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New member from California; planning take the BIG LEAP!

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New member from California; planning take the BIG LEAP!

Postby Jason » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:20 pm

Greetings,
I stumbled upon your excellent site, and after reading some of the forums i figured i should register and introduce myself.

I'm 36, and currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Been here most of my adult life, and overall its a very nice place to live. I have a great job@ a Fortune 500 Company, and have been employed there for 10 years. The only problem with all this is.... i am extremely unhappy. I am in Software QA, which is essentially testing software before its released to the public. I get paid well for it, but its reached a point where my soul is just dying a slow death every day in that cubicle. No one gets into QA because they like it. They do it because they're technically qualified and the money's not bad. It may be fulfilling for some people, but for me... its as if i've woken up and cant go back to sleep. I am not happy or fulfilled testing software, and the thought of doing it for 30 more years just horrifies me. I swear i would run out screaming and end up on some beach before that happened 8)

SOOO..... long story short.... I am actually planning on quitting my job. I want to throw all my shit in storage, and just TAKE OFF. I have done a fair amount of international travel, and loved every minute of it. I'm always dying to go do more. And i'm at a point right now where i have enough saved that i could feasibly just coast, not work, and travel for maybe 2-3 years. The crazy thing is, i actually just finished a 6mo leave of absence from my job. I was at this same quitting point last year, but decided to do the economically safe thing, and take the leave instead. The 6mo trip was awesome! And i came back a new man. At first i was actually really grateful for my good California life, and my good California job. But then after a few months... it all sunk in again: I hate this. I hate this job. I hate this line of work. And i am unhappy here. So here I am again :D

Its all a bit scary... because unlike many friends i know who have done big breaks from work and traveled... they all usually come back and get the same or similar jobs. But for me, I know that i dont want to do that anymore. So I essentially have to reinvent myself. Reinvent my career, and discover a new way of living. Which honestly is the scariest part. I make good money with relative ease right now... but as i mentioned, my soul is dying every day i spend in that cubicle (in a room with no windows). So i dont want to come back and do the same thing. So the potential financial future looming out there frightens me. But when i try to stoke the alternative fire, NO! STAY! WORK! I just get no traction at all. There's literally nothing anyone could do, double my pay, buy me a Ferrari, etc to make me be happy and fulfilled doing this job, and wasting the good years of my life in an office.

The whole model of work until you die, save for your retirement but forsake your day to day life is just severely flawed. Henry David Thoreau put it well: "We end up wasting the best part of our lives working and saving to enjoy a questionable liberty in the least valuable part of it." I AM TIRED OF WASTING MY LIFE. I AM TIRED OF NOT ENJOYING MY EXISTENCE. LIFE IS SHORT. ENJOY IT!! IF YOURE NOT HAPPY, MAKE CHANGES. I have a "good job," but it is not fulfilling. I was and always have been a creative person by nature. But i gave all that up when i sold my soul to the corporate world. When i get back into creativity (graphic design, music composition, etc) i feel a feeling i NEVER get from my job. A feeling of fulfillment and joy.

SO... all the scariness aside... i think its time to embrace the EXCITEMENT. I am in a very unique opportunity right now in my life. I have no wife, no kids, no mortgage, no debt. I have money saved and could easily just TAKE OFF and have the adventure of a lifetime. And that's exactly what I am going to do :D I would be a complete FOOL just to sit here and keep living a life that i hate. 2-3 YEARS of travel, adventure, new people, new experiences, and constant change. No more stagnation, cuz that's what i've been doing for too long.

And destination wise, so far i have been to: Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, India, Nepal, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Egypt, France, Germany, Holland. I want to go back to many of those places, as well as explore many more. But TRULY explore, like with no expiration date. I am REALLY looking forward to the art of long term travel. Spend a month here, a month there vs the traditional "OMG I only have 3 weeks!" model. Rushed vacation planning madness gets annoying.

But anyhow, sorry for the sorta long-winded introduction. But just wanted to say hi, and let you all know where i was at/where i am coming from.

What do you all thing? Am I crazy? Would love to hear from some people here.
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Postby jamesbond » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:37 pm

Welcome Jason! It sounds like you have what a lot of people have and that's the "golden handcuffs" when it comes to working. You make good money but you hate your job and don't want to waste anymore of your life on a meaningless, souless existence. It's funny, were supposed to work until age 65 at jobs we hate, then retire and enjoy our lives (for the little time we have left then). We give the best years of our lives to our jobs! WTF? :shock:

It sounds like you have traveled a lot, you are lucky as most people never leave the USA. It's great that you have saved up enough money to live on for 2 to 3 years. The more money you have saved up, the more time you will have to travel and have fun! (and not have to work in some god-forsaken cubicle) :shock:

Let us know what you future traveling plans are, there are a lot of great minds here who have traveled to a lot of countries and can give you some great insight.
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Postby Winston » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:48 pm

Welcome Jason. You are from my home area. I grew up in Fremont.

I know how you feel, to go through a mind numbing routine that becomes excruciating after a while, leaving you screaming inside to get out. It's horrible and suffocating.

It's a pity that California has all that great even tempered weather which is all wasted on the workaholic lifestyle of staying indoors which CA is all about. What a waste of a state's precious weather.

I wrote a recent essay that describes the predicament you described:

http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8757

Most people believe what they are told, and they are not told that the world is an enslavement system. Instead they are told that they were born to work, which is a virtue, and that if they study hard and work hard, they will make a lot of money and have a good life. But in reality, they end up slaving away their whole lives for money with some "pie in the sky" dream in their heads with little or no time to enjoy any "good life". They never live fully or experience any true freedom or discover themselves. Instead they live in fear, worry and pressure their whole lives just to keep up an illusory facade under the programming of the system. In the end, it falls flat and they wonder what went wrong after they've lost most of their precious life years serving the system. By the time they realize it, it's too late. Such is the sad scam the system puts on you.


Welcome and be glad that you've seen the light, even if you haven't lived it yet. All things begin as a thought first, including the universe itself :)
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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Postby Winston » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:55 pm

Btw Jason, don't you hate the facade of going into the office every morning just to have the same old greeting:

"How are ya?"
"Doing great! How about yourself?"
"Oh I'm not too bad!"

"What a wet rainy day today huh?"
"Yeah sure is. It's suppose to clear up next week. Hopefully we'll get some sunshine by then."

Isn't that so trivial and meaningless? lol

Then during coffee breaks you have to make more lighthearted trivial conversation with the workers in the break room. Nothing deep or meaningful or intellectual.

And don't you hate when you wake up and see all that nice weather outside, only to go to your office indoors and by the time you're done it's already dark and the daylight is gone? It feels like such a pitiful loss huh?

I remember all that. It sucked. You felt like a robot, a commodity, etc.

Also, don't you hate being under flourescent lights 8 hours a day hearing the printer/copy machine motor whirring all day? That sound gets aggravating after a while, and you come to associate it with mind numbing souless monotony. I would daydream and think horny thoughts under all that.
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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Re: New member from California; planning take the BIG LEAP!

Postby travel_man » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:40 pm

Welcome. Just curious: After 2-3 years, what will you do then? You need money to travel, and for that, you gotta work somehow.
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Re: New member from California; planning take the BIG LEAP!

Postby Winston » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:52 pm

travel_man wrote:Welcome. Just curious: After 2-3 years, what will you do then? You need money to travel, and for that, you gotta work somehow.


He probably doesn't know and doesn't need to plan that far yet. Often opportunities will come up during that time that will bridge you from one stage of life to the next. Few things go according to plan. You can't plan every step. We often have to ride the waves and decide things as they come.
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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Postby Jason » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:28 pm

jamesbond wrote:Welcome Jason! It sounds like you have what a lot of people have and that's the "golden handcuffs" when it comes to working. You make good money but you hate your job and don't want to waste anymore of your life on a meaningless, souless existence. It's funny, were supposed to work until age 65 at jobs we hate, then retire and enjoy our lives (for the little time we have left then). We give the best years of our lives to our jobs! WTF? :shock:

It sounds like you have traveled a lot, you are lucky as most people never leave the USA. It's great that you have saved up enough money to live on for 2 to 3 years. The more money you have saved up, the more time you will have to travel and have fun! (and not have to work in some god-forsaken cubicle) :shock:

Let us know what you future traveling plans are, there are a lot of great minds here who have traveled to a lot of countries and can give you some great insight.


Thank you for the warm welcome! What you write here is true, and i very much relate to your words.

The Golden Handcuffs! EXACTLY bro. Exactly. I have been referring to it as the Velvet Prison. Its soooo nice and comfortable! But you simply cannot leave. In fact, you cant even just not show up for a single day. If you're not there Monday morning, then there's trouble!! Employers try to give perks, try to make work good for people. But ultimately its the same thing: spending day after day in a cube/office, wasting your life away. Spending all your time working, working working. TIME is the ultimate commodity, but we end up selling away all our time for a dollar amount. We can always get more money...but can never get more time!

I always come back to the famous quote from Fight Club: "working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we dont need." SOOO TRUE!!!

So yes... time to unlock the golden handcuffs. Time to break out of the velvet prison. I am reading an EXCELLENT book right now. It's called Vagabonding: The Uncommon Art of Long Term Travel. Very inspiring book. Really great, i definitely recommend it. Lots of good quotes, inspiration, etc.

So right now my future travel plans are:

Dec-->May in SE Asia. Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, maybe Phlippines, Burma.
May-->Sept back in USA to help mom move, chill w friends, actually enjoy a California summer for a change
Sep-->Oct/Nov head to Europe to meet up with a friend who will be traveling too
Nov-->May back to SE Asia w same friend. Then maybe rock India, Sri Lanka, China? Who knows

And after that, want to go to South/Central America, Australia, maybe Africa. Also would like to see Ukraine/Eastern Europe.

That's all i got for now! :)

Ultimately i just want a rough plan, and want to just go where the wind takes me. Want to rely on circumstance, opportunity, and synchronicity. You can make all the plans you want, but things usually end up working out differently. Gotta go with the flow, yo!! :D
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Postby sunlotus » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:46 pm

I just got back from a 2 month in China i was fooled into thinking i would get a work visa from a small school in Nanjing. It was small loss but the gain from the experience abroad was far more. Im all for the big leap. I just need to finish a degree and get out there again, i was damn good teacher, just a crook for a boss.
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Postby Jason » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:48 pm

Winston wrote:Welcome Jason. You are from my home area. I grew up in Fremont.

I know how you feel, to go through a mind numbing routine that becomes excruciating after a while, leaving you screaming inside to get out. It's horrible and suffocating.

It's a pity that California has all that great even tempered weather which is all wasted on the workaholic lifestyle of staying indoors which CA is all about. What a waste of a state's precious weather.

I wrote a recent essay that describes the predicament you described:

http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8757

Most people believe what they are told, and they are not told that the world is an enslavement system. Instead they are told that they were born to work, which is a virtue, and that if they study hard and work hard, they will make a lot of money and have a good life. But in reality, they end up slaving away their whole lives for money with some "pie in the sky" dream in their heads with little or no time to enjoy any "good life". They never live fully or experience any true freedom or discover themselves. Instead they live in fear, worry and pressure their whole lives just to keep up an illusory facade under the programming of the system. In the end, it falls flat and they wonder what went wrong after they've lost most of their precious life years serving the system. By the time they realize it, it's too late. Such is the sad scam the system puts on you.


Welcome and be glad that you've seen the light, even if you haven't lived it yet. All things begin as a thought first, including the universe itself :)


Hey Winston!! :)
First off, thanks a lot for creating this website and forum. I'm pretty sure i found it from one of your Amazon book reviews. Some travel or life change book. But anyhow, its great to be among people who understand and relate.

And damn!! Fremont!! That's crazy. I live in Los Altos, and have previously lived in Saratoga and Santa Cruz (mainly Santa Cruz, love it there but got tired of commuting over 17). I also recently tried living in San Francisco, figured i'd go for a big change upon my return from the 6mo leave. BIG MISTAKE! The commute to work was just too far, and living in SF is hectic and challenging in itself.

And YES! What a huge waste that the culture here is just work work, stay indoors all the time. The weather and environment here is GREAT. Some of the best in the world. And i am REALLY tired of watching summer after summer tick by while i sit in an office.

You and I are completely on the same page. Your essay is great! Exactly how i feel. And its like i wrote before, I feel like i have awaken and cant go back to sleep. I just CANNOT continue on the hamster wheel, work to live, live to work reality. I have been trying to force myself to do it... and its just not working. TIME FOR CHANGE!!

Rather than purposefully living, the vast majority of people's lives are little more than a series of reactions to events and forces outside themselves. That's not truly living. That's just survival. Yet most people willingly engage in simple survival today in the belief that they will get their chance at actual living tomorrow. If they can earn enough money now surely they will be able to retire one day and enjoy life.

That model is FLAWED. And if you dont rebel against it, you will just end up miserable (like i am now). Or maybe you're the kind who can just work his life away and be totally ok with it. Maybe structured 9-5, M-F work is something you need. But for me, its the something that is actually stopping me from accomplishing what i REALLY want. Its holding me back from ACTUALLY LIVING.
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Re: New member from California; planning take the BIG LEAP!

Postby momopi » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:56 pm

Jason wrote:I'm 36, and currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Been here most of my adult life, and overall its a very nice place to live. I have a great job@ a Fortune 500 Company, and have been employed there for 10 years. The only problem with all this is.... i am extremely unhappy. I am in Software QA, which is essentially testing software before its released to the public. I get paid well for it, but its reached a point where my soul is just dying a slow death every day in that cubicle. No one gets into QA because they like it. They do it because they're technically qualified and the money's not bad. It may be fulfilling for some people, but for me... its as if i've woken up and cant go back to sleep. I am not happy or fulfilled testing software, and the thought of doing it for 30 more years just horrifies me. I swear i would run out screaming and end up on some beach before that happened 8)


Welcome!

Did you use Mercury/HP Quality Center? I did the test scripts for Symantec Altiris at my previous job. Pretty boring project, and my cost-saving boss insisted on using VM servers for sandbox and dev environments, which were slow as molasses. Now my gf is stuck writing QA scripts in QC at SCE, LoL.

Man there were days when I sat in a cubical, looked out the window and thought, the grass is green, the clouds are white, flowers are blooming, and I'd rather be fishing. Best thing about my old job were the Asia assignments (Tokyo-HK-SG) I had in early to mid 2000's. So this year I got a new job that sends me to places, but unfortunately I don't get many international assignments to Shenzhen. Instead, I get sent to chemical factories in British Columbia and mining operations in Alberta.

If you don't like being stuck in a cubical, by all means, get up and walk. Vote with your feet, go see the world. Do it when you're still young and virile, you'd be well ahead of those viagra-dependent balding old men overseas!
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Re: New member from California; planning take the BIG LEAP!

Postby Jason » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:59 pm

Winston wrote:
travel_man wrote:Welcome. Just curious: After 2-3 years, what will you do then? You need money to travel, and for that, you gotta work somehow.


He probably doesn't know and doesn't need to plan that far yet. Often opportunities will come up during that time that will bridge you from one stage of life to the next. Few things go according to plan. You can't plan every step. We often have to ride the waves and decide things as they come.


YEP!!! That's pretty much what I'm banking on. I have a couple ideas at this point... but am not fully commited to them.

My goal is that somewhere on my travels, i will find a new way. A new mode. A new model. A new direction to head in. I am going to let The Universe, fate, karma, etc, decide it.

As my friend puts it: "its hard to worry about 3 years down the road NOW. You're not there yet. You cant possibly know what you will know then. There are so many experiences and opportunities that lie between here and then."

And granted, all the spiritual wisdom aside... its still VERY SCARY! To give up a good paying job, and a good career. Its hard to know that I dont want to come back and do the same thing. But i cant lie to myself anymore and say that I'm ok doing this work forever, spending my days in this cubicle forever.

I mean worst case... i end up back here doing the same thing. AND I'M ALREADY DOING THAT!!! So its almost as if i'm already living the worst case. So seems like its a win-win situation to take off and explore the world, explore life, and actually enjoy reality.
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Re: New member from California; planning take the BIG LEAP!

Postby Jason » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:15 pm

momopi wrote:
Jason wrote:I'm 36, and currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Been here most of my adult life, and overall its a very nice place to live. I have a great job@ a Fortune 500 Company, and have been employed there for 10 years. The only problem with all this is.... i am extremely unhappy. I am in Software QA, which is essentially testing software before its released to the public. I get paid well for it, but its reached a point where my soul is just dying a slow death every day in that cubicle. No one gets into QA because they like it. They do it because they're technically qualified and the money's not bad. It may be fulfilling for some people, but for me... its as if i've woken up and cant go back to sleep. I am not happy or fulfilled testing software, and the thought of doing it for 30 more years just horrifies me. I swear i would run out screaming and end up on some beach before that happened 8)


Welcome!

Did you use Mercury/HP Quality Center? I did the test scripts for Symantec Altiris at my previous job. Pretty boring project, and my cost-saving boss insisted on using VM servers for sandbox and dev environments, which were slow as molasses. Now my gf is stuck writing QA scripts in QC at SCE, LoL.

Man there were days when I sat in a cubical, looked out the window and thought, the grass is green, the clouds are white, flowers are blooming, and I'd rather be fishing. Best thing about my old job were the Asia assignments (Tokyo-HK-SG) I had in early to mid 2000's. So this year I got a new job that sends me to places, but unfortunately I don't get many international assignments to Shenzhen. Instead, I get sent to chemical factories in British Columbia and mining operations in Alberta.

If you don't like being stuck in a cubical, by all means, get up and walk. Vote with your feet, go see the world. Do it when you're still young and virile, you'd be well ahead of those viagra-dependent balding old men overseas!


Nope, have not used that stuff. I test consumer applications. I wont go into specifics... but its mainly end user ad-hoc testing.

And admittedly, knowing that i dont want to get back into doing QA... is... kinda scary. Its been my career for 15 years. But that very reason i also why i need to get out of it.

So figure i'd be better off having the adventure of a lifetime, and diving into the unknown. The unknown can be scary... but also exciting. I KNOW what waits for me here. I've been having the same day every day, for ten years. Only difference is where i go to lunch. I'M OVER IT!! Time for change.

And YEAH! Gotta do this shit while i'm still young. I think i only have a few more years where i can consider myself that :P :) But I dont want to be one of those old viagra poppin bald dudes! Not the best age for travel. I mean look at my Dad: 60 years old, never even left the country! Not even once. A shame really. He actually says i have a lot of guts to have done the solo travel that i have. He says he coulda never done it. But solo travel is great. You call the shots, if you're bored, leave. If you wanna stay, stay. It also gets lonely and isolating... but ultimately allows a lot more real freedom.
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Postby The_Adventurer » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:17 pm

Just to throw a thought in the wind. The internet has opened up so many new avenues for people to find what they truly love to do and make money doing it. You have the advantage that there's no rush. You have 3 years to think about it. Get a small laptop or iPad to carry with you at some point, or just drop into intenet cafes on occasion and look around the net, brainstorm and something will probably come to you, something you have always wanted deep down, and there will likely be a way you can do that thing and see a great return from it.
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan
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Postby ssjparris » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:16 am

hey there californian. i am in the ghetto right now. straight from compton. sippin on jin and juice. just kidding. anyways...terrance is right.

I am using the internet right now to start making money. although i have not made any money at all. but only because i am preparing
my websites to be built and tested. i have already found i market that i enjoy and know pretty well. perhaps you can do the same.

there are torrent sites that have LOADS of genuine ways to make money online. this way you can travel and have american dollars still
come in. when ever you want.

pm me and maybe i can share the site with you.
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Postby The_Adventurer » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:43 am

There are also a few good freelance sites if you have particular skills, like writing, programming, web design or graphics etc. Some guys are making 6 figures just from working off these sites. Imagine making $200,000 per year from your laptop anywhere in the world!

Most of these sites also offer debit cards directly through the site, so you get paid and its all on a Visa or Master card you can use anywhere. You don't need a separate bank account or have to deal with Paypal, although you can if you want to. Working off these sites saved by butt a few times while traveling in the Phils. Generally there's not a lot of call for animation of the type that I do, but if you have interest or ability in the types of gigs on there, it might be worth it.
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan
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