A Vacation Different Than Others
Over the years we have taken many vacations, but this one was different. Hawaii is neither mine or my wife’s favorite destination. It is beautiful and the food is good, but it is also very expensive. We both think there are better islands for less expense. Regardless, this would be the vacation that would make us rethink life entirely.
Stressed Out Even On A Hawaiian Vacation
Shawna and I both needed this Hawaiian vacation as life’s stressors had been building up. Both of us had been working long hard hours at our jobs. Despite being on vacation, I still had to work. I had the type of job where the work will build up to the point of never catching up if I go too long with out working. Each morning I would wake up around 4 or 5 in the morning, and knock out a couple hours of work. Then I would explore Hawaii’s food, beaches & scuba diving sites until late. Little did we know at the time, but this would be the catalyst that would lead us to rethink life at every level.
About a week into our Hawaiian vacation, I hit a wall and had a bit of a nervous breakdown. I had been working 60-90 hour work weeks for quite some time. While in Hawaii, I was pushing myself to the brink by working in between vacation activities. That was making for long & strenuous days with very little sleep. I ended up falling into a depression on this Hawaiian vacation that lasted for months. The feeling that I had to choose between letting down my employer, or letting down my wife & myself was very hard to cope with. This breakdown would end up being one of the hardest and one best things that ever happened to us.
Depression Leads To Big Changes
Over the next couple months after this Hawaiian vacation, I would truly learn what the term “burnout” actually feels like as it relates to a career. I struggled with severe depression as a child and teenager, but that depression subsided as I entered young adulthood. Never again did I think I would have to deal with those types of feelings, but it was back and as strong as ever. I could barely get myself moving to perform my duties at work even though I actually liked my job. This caused me to ask myself some of the big life questions. Why are we not as happy as possible? What are we doing with our lives? How can we be happiest? What should we be doing with our lives?
Is The American Dream All It’s Cracked Up To Be?
These were not the easiest questions. We had what seemed to be a great life; the American dream in fact. My wife and I both had decent jobs, a nice house, cars, motorcycles, and a nice cabin cruiser boat we kept at Lake Pleasant. It was a hard realization that none of these possessions played a role in long term happiness. Sure, all that stuff’s fun to enjoy in the moment, and when you first get that new toy it may bring some short term happiness. However, our lives had become so busy & stressful we barely had the time to enjoy these things. In reality, all these possessions were weighing us down after accounting for storage, insurances & maintenance. We realized we did not care about any of it, and began to understand freedom and happiness is what we were really coveting. We then decided our new mission in life would be to build a life designed at attaining true happiness no matter the cost.
Quitting The Job To Pursue Passions
At this point, I knew I was going to have to leave a very good & secure job to pursue my true passions. My purest passions are brewing beer, scuba diving & worldwide travel. I had contemplated opening a brewery for several years. The problem was that I was way too stressed out to start a brewery, and Shawna did not have much interest in that project. We needed to do something that we both love but without all the stress of a typical job. I finally decided I wanted to sell everything and travel the world full time.
I May Be Crazy, But We Can Do It!
Once I made the decision that’s what I wanted to do, I had to present it to Shawna. That night, Shawna came home and I told her my proposal. Her first reactions were the same as the reactions most people have when we tell them about our life. “You’re crazy”, “That is unrealistic” & “We can’t afford that” are the standard reactions. I explained that while I might be crazy, we can do it. By selling everything, we have a moderate nest egg that properly invested will bring a humble monthly income. Living expenses reduce dramatically once you start living a minimalist lifestyle. With my computer & business skills, we can turn our dream life into a content business for added income. While Shawna admittedly liked the idea, she deemed it unrealistic that evening. A few days later she came home from a rough day at work to say she was 100% on board.
In a nutshell, that is how our Hawaiian vacation made us rethink life. That is what led to this blog and our new lives of worldwide travel while helping others. We hope you will follow our blog as we travel around the world. We want to inspire you to rethink life, and ask yourself if you are living the best life you can.