10:00 pm. Maybe I should go home, its been a long day at the office since I got here at 8 this morning. It’s been a busy few months actually. A trip to Japan, a trip to Korea, a couple days in China, several late night conference calls, and email from the time I rise until the time I go to bed, 7 days a week. I do some of my best problem solving while in the shower and in my restless sleep, and on those 16 hour international flights
Vacation was nice. I only spent a couple hours a day on email. The extra late evenings and weekends leading up to vacation sure made it easier to unplug while away from the office
The truth is, I loved it. For awhile. The first years of my career I was learning so much so fast that I just wanted to keep at it. I loved learning and solving problems. I worked every holiday in college. I graduated on Friday, moved myself over the weekend, and started my first job on Monday. When I left my first job, I had the weekend off before I started the second job on Monday. Instead of taking vacation, I cashed out my accrued hours. And then about 10 years ago, I had my first long vacation, a total of 3 weeks.
Week one, I mostly thought about work. Week two, I started relaxing and thinking that scuba diving in the tropics was not too bad. By week three, I had a new problem to solve: How can I do this every day for the rest of my life?
I started asking myself questions such as “What is the purpose of life?”, “What is the key to happiness?”, and “Is it possible to live a good life without a job?” I started reading books and websites about retiring early. I had a lot of questions and few answers
I wrote a 50 page business plan about how to scuba all over the world. It was a good starting point, but I didn’t follow the business plan to the letter. There were a few curves in the path, a few unforeseen obstacles, and a few lessons learned.
But 10 years later I have an answer for “Why do you travel?” Because there is more to life than working in an office. And thanks to years of preparing for it, because I can