#LostOnPurpose: How We Followed Our Dreams and Took Off to Europe, Part I
For a while now my partner and I have been unhappy in our professional lives. He struggled with working in an industry he stumbled into years ago and found little meaningful work in. I've become unchallenged in my current position and no longer feel enthusiastic about the projects I support. On top of that, we’ve had an on-going struggle with our living situation. We currently live separately – him in Stamford, CT and me in Manhattan. Luckily it’s only a 45 minutes commute – but it’s an extra step we have to calculate in our relationship; a step we look forward to cutting out when we make the decision to move in together.
As it turned out, his lease was up, but mine wasn’t. Now we had to decide whether to spend another year living separately (enduring the commute that comes with it) or figure out how and where to live together. The latter option seems straight forward, but because our jobs are based in our respective cities, finding a central location (or choosing between the two) has been something we've grappled with. (Plus, I'm incredibly partial to living in the city, haha). It felt like we had some tough decisions to make, both professionally and personally, but each decision in turn depended on the outcome of another. If we got new jobs that required relocation did it make sense to move now when we would have to move again later? And what if our jobs continue to be located in separate directions? Where would we live? Or do we decide where we want to live first and let that dictate our job hunt? Apartment hunting and job hunting are two of the most stressful parts of adulthood - especially when you have to juggle them at the same time and you're not sure which direction to go.
One day, during our usual after-work conversations, we were discussing (yet again) what our options are. Then, completely joking, he said, “So we have three options: 1.) I stay in my current apartment; 2.) we find a new apartment; or 3.) we move to Europe.”
And all I could think was WHY NOT?!
We played out the scenario in our heads and then out loud. How would it work? Where would we go? For how long? How much would that cost? What would we do? Is this crazy?!
After several more days of back and forth (and a few sleepless nights later), we finally decided to do it. To take a leap of faith and do something that would help both of us be happier – giving us time to re-evaluate what the next step of our lives will look like (both professionally and personally), and spending time seeing more of the world we both love to explore.
So we’re off to Europe for 33 days. First Spain, then Italy. It might not seem long enough to change anything, but we’re going to make the most of every minute of it. And sometimes all you need is one day to change the rest of your life – so we’ll have 33 chances to try!
Over the last few weeks we've done what we needed to do to make this adventure a reality. He quit his job and moved out of his apartment. I sublet my place and have arrangements to work remotely. Together we've mapped out what the next few weeks will look like as we wander through two beautiful countries.
Now, we’re less than a few days away from one of the biggest adventures of our lives. And I can’t wait!