Four years ago, my wife and I decided to change our life entirely. We both had established businesses in Washington, DC that were very successful, we lived in a nice neighborhood with great neighbors, and we had good friends. But we weren’t living the lives we wanted to lead. We were so busy working (because that’s what everyone in DC does) that we didn’t have much time to just hang out with our kids or do things we loved.
We asked ourselves, where did we want to be in five years? In ten? Not working 70-80 hours a week to pay our bills, that was for sure. Not missing time with our children because we were too busy or tired to enjoy them. We realized that if we didn’t change our lives dramatically, we’d be in the exact same place in a decade. Overworked and not living our lives fully or on purpose.
The safe move would have been to stay where we were with secure jobs and steady income. Most people advised us to stay the course, to pay off the large mortgage on the house that we’d already grown out of and keep working every weekend to build our businesses. Rules of conventional wisdom tell us that we should keep the steady job instead of taking a risk. But we didn’t want to keep running on the treadmill until we were too tired to enjoy our lives. We decided to break the rules and break out of our traditional life.
We sold our house and moved down south to North Carolina. We bought a great house in a great neighborhood (that was actually big enough!) for a fraction of what we’d been paying. We restructured our businesses so that we worked half as much (still going up to DC occasionally) but ended up being able to save more money each month. My wife freed up her time to do more of the writing she loved and I joined a windsurfing club.
So two years later, what does our breakout life look like? Well, my wife and I drop our kids off at their year-round school then go for a morning paddle at a nearby reservoir on our stand up paddleboards. Then she writes and I work a bit. We pick up our kids and spend time with them in the afternoons. We eat dinner together every night. We travel more. My wife and I spent a week in Istanbul and another week sailing a catamaran off the Turkish coast then a few months later we took our children on a three week trip to Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii. Every few months we take shorter trips to the North Carolina beaches or nearby resorts. We enjoy our life now instead of living for a better life somewhere down the road that may never come! And all because we took a chance, broke the rules of what we were supposed to do and broke out of our old life!
And if we can do it, you can do it! Let’s break out together!