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Today is a very special day for me, it’s September 4th… On this day in 2009, I left my office for the very last time. It was a Friday when I left and I remember walking out of my office for the last time with a million things rushing through my mind. Did I manage to leave everything in good order? Was this really happening? Am I now without a job? Did I really just leave everything I ever worked for in hopes of trading it for a little more? I remember almost ripping the steering wheel of my Mercedes on the way home when it finally it hit me at the first stoplight; I was in a most marvelously manic mood.
Fast forward five years and here I am in Gargano, Italy with a bunch of new and old friends drinking Prosecco and feeling quite positive about the present and the future. That said, this is a huge risk so people always ask me how they can do it and I tell them what I did. I also give caution because if my life was a stock, I’m only five years out; I might live until 135, yes? Having no real safety net keeps you on your toes and keeps you sharp, it’s not for everyone but security is not the meaning of my life, great opportunities will always be worth the risk.
I can’t believe how far this whole SHABL blog and my life have gone though. I was a gent in a sleepy capital city where security was considered the holy grail and I trade it all for a tightrope on a cloudy day into the unknown. The cool part is once you cross that tightrope you find all sorts of other interesting characters who made the plunge as well. I’ve made so many friends I can’t even dare count and had so many once in a lifetime opportunities, it’s like I’ve had the pleasure of living hundreds of lives already and I’m only 34. Have you ever asked yourself “Should I quit my job to travel?”
I can’t imagine where my life would be if I hadn’t made this move and I can’t imagine my life without travel. If you’re seriously passionate about something, you really need to go for it. They say you can’t fail if you do what you love and you can’t. Sure you might not make ends meet and it won’t work out but at least you’ll know. That said, I think lots of people just go for things at 80%; if you’re making a big move like this, a move which pivots on passion, you need to give 100% all the time or it’s back to the cubicle you go.
Speaking of cubicles… Being free and the master of your own domain (like this one) to some extent or another is like being a dog without a leash. What’s bad is that if you don’t make it stick and you go back to that cubicle cage, you’ll surely die. You’ve been a dog without a leash who has traveled the world and tasted the treats from thousands of streets, how do you go back after this? You don’t, you move forward confidently and that’s exactly what I plan on doing.
I’d like to thank ALL OF YOU who have helped make this blog what it is today. If it wasn’t for you, I’d just be some gent working on websites or something in some random location and that wouldn’t bring happiness to a man with my chemical makeup. I always talk about bases but one base is MORE THAN ENOUGH for me. I’ve found recently that travel is what inspires me and it’s not about traveling less, just differently.
Something else I find really cool is that from today on, I’ll officially have been running this blog and traveling for most of my adult life. I had my old job for roughly five years before I quit and now I’ve been free for five years. What does the future hold? I have no idea but I believe that you make your own future and I intend to continue working hard towards whatever it is that I’m becoming. What else is there to do with one’s life? Topic of work, thanks to my old boss who was the best mentor I ever could have had in my early years.
In closing though, I want to share with you something I’ve learned. What I’ve learned is that if you look around yourself, it’s almost always you. Never blame others or circumstances for where you are today because all of our reality is basically a reflection of the thoughts and beliefs you have inside yourself. You don’t need to travel to change your life, chances are you’ll just start a similar life wherever you land. If you want to change your life, you have to change your mind.
I’d go on but dinner is in 10 minutes, the food in Italy is delicious but you already knew that…
I’m excited for the next five years, thanks again for reading!
P.S: Thanks to all my friends I’ve met along the way, you guys are what make travel what it is.
P.P.S: Above is first photo of me after I took the one way to Vancouver for a friend’s wedding…