From 9-5 to Feeling Alive

I had been harboring a secret at work for weeks: I booked my one way plane ticket to Japan and I wasn’t coming back.

To give a two week notice, or to give a two month notice? The inner turmoil was killing me. Even when I finally broke the news to my director, I was secretive about the reasons behind my resignation. “You make it sound like you’re dying,” said one friend, after I described to her exactly what was said in my meeting. “He’s going to think you’re going to rehab!” said another. Indeed, in my zeal to protect my privacy, the vague reasons for leaving would definitely raise some eyebrows.

In the end, I came clean. One by one, I confessed to a few close colleagues that I was leaving the company. And when their searching eyes asked the all important question, “Where are you going?” I finally shed the shroud of secrecy and revealed my plans.

In contrast, Simon said “Bye Felicia” to his boss and colleagues. The end.

As we are on the cusp of leaving on a journey that we have long been dreaming of, one question we are often asked is, “Are you guys ready for your trip?!”

Simon would probably answer this differently, but I’m feeling quite Jesse Spano right now.


I always thought I would be undoubtedly happy to break free from the chains of the 9-5. Yet now that I’m actually unemployed for the first time in my adult life, I feel strangely empty. I think I just miss the people and my awesome standing desk.

I am trading in my comfy routine for days with changing itineraries, unknown challenges, strange foods, and foreign customs. Although I am no stranger to being a stranger in a strange land, It doesn’t mean I don’t accept this life changing experience without reservation, concern, worry, and anxiety. Yet I know that with big risk comes the biggest reward. Many years from when I’m sitting in my rocker, these will be the memories that I will recount with fondness the most.

And soon, Simon and I will hold hands, count to three and take the plunge into the unknown depths of our travels as they unfold.


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