See what I did there? I made a play on words and included my photo in the game as well. I hope that gives you a little insight into how I plan to style my stories and information in this blog. I am a firm believer that life is too short to be serious, except when necessary. I prefer to live life under a formula with a high dosage of honesty, sarcastic humor, travel, good friends, learning about other cultures, trying new things, accountability, hard work, and an openness to accepting differences.
To fill you in on a little background of what I am doing with my life and this website. I have recently made the decision to retire from my comfy and wonderful 9-5 job with a very reputable Fortune 500 company. And the first question you will probably ask is, “How were you able to retire at the age of 32?”
First, I wouldn’t define this as a traditional retirement and I am not 100% positive I will be able to stay retired forever. I will be finding ways to financially support myself along the way. But I decided that my passion for traveling and living abroad outweighed my passion to work my way up the corporate ladder for a chance to live outside of the USA.
I grew up in a small city (Dayton, Ohio) and can remember from a very young age that I loved when we traveled out of town. When I was young we spent a lot of time vacationing to places like Myrtle Beach, the Smokey Mountains, and Florida. There were other trips sprinkled in throughout the Midwest, South, and Northeast areas of the USA as well. Then when I got to high school I had the opportunity to travel through Europe a couple of times. These experiences kept fueling my passion to live somewhere different than Ohio.
Let me also note, I have nothing bad to say about Ohio. I love it there and I will gladly write a blog on my love for it later. I was just born with a gene that burns my inner soul to travel and see what else the world has to offer.
After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 2006 I had the pleasure of working for six years with a great company that was increasing their number of distribution facilities in the USA. This job provided me with several opportunities to keep moving around the Western half of the United States. I’m very proud of the diversity and differences in culture that America does offer. We may not be perfect as Americans and things are weird right now, but we have a lot to be proud of.
Eventually I made connections in that job and made the jump to a Global Fortune 500 company. I moved to Phoenix, Arizona which was a new community to immerse myself in and explore. I expected my hard work would lead me to an International gig within a two-year period, three years max. Unfortunately, after 4 very successful years and a promotion my lack of desire to move back to the mothership in Minnesota prevented me from entering the International role arena. I learned a lot from my boss, peers and clients during these last 4.5 years. Not to mention I earned the opportunity to travel to beautiful areas of the country while saving money.
I had talked about leaving my job to travel before. I was close to doing it once and bought a domain name to start my website in 2011. But I never let myself commit to it in full. I kept selling myself on earning the opportunity through climbing the corporate ladder. Eventually as they say, “it was time shit or get off the pot.”
After a trip to India, Vietnam and Thailand in Spring 2016 I knew it was time to find a way to get abroad. My internal self would not allow me to quit my job and begin the journey without a plan. Over the next 10 months I weighed my options and started applying for jobs within my company in other countries. I was unable to get traction on finding a position in an up and coming developing country. My thought was it would be more rewarding, more of a challenge, a better learning experience and more affordable to go to a developing country. I decided I did not want to move to an economic power house country.
I spoke with friends who were teaching abroad and they loved it. I began looking at options. Then I set a financial goal to leave work to avoid feeling the stress of money. I’ve always been smart about saving money so I was already in a good position. By January 2017, I knew I would be to that goal in a few months. I started researching companies and decided to get my TEFL Certification from the International TEFL Academy. I will be moving to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam at the beginning of May to begin a 4-week course and plan to apply for English teaching jobs in Vietnam after I’m done.
Why Vietnam? That answer will be for another entry. Please check back!