Alice Avery actually did.
Welcome to the corporate grind.
Commute after commute. Meeting after meeting. Project after project. Year after year. Trading time for money. Wedging trips in the narrow spaces between family holidays and urgent deadlines. All the while nurturing wanderlust ambitions.
Alice Avery and her husband, Peter, dreamed of a better life. Even though most people thought they already had it “all.” Great careers. Great compensation and benefits. Great apartment in a major city.
They gradually observed their current formula for success added up to a greater total cost than they were willing to pay:
More Time At Work + More Time At A Desk = More Netflix on Weekends
How do you realize your dream of traveling the world when you’re too tired to leave the couch?
The thought gave them pause. They used that pause to ponder what mattered most to them: travel the world. Over the course of several months, they agreed to build a career sabbatical strategy together as their top priority.
Pause + Ponder + Prioritize = Success With Less
Being clear on their top priority made it easier for Alice and Peter to spend lesstime and money on pursuits that moved them away from their dream. Which freed up more energy and resources to move them closer toward their dream.
Releasing the obligations that no longer serve you makes room for the experiences that do.
Even with clear priorities and a clear sense of purpose, Alice and Peter needed support. Others who were invested in them and in their dream. Others who could encourage them along the way. That’s when Alice’s team suggested she use the company’s annual planning process — in light of her planned transition — to reveal her aspiration to a broader internal audience. What started as a lighthearted joke became an inspiration to others who were seeking to pursue big dreams of their own.
- World traveler, adventurer, mountain trekker.
- Follow your dreams.
- Get out of the comfort zone.
- Drive the Iceland Ring Road
- Hike the Tour de Mont Blanc
- See US National Parks: Half Dome, Yosemite, California; Reservations of New Mexico; Antelope Canyon, Arizona; Crater Lake, Oregon; Zion, Utah
- Set up a home in Southeast Asia
- Personal Development: Happiness & Foster new friendships
- Money. Funding may become an issue in the next fiscal year. Create a strict budget and output tracker and evaluate contractor opportunities in Q2.
Rather than oppose her plan, Alice’s boss became an ally and avid supporter, often sharing Alice’s plan with others. And even offering to store Alice and Peter’s belongings in her home while they were traveling the world.
The reality of pursuing their dream sunk in the day Alice and Peter attended their respective going away parties at work. And turned over the keys to their apartment to their temporary tenants.
What surprised Alice and Peter after their first six months of travel is how much stress they were enduring on a daily basis prior to their trip and how refreshed and alive they feel now.
“It was just the combination of constantly buzzing around and being ‘busy’ and spending too much time frantically calling Ubers to get across the city and talking about tech or politics literally all the time and getting home late and hungry but there’s nothing in the house to eat and the car needs fixing but there’s no time and on and on and on,” reflects Alice.
“My mental health and happiness have improved a lot, and I am learning what things I need to keep stress in check. That’s going to be a huge factor for me in building a new lifestyle when we get back. Mainly, I’ve learned how to slow down — I walk slower to look around, I don’t react as hotly or emotionally to things, and I don’t multitask. I have more time for reading…I’ve also been exploring creative pursuits, which is something I haven’t really made time for since high school.”
When was the last time you revisited your dream goals?
Quitting your job and traveling the world may not be for you. The good news is that success IS for you. On your terms. And on your timeline.
Press pause today to ponder your next priority. And then choose one very small step to get started.
Peter and Alice invite you to follow their journey at https://worldofwander.app/
This post first appeared on Medium.