece I’ve seen (the island of Corfu). Australia is on my bucket list!
It’s so exciting to think about all these places! I’ve really enjoyed seeing all your posts on instagram as well.