I quit my job.
Now this is not new, I’ve done it before. In fact I’ve quit my job 15 years ago, and moved across the country with no means of income and no place to live and less than $2k in my pocket. I couch surfed until I was able to land my first place in LA.
Fast-forward 15 years....I’ve quit my full-time, 401k providing, insurance-benefitted-job in Los Angeles.
Am I scared? A little.
Am I taking on the biggest challenge of my life? No idea.
Since December 2017, I’ve been working towards this goal. Paying down debt, selling of my “things”, realizing that I have way more than I need and alot more work that needed done if I was going to take my life and shrink it to fit into an RV.
What am I doing?
I’ve been selling almost everything I own. Purchased an RV and began getting it prepped for travel. #rvlife
The first typical response when I tell someone.. What do you mean (comes with the sideways puzzled look)??
If someone were to ask what I did for a living, I am a photographer. I have always been a photographer. While I may not have had this as my main source of income in LA, it is how I define my career, because that goal has never changed.
I’ve learned during my (47 years) 35 of them typically with a camera, my style and the kind of photography I enjoy shooting. As a kid, my dream was to travel the world as a photographer and work for NatGeo. I wanted to tell stories.
What sparked this sense of adventure?
My grandparents took me on a 3 week cross country trip in the truck and pop-up camper when I was 12. It was the first eye-opening event that showed me the world was much bigger than I realized. I was hooked and loved the idea of traveling.
However, like most Americans, I live check to check, the trips got further and further apart and fewer and fewer were taken. My goal was always go one place new once a year. Life happens, didn’t quite see the world like I had planned and let the desire to keep up with the trends prevent me from reaching those dreams.
In 2001 I broke my knee, which led to the slow and painful life I was leading. I was told at 33 I needed a knee replacement, but no doctor would perform the surgery until I was in my 50s. It deflated me and prevented me from living the life I should have been.
During a call when a friend asked me during my two hour (19 mile) drive home, where I wanted to live or retire, I didn’t have an answer.
That thought became my obsession and I spent the next year-and-a-half researching how I can take my horrible commute, the struggle of the typical 9-5 job and begin working remotely. How can I take the skills I have and move it to a more mobile job. One that would allow me to work, have insurance, pay my bills all while traveling.
I listened to podcasts, read blogs, watched videos and began to put together my plan.
I will have to hustle like I did when I first moved to LA. I can do that. If I can survive 2 layoffs, finally having knee replacement and my face becoming half-paralyzed. Traveling in an RV, while I KNOW it won’t be easy, will be something I can handle.
I don’t need the house. I don’t need the yard. I don't want the mortgage, that at this point it wouldn’t be paid off until I die. This travel lifestyle is not for everyone. That’s ok. Many worry. This lifestyle for me is going to be about living a simpler more enriched life. Chasing experiences instead of trends. Not following the standard married, house, kids, pets...routine (although I have the pets @burgerandthefriend)
Unfortunately the job I have, is not possible to move into remote work. So I took my graphic design skills and my ability to take photos and created my own job. I am able to freelance and remotely work for multiple companies that need designs. I will also be selling my work through various online and physical locations. Yes, I’m going to dive into the Art world again and become a vendor at Art Shows, Art Walks and events throughout the US.
I want to photograph, record and document my travels. I want to get back into timelapse photography. Nightscapes. Landscape Photography. I’ve re-discovered the video world, fought for years and tried to ignore it, but it’s now going to be a massive part of this life.
I want to tell stories. I want to find humanity again. I want to explore. I want to become the photographer I always dreamed I would become.
Maybe my life, this life that I am going to attempt, will fail. I wind up flat on my face, starting all over again.
All I can say to that...I tried.
It may not be pretty, I may make (I will make) mistakes but I tried.
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