I have been back in Canada just over 3 weeks and I finally can start to relax. I didn't think coming back would be this awkward or difficult, but it was. Anyways, before I get into that, I want to answer the 3 questions everyone keeps asking.
1. Why did I leave.
2. What did I learn, did I accomplish what I set out to do?
3. Why did I come back so early?
Why did I leave! I left for one major reason. I was unhappy and becoming angry with life. I knew there was more to living, and wanted to find it.
A few years back I was working as a team lead, and got promoted to take over for the director of development, but with the title Technical Operations Manager. This new role did not cancel out my old responsibilities, they just added the new ones. In other words, I was basically working two jobs. My work day went from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, to 7 am to 6:30 pm and weekend work became more frequent. Oh, and don't forget I only got 10 days off a year. So, after doing this for over 3 years, and never taking a week off, I took a week off and went to Dominican Republic for a well needed vacation and guess what. The company tried calling me, but with no luck. My stress level never lowered.
Not getting time off was only half the story at this job. Everyone hated working there, and all I ever heard was negative things about the company and to add to it, the owner LOVED to yell and degrade people. What an amazing position I was in.
Shortly after my vacation, I realized the last 15 years I have been over worked, and I hated life. I knew I had to change something, and that change started by giving my 4 weeks notice to leave this company. This did not go over well, and the company found out who my next employer was. They actually called my new employer trying to negotiate with them my start date behind my back. They wanted 6 months notice.
Even quieting, my stress seemed to never end.
Anyways, after 6 weeks of shit, I was finally at the new job. I was very clear when taking this new position that I was through with bad attitudes and working 55 or more hours a week.
Guess what, within 2 weeks at the new company I realized they were the exact same, and in some cases even worse. I tolerated this for 5 months and then we came to an agreement with them.
I was leaving again, but this time I was going to take my sweet time looking for a new job and no longer cared about making 6 figures a year. Money was no longer a concern, only happiness was.
It took 5 weeks, and I found an amazing position in Kingston. My boss and the people I worked with turned out to be truly amazing. Sweet and honest in all areas. A big bonus was 7.5 hours a day, 5 days a week and 15 days off a year. This could be my new life!
The only downside was I took a 70% pay cut. The salary I was now making is way more than good enough, but my current expenses were based on what I had been making the last 5 years.
I didn't want to leave this job, as it was awesome, but I knew I had to change my assets to match my new income. So I decided to list and sell my house, including all of my other major assets.
My house and assets sold within week. This was great, but I kept thinking I needed more and decided to browse the internet to see where at my young age, I could possibly work. This was a dream, but why not look.
Well, I couldn't believe it, I have always wanted to go to New Zealand, and for Canadians I could get a 2 year work-travel Visa for up to 2 years. I wasn't planning on leaving, but right at that exact moment, something happened. I just payed for the visa and wrote my resignation letter.
Maybe this was the change I needed, to get away from all of the negativity, and excessive work hours, and start completely over. Maybe I would end up living in New Zealand, or maybe I will just visit there and then continue traveling. This was the last major step in pushing me to leave.
So the reason I left was partially a fluke, part me being over stressed, but more so, I wanted to find myself, too learn how to be a better person and find out how others stay happy. I wanted to meet every walk of life and be a bit selfish and learn from them. Obviously working like a mad man, making tones of money, doesn't do it. What does?
What did I learn the last 5 months! Well, I already knew that people can be happy in the worst conditions, but I got to see it close up again and for longer periods of time. I met people who had more wealth than I could ever imagine, and I met people who had nothing, and worked 12 hours a day with only 2 days a month off, who were happier than I have been in the past. This really sunk in that happiness is what you make it. It isn't given to you, you make it happen!!!
I learned that how you look, truly means nothing. I used to be extremely shy with how I look. I hated taking off my shirt at the beach, because I thought I was too fat. And if you know me, I was very critical of others on how they looked. A person who was over weight I would always made ignorant comments about them and I don't know why. I hate people who make fun of others.
How did traveling help me in this area. Well, I can tell you one story about a pretty hot Aussie girl I hung out with, said to me one day. "Who the FUCK cares what others think about how I look! This is what I was given, this is what I am going show. Like it, or don't look.".
During the time I hung out with her, I was also living with 3 other young girls ranging between 18 and 28. Myself being 36, not once did they question my age, make me feel old, or comment on my looks. They all treated me like a human being, and for the most part, I forgot I was much older than them.
I started to notice this was true everywhere. I met tons of younger and older people in 7 different countries, and never once was I made to feel bad about how I look. This really hit me, and being around positive people, I noticed I lost those negative thoughts myself.
So, one thing I learned was, who cares about how you look , or how someone else look, the only thing that matters is that you are a good person inside.
What else did I learn. Well not caring about how others look, removes stress, and this is one step closer to being a better, happier person.
The next thing I learned was that Canadians, seem to think money is the world. Well, it is NOT. Living is! I will never take another job because of the salary I am going to earn, and I am definitely not going to start working 55 - 70 hours a week again. Who the hell wants to be 70 years old regret not doing something because you had to work. No one has ever regretted enjoying life, but many have regretted working to much.
So the next thing I learned is life comes before work, plain and simple!
The last big question, why did I come back! This isn't a straight forward answer, and has many parts, but I am going to try and make it short and simple.
One of the reasons, is my backpacks are way to heavy and I am not packed right. I want to fix this.
Another small reason, is my laptop is messed up and I can't work on my Knob Apps company while traveling. This is something I enjoy and wanted to be able to do. Another small one is I left to quickly and have some small things to take care of here, such as dental, address changes, etc. These are easier to fix from Canada.
Those are some small things, and here are the larger reasons.
I had all four grandparents alive, but one of them is very close to his end. I felt guilty for not being here. This is unlike me, as I have never felt sad, or cared when someone I know has passed on. I have always said, its life. Move on! But this time was not the same, I felt guilty and I don't know why, but I knew I had to come back.
Well, with good luck, I made it home 1 week before my grandfather passed away. He was 90 years old and one hell of an amazing guy. I will miss his smile and sense of humor.
I only have one picture of him and I, from about 15 years ago and the other picture is from when he was 17. Damn good looking guy! He will be missed.
There are some other reasons, but they are too small and not worth mentioning.
This is my last post until I head out again, which I hope will be in a few months. Take care all!