Monday, January 11, 2010

Quittin' the Job to Travel

After taking the Fall Foliage trip, I thought more and more about how great it would be to travel around America the Beautiful in an RV. And maybe go up into Alaska and Canada. It did not take me long to realize that this kind of travel was out of reach as long as I had a traditional job – you can’t do what I had in mind with 15 days of vacation a year.

So what’s a girl to do?

Well, as I wrote in Life’s Twists and Turns, I was at a point where I felt strongly that I needed to take life by the horns and so I spent hours building a budget and making financial calculations. Once I was 110% sure I had the financial means to be unemployed for a year or more, I turned in my resignation. It was a few weeks before my 50th birthday, in the middle of a serious recession.

Call me crazy if you like, I wondered about that also, but I’m feeling just great about it. And everyone I worked with, and my family and friends have all been completely supportive. I think many people, particularly those over the age of 40, would love to do something like this. I don’t mean living in 250 square feet of rolling space – that is surely not everyone’s idea of utopia – but shrugging off the safety net that smoothers, and doing something fun and challenging and even a little risky. You know, like you were 20 again.

Happily for me, I am in a financial position to be able to do this. I started to write, “luckily for me…” but luck has nothing to do with such things, unless you win the lottery. My happy position is due to my own hard work for 30 years, being organized enough to squirrel money away, and living within my means so as not to have any significant debt.
My responsible living soapbox beckons, but I will resist!
And so I gave my employer 8 weeks’ notice. I have to admit, this was not an easy decision. I worked for a great organization with excellent benefits and drew a very competitive salary. My position was challenging and provided opportunity for growth. But, c'est la vie - you can't have it all. Perhaps one day, when my sojourn is over, I will have an opportunity to work there again.

Speaking of great benefits, along with my job I was giving up health/dental/vision coverage and life insurance. Hmmm… no big deal provided I don’t get sick or die. Well, I decided it was just too risky and so I took COBRA and bought life insurance through USAA. I am a US Military veteran and will see about getting into the VA system for health care.  I feel a little odd about doing that, considering all our brothers and sisters who are getting shot up, blown up, and emotionally maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, VA benefits were touted to me when I signed up...

So here I am, sorting out the house, cleaning out drawers and closets, writing for this Blog, working to find a House Sitter, and trip planning our Great RV Escape.  I am busier than when I was employed!  The transition is complete... and I have no worries that I did the right thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We're missing your resolve here Consuelo.

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