June of 2011 I started as the sole human resources representative for my company and now, 5 years later, I am walking away from my HR team, my Operations team, a Vice President title, and coworkers who were my entire community in order to travel the world with Remote Year. It’s a big piece of my life to leave behind and I want to put into words the reason why I’m leaving — because when I walked out the doors for the last time yesterday, I had to remind myself of that very thing – Why I’m Leaving.
I recently found a scrap of paper from 2009 when I was at a job I didn’t really love and was looking to make a change. I had brainstormed a list of Things I Would Do If I Didn’t Have to Work. If I had all the money in the world, how would i occupy myself? What were my passions? [Note: this is a very millennial concept but deal with it, I’m a millennial] #1 on the list was travel. Travel has been a value for me for years. Even with a normal full-time gig, I’ve made travel a priority for my budget and vacation time. In the past 12 months I’ve been to Jamaica, San Antonio, Charleston, Vegas, Bermuda, Nashville, California, Aruba, Florida, & Minnesota, but I’m never satisfied. Every time I come home from a trip, I start planning my next one.
I’m leaving because I want to travel. But that’s too easy of an answer, isn’t it? I’m leaving because I haven’t ever lived more than 3 hours away from the spot I grew up. I’m leaving because I haven’t been meeting new people and it’s not for lack of trying. I’m leaving because I’m afraid I only have one skewed perception of the world and find it difficult sometimes to see others points of view. I’m leaving because that perception may end up hurting me professionally in the long run. I’m leaving because my personal life isn’t what I want it to be. I’m leaving because I’ve always been jealous of my brother’s years living abroad. I’m leaving because I have the opportunity to do so and WHY THE HELL NOT?
I’ve been so satisfied with my role at my current company and I am extremely proud of how hard I’ve worked especially through multiple company acquisitions. I am proud of my teams and how we were able to motivate and drive each other. I’m so sad to leave the coworkers who felt like family but I know they’ll continue to flourish even without me sprinting through the hall in heels or my clip art emails. Shout out to all the hugs and tears yesterday, you know how to make a girl feel loved.
I’m taking this trip because I need to. Because I’m not scared. Because I’m confident in my ability to be scrappy and be sure I am consistently employed. Because I’m also confident in my ability to come back to the states and find another corporate job after the year is over if that’s what’s necessary. I’m taking this trip to grow and learn and explore and drink wine and let go and have fun and live in and embrace the messiness and chaos that is sure to come with a gypsy life. Thanks for all of your support.