Graduation Goggles

I’ve slowly been getting ready to leave DC over the last few months, and as my scheduled move date draws closer, I can’t help but get nostalgic. Maybe this place isn’t so bad, I find myself thinking as I get closer to the day I’ve had marked on my calendar as “Quitting Day” for the last three months. Maybe I don’t HATE my job – what if it was just a few hard months?

This phenomena is beautifully captured in a scene from How I Met Your Mother (aka my FAVORITE show of all time) when Marshall decides he wants to quit GNB. He hates his job, the work he has to do, and everyone he works with, but when it’s time to quit, he feels as if he’s almost sad to leave.

But the point is, you can’t trust graduation goggles.

I’ve been fantasizing about quitting my job and counting down the days and even the hours I have left in the office for literally months now, but I’m suddenly anxious about quitting. What if I’m making a mistake?

This is a huge move for me, both personally and career-wise. I’m taking an enormous leap of faith by leaving my comfortable, decently-paying, stable 9-to-5 office job to trust in myself that I can, in a few short months, pick up the skills I need to support myself on the road. My goal is to be able to sustain myself and get back on the road by July, which is going to be a huge undertaking.

And sure, the idea that I have no idea what’s in store for me even 4-5 months from now is terrifying. I don’t know where I’m going to sleep every night. I don’t even know which continent I’ll be on, and I definitely don’t know who I’ll be wandering around the unknown with.

And then there’s the possibility that I could fail. If I can’t find remote work, I won’t be able to live out my dream of traveling indefinitely, and I’ll end up having to take another boring office job to support myself.

But the thing that scares me the most is the possibility that if I don’t take the leap, I could look back on my life 3, 5, 10 years from now and realize that I’m still in the same exact place, doing the exact same job. I don’t want to look back on my life when I’m 25, or 30, and realize that I never did any of the things I wanted to do because I was afraid.

Before I left for Thailand last fall, whenever I told people I was taking off for 10 days to explore a new country, I was met with comments like, “wow, I wish I could still do something like that, just pick up and go whenever I wanted.” And maybe some of that was coming from people who had settled down and had families, which makes travel understandably much more difficult. But some of it wasn’t, and that really stuck with me.

These are not my people. I don’t fit here, into this 9-to-5 office mold. I tried really hard for a year, but I just do not care about banks.

This is something that I have to do. I have to keep moving forward. Onward, along my own path.

Xoxo,

Hanna (Bubu Backpacks)

P.S. To follow my adventures in real time, follow me on Instagram and Twitter @bubu_backpacks

21 thoughts on “Graduation Goggles

  1. I was in a similar situation as you about a year ago. Got down to my last $300 on Koh Phangan before my first digital nomad paycheck came through. You can do it, things tend to work out!

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  2. We are traveling full-time now. For us, we did a lot of preparation, savings, planning, etc. I admire that you’re willing to live ‘the fear’ as my favorite show (Friends) called it. Don’t get discouraged. And definitely don’t believe the Graduation Goggles 😉

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    1. I’m more excited than scared at this point, I think! I was so nervous when I gave notice to my job, but now that I won’t have a job or a place to live at the end of the month, there’s no turning back! Guess I’m going to either sink or swim!

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  3. Hiya buddy.. I’m with you on everything you’ve written in your article. I was in a comfortable career – I knew every aspect of the job. I finally got my “freedom date” booked in my calendar then it happened, the sEcond thoughts’. But I went ahead and honesty I’ve never been happier… you’ll work it all out, promise… xxxxx

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    1. I was so nervous leading up to it, but I just walked into my boss’s office and told them I was out and they were super supportive, which made me more excited than anything else 🙂 I’m leaving in less than three weeks and I can’t wait!

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    1. Absolutely! A year ago, I had no idea I’d be here and had never even considered this as a path I would take, but now I can’t wait to take the leap, and have no idea where I’ll be even six months from now 🙂 It’s crazy how life just happens

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      1. I agree entirely! I think back to even a few years ago and I am an entirely different person. You don’t think much changes in day to day life but it certainly does! We change everyday! Can’t wait to see where you go !

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  4. You’ll never regret the chances you took! Only the ones you didn’t 🙂 I go back and forth with hating/loving my real 9-5 job but 75% of the time I’m miserable and dreaming of a different life! It’s only a matter of time before I make the leap too! You’re story is inspiring! Can’t wait to follow your adventures!

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    1. Right? I know I’d regret it if I stayed any longer, so I had to take the leap! I do really like my job but a large portion of it is spent planning travel for other people, while I only got 2 weeks of vacation per year to travel myself, so naturally I was going crazy. I’m honestly surprised I didn’t quit sooner haha, but I’m so glad I did!

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