Quitting

Standard

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when a moment of eye-popping clarity comes about.  When it comes to my desire to travel, I could tell you that it was when I went to Haiti in 2012 to care for the most beautiful children.  I could also tell you it was when my parents came to the US to make a new life and sprouted the idea that home isn’t always just one place.  But perhaps more than any other reason, this idea to quit my job and travel started several years ago when I visited Thailand.  That was my first trip unassisted in a country that I did not know the language of.  It opened my eyes in ways that nothing else in this world could.

In a way, this idea to travel is a result of all these things and many more.  After all, quitting your job to travel isn’t the quickest and easiest decision to make, I can attest to that.  But then again, the best things in life are usually not easy and that theory is very applicable here.

While I was on that fateful trip in Thailand 2 years ago, a thought that was built up by my upbringing and by that trip to Haiti, started to permeate my mind and I decided at that moment that someday I would quit my job.  While I wanted that day to be as soon as possible, I knew that it would take some time and planning to make it happen.  To be exact, it would take precisely 2 years.

During those 2 years, I have savored over the process of saving, positioning myself, and planning for this trip, and while most of this process is enjoyable and exciting, there is always that elephant in the room.  He’s just sitting way too close to you invading your space, but at some point you just need to face him.  That elephant I’m referring to is the prospect of quitting.  In my case, I work(ed) as a CPA in a public accounting firm (Withum).  I’ve been there for over 4 years having started right out of school as a hungry staff accountant.  I’ve formed relationships with people throughout the firm whom I take great pride in calling my extended family.  While I am very thankful for these people, this also made the idea of quitting even more difficult.  How could I leave these people that I’d figuratively AND literally lived with for so long?  After all, I’d seen them more often than my own family during those years.

I knew that it would take some finesse to start down the path of my dreams while keeping strong relationships with these people.  I started by having a conversation with some of my closer co-workers while also keeping things hush so that rumors wouldn’t spread.  I spoke to them about the idea of traveling and what it would mean for my future career.  While I’m certain that many of them were disappointed, I felt talking early and honestly helped make a smoother transition.

One of the difficult things to manage at this time was gossip.  As with most offices, mine has its fair share.  It’s something that I cannot control so I didn’t concern myself with this too much, but I did want to be the first one to talk to 2 particular partners in charge of my office.  To do this, it took quite a bit of self-control to not blurt out my dream that had been building for 2 years to everyone in sight!  But I kindly asked each of the people that I spoke with to not go around talking about my plans, at least not until I had told those partners.  I’m once again very thankful to have good people that I work with because there were no leaks of my plans.

Admittedly, as much as it has been exciting to plan out this trip, the prospect of telling people that have employed me for 4 years that I will longer be working with them is still intimidating. When it finally came time to talk to those partners, something rather interesting happened.  Instead of fear and intimidation wrapping my mind, I instead had great clarity in what I was doing and where I was going.  That made it very easy to talk to each of them about my plans without fear of consequence.  Of course, I really had no reason to think that there would be a significant consequence to me reaching for my dreams, even if it did make their lives just slightly more difficult temporarily.

I think that is the most important thing to consider, that people will never really be upset at one another for reaching for their dreams, as long as you do it professionally and properly.  And if you do find yourself in the position of trying to convince your boss of why you are choosing your dream over working endless hours, then I think it is quite clear where you should and shouldn’t be.  Thankfully, I have the great fortune to be working in a great environment and one in which I hope to be welcomed back to in the future.

It may not always be the best time or easiest time to quit, but when it comes to reaching for your dream, reach all day.  There’s no other way to find happiness that can truly match that of arriving at your goal.  But don’t let that moment of arrival come without setting your sights on the next mountain to climb!

More on that next mountain coming soon.  Til next time! 🙂

Turning a New Leaf

Standard

Hey all!

I have a big announcement!  Some big changes are coming, and they’ve been approaching quietly for some time.  Starting in just a few short weeks, I’m going to be traveling for 6 months throughout South America!  Ever since I had the amazing trip to Thailand in 2014, it’s been my unwavering dream to travel for an extended period of time.  I wasn’t sure when or where, but those details are now coming into focus.

On November 11, me and a buddy of mine will take off for Peru to start the trip by scaling the Inca Trail on the way to Machu Picchu!  Throughout the rest of this trip I’ll be going through Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile seeing mountains, rivers, beaches, and hopefully much much more.  The planning has been long and arduous, but certainly worthwhile.  It’s also been much easier with the support of many great people in my life including my family and friends.  And of course, the loving support of my girlfriend.  It wasn’t an easy decision but I am very thankful for her willingness to help me see through my dream to travel.

A big part of this planning has been notifying my coworkers. Maybe it’s corny, but they’ve come to be something of a second family to me.  Handling this announcement as well as possible with them has been very important to me and I appreciate all the patience they’ve all shown.

I’ll sorely miss all the people in my life during this trip but I know that we’ll be seeing each other sooner than we can imagine.  But with every new chapter, new challenges and experiences await and I’m looking forward to all that the road ahead has to offer!

While I’m away, follow my page to keep up with my travels and to get the latest tips on how to travel richly on a cheap budget!  You’ll be thankful you did!

Til next time 🙂

Taka

I’m Baaack

Standard

Hey all!  It’s been quite a while since I last posted.  I’ve been so busy taking over the world that I completely forgot to keep you all in the loop with life happenings! But I think this is a great time to get back since there are some big things happening that I’ll be sharing with you very soon!  But for now, I’ll just bore you with some stories of beautiful Yosemite National Park.

I visited this grand display of natural beauty a few short weeks ago with my brother and a few good friends.  For any of those who have never gone backpacking, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.  But for those who enjoy getting away from the normal day to day routine it’s an amazing experience.  In the first part of this trip, we started through Rafferty Creek after camping out at Tuolomne Meadows the first night.  While we only stayed one night, I’d strongly suggest staying a while longer either in the meadows or in Yosemite Valley to acclimate to the elevation.  As I’ll mention, it was a strenuous adjustment coming from the easy elevation in northern NJ where I’m from.

That first day was definitely a challenge with over 2000 feet in climb, but each of us made it through with frequent breaks.  Those breaks proved to be incredibly important and newcomers to the sport should definitely be cautious by taking necessary breaks.

The most incredible things the first day were the feeling of crossing 10 miles of rough and unforgiving terrain and getting to our first campsite, then relaxing at the campsite and taking in the beauty.  We camped at the top of a massive rock overlooking Emeric Lake and the valley on the other side that night.  It was one of the most amazing views I’d ever seen, and even with the headache and nausea from being at 8,000 feet, I still was amazed and in awe of my surroundings.  I think we all were.

The first day was also the first time I ever at a dehydrated meal.  I have to say, I was very happily impressed!  It certainly wasn’t home cooking but we had some great meal choices with pad thai and a chicken and rice meal.  Even with the cold and the wind, it wasn’t hard getting rest that first night with all the great experiences from a fun filled first day in Yosemite.

While the first day was a challenge, just wait til you hear about the next few days! Also, stay tuned for some big news this weekend.  You don’t want to miss it!

Til next time!