Yeah, right, you’ve probably read dozens of posts suggesting you to follow your dreams, right? Bear with me for a couple more minutes, please. I’m not going to give you some quick steps to quit your job and change your life tomorrow, but I have a point.
Jörg and I decided to quit our jobs in 2016, sell (nearly) all our worldly possessions and start our company that we can now run from wherever we are in the world, as long as we have data connection. It was not a decision on the spur of the moment, nor was it on a whim: we began to mull over the idea of being in charge of our future more than a year before. At that time we were not in our early twenties anymore, we already had years of experience in the IT corporate world, a very good salary and the life comfort that comes with that. But… There’s a “but”, of course!
We were not happy.
For years we were planning our time off work somewhere in a tropical country with good dive sites; twice a year we could afford a long-haul trip and a short one and among our destinations there were the Caribbean, the Maldives or the wonderful Red Sea that is basically in our backyard. We saved every cent that we could for six months just to be able to enjoy those 2 weeks underwater with a minimum surface interval, had a wonderful time with members of the dive family and then experienced the back-to-work blues every single time. The holiday planning was already exciting, the flight booking was a celebration and the choice of the dive center gave us that anticipation that only kids before Christmas can really understand. And then back to the Monday-Friday, 9-5 routine with its headaches, frustrations and hopelessness. We were in a loop and we needed to change that. We couldn’t wait any longer but we also didn’t want to rush things without a plan. We rolled up our sleeves, spent dozens of hours researching our options, learnt how to write a good business plan and then we started, leaving our comfort zone behind and jumping into a new life full of risks and hard work.
For us following our dream means bringing together our passions for the ocean and diving, travelling and the IT world. So is it a success story? Well, so far yes! 🙂 We’re travelling and diving, right now we’re working on our software from our laptops in a tiny Thai fishermen village and we get to experience the beauty of the ocean. We’re still in the startup phase of our company, but we’re confident that we will make it, one way or another.
The other day I received some bad news from home. A guy that I used to know, a good guy, a honest man who was following his dream had lost his life doing the thing that he was in love with: mountain climbing. We used to go to school together and I remember his passion for the Alps where we used to spend a few weeks during the summer holidays every year with the other kids from our home town. A few years later, while the young men and women our age got a degree or worked hard in their first jobs, he made the decision to move to the Alps and start his new life there. I remember as if it was yesterday the day that I received the news about him moving there. I thought: “he got it, he really got the meaning of life”. I haven’t seen or talked to him since, but I enjoyed all his pictures on his Facebook page: the white peaks of Mont Blanc, the green slopes of Gran Paradiso in the summer, his huge smiles in every picture, while he was working as Alpine Guide. All the while I was happy for him, for his dream that came true. And now I wish I had sent him a message, just one in all these years, to tell him that if I’m now following my dream it’s also because of him and his love for the mountains that as a young man made him choose to leave the comfort of his family and home town to pursue his goal.
Even if we didn’t keep in touch, I’m sure that he had more plans, more dreams to follow and more experiences to enjoy with his family and friends. He only had a limited number of years and months on this planet and he chose to make the most of it.
I will think of him and his smile every time I’ll go back to the Alps and every time my passion for the ocean, like his for the mountain, will bring me closer to my dream.
Now, is this something that everybody can do? Not sure about that. Not everybody is in the position to give up everything, pack a bag and go with the wind and probably not everybody would want to. But everybody has a dream. Some people are in a happy place as they’ve already made their dream a reality by making a living out of their passion, some others are on their way and some just gave up. To these last ones: please reconsider. Even when you think there’s no other way, there’s always an alternative. Maybe the alternative is not comfortable -they never are-, and maybe it’s not going to happen today or tomorrow, but make it happen soon, please. You deserve to be happy and you cannot postpone it until after you retire or when your kids complete their studies or after you reach yet another milestone in your career because life is too short and you have no guarantee that you will be given the time, good health or financial possibilities to follow your dream. Start now!
This post was inspired by Alessandro Bosio and his passion for the mountains – www.mountainmania.it