Note from Rob: This was a great email to receive. It’s a strong reminder of some of the main blockers to doing exciting things with your career – be it starting a business, finding a new job or, in this case, going on a big adventure – money, other peoples’ expectations, fears of recklessness & ungratefulness. The guys are currently down on the coast of Italy. Nice one guys!
Hi, I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that you inspired two more escapees.
About a year ago, my then fiancé (now husband) and I attended one of your speaker seminars. After each having spent 8 years as city bankers, we were feeling a bit unfulfilled and like there might be more to life, however like many city bankers before us, we were shackled by the good pay and resultant feeling of security afforded to us by our jobs.
Neither of us are big spenders so it wasn’t a case of having expensive lifestyles to maintain, it was just comforting to know we could survive through a rainy day or two. Your seminar was our first introduction to people who had actually broken the mould and left behind security to face uncertainty and see what came of it.
We came away totally inspired and buzzing with all kinds of bold ideas – initially that the two of us would sail across the Atlantic in the ARC in November 2014, then that we should do it already in November 2013 (I should note here that my prior sailing experience at this point amounted to 2 weeks in the Ionian – basically a big bath).
Eventually we decided that we’d been doing stress and high pressure for 8 years and that what we were looking for was an experience rather than a tagline, so we settled on a plan to take a year sailing the Med during the summer months and heading south for winter to backpack in South America – still a challenge but one with a higher probability of enjoyment.
We had a few wobbles, deciding that we were bring reckless and ungrateful and that sane people would never leave jobs like ours, but every time we agreed we should be sensible and stay put we went back to feeling like we were just treading water – except even more miserable because seeds had been planted and had already grown roots.
In the end we decided we should tell as many of our friends and family as possible about our plans because it would then become too embarrassing to back out and we wouldn’t have the option any more – this worked a treat, especially since so many of them were so incredibly supportive and encouraging.
The road to the trip was not an easy one. We were planning a wedding (the trip would be our honeymoon), we had to buy a boat, we chose to do a lot of theoretical and practical sailing training as well as peripheral courses like first aid, VHF radio, diesel engine (to give us more comfort about being at sea just the two of us), we had to sort out flights in and out of South America, and we still had our high pressure jobs…
It was incredibly satisfying to tick things off the list and we were happy to be going through it all together but it was pretty exhausting. We’re now enjoying the fruits of our labour though and couldn’t be happier, every day brings a new experience and we’re learning things you could never pick up in an office environment.
We’re slowly leaving our London attitudes (walk fast, don’t trust strangers) behind us and embracing any opportunities that come up. We’re loving seeing Europe, much of it for the first time having always felt the need to go as far away as possible during past holidays given our meagre annual allowance, and looking forward to experiencing yet another way of life in South America.
I’m keeping a blog about our adventures so below is the web address in case you’re interested:
Thanks for inspiring us to take a chance, we’ll see what life has to offer us when we get back to reality in a year but I know I’ll never regret the decision we made to grab what is probably our last opportunity before retirement to do something irresponsible.
Now we just have to work out what jobs we can do when we get back that will allow us the summer months to sail! Any suggestions welcome
All the best
Laura and Gerard
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