Quitting one's job and hitting the road is likely the fantasy of blue collar workers everywhere. Who doesn't want to give the middle finger salute to the Man? But the dream took over my life. All the while I continued to interview for jobs, some that seemed like ideal jobs, but none that actually made me as happy or were nearly as interesting as seeing all the national parks, even if they were much more profitable. So the goal is this: visit all the national parks by the time I am 40. I have four years to check off the 42 that I have not seen.
First there is work to do: Downsize!
As it turns out, upgrading your life is a process of endless loss as well. First I left financial security and all my cushy benefits. I left my colleagues and an established reputation. I am packing up my house. When every single item in your life must be judged for it's worthiness to be saved or tossed, there is a lot of loss. I cannot possibly take every jacket I own but I really, really want to. Do I want it so bad that it is worth paying to have it packed, moved, and stored for months? Will I even still want it when I get it back? And if I can live without it for so long, do I really need it at all? I can't believe how much I hold onto because I worry someone will be offended if I give it away.
It is not just getting to the road. It will be ongoing. As I choose to step away from the normal routine of life, I put into storage my relationships, other goals, and my career. It is an interesting choice for sure considering I am so unwilling to gamble that I have never bought a lottery ticket!