I just returned from a three-day road trip that included time in San Luis Obispo and its surrounding area. It was a quick trip, but it has been one of the more satisfying road trips my travel partner and I have gone on in the last several years. We had been working really hard lately, and I know we were both feeling a bit stressed and worn down because of it. It was time to get away.
We settled on San Luis Obispo pretty quickly and hit the road with a hotel reservation, a plan to see an old friend of mine and a list of possibilities. And somehow things fell into place.
Getting out of the corporate world has given me the chance to travel more. The corporate world made me feel trapped. I was never really good at taking time off when I worked in that environment. I would end up with a huge paid time off bank because I rarely managed to take time off to travel. I think many of us start to feel this way. Vacation becomes something you plan for once a year if you are lucky. In my corporate life, I was my work. My world often felt limited to my life in the context of my job. In my new life, work is simply one thing that I do.
Having the ability to write and travel more has opened up more possibilities for understanding who I am. I am at home on the road, and all the miles I have traveled in the last couple years have reminded me that I am not the kind of person who can be chained to a desk. When we go out in the world and see and experience new places, we are reading the world. When work is all we do, it reduces the chance of being able to experience this. I gain a deeper understanding of my own life through reading about the lives of others. For me, this involves a healthy balance of books and experiencing the world first hand.
This is not to say that everyone should quit their job and make the move to self employment. It is not for everyone, and there are certainly ways to live life beyond a job without making the same leap I did. The key is to step beyond the bounds of the identity that our work and our jobs create for us. We are more than that, and there are countless live and stories out in the world that are waiting to be read.
Read. Travel. Write.