The 'Plunge'

We’ll, I’ve taken ‘the plunge’. I’ve quit my job, I’ve packed up all my furniture (and oh-so-many trinkets), I’ve weeded through my clothes and am reduced to my backpack again. I feel a bit naked. I’d spent the years leading up to my own apartment dreaming up how I’d display currencies, beer labels, paintings and post cards and didn’t hold back (had I been more on top of things, perhaps Carolyn and I would be world famous DIY bloggers by now). But, I’ve packed up the waxy beer bottles and have come to terms with the idea that those are just things that all represent memories.

The bigger plunge was likely leaving Students Offering Support (SOS). The opportunity to play a leading role in developing the charitable arm for a quickly growing social venture quickly drew me back to Canada from South Africa. Over the past few years, I’ve grown alongside this organization and have learned a tremendous amount, largely from Greg – one of my best teachers. The decision to leave was one or the hardest I’ve made to date. But, I’d found over the past while that the things I was most passionate about at work were strongly developed and the areas that needed work were those that did not inspire me as much. It felt like it was as good a time as any to leave.

I had many debates with myself and other listeners over whether leaving because I wasn’t in love with my work was reasonable or justifiable. So many are seeking out NGO jobs (and jobs in general) to no avail and I held a fantastic one with autonomy, flexibility and fantastic people surrounding me. To leave that for ambiguity still sounds a bit nuts. But, the proverbial bucket list is still too long. There is so much I have not seen, smelled, tasted and heard for me to begin taking on a [insert big life commitment here]. I found it particularly challenging because so many of my close friends are doing the opposite… Backpacks are exchanged for suitcases and homes are looking more permanent. Ill probably always worry that my savings should be spent on that rather than authentic curry.

At the end of the day I decided that I was still young enough to follow adventures, challenges and passions. Ive had a lot of good work experience that I hope will translate into future jobs that push me in all ways. An old travel magazine published their last issue with the following words on the back cover:

stay hungry, stay foolish.

Re-quoted by Steve Jobs at a convocation speech, I’ve tried to take these words to heart in most of what I do. This “plunge” (potentially to be re-named the ultimate quarter life crisis) is my biggest effort yet to live in this vein.

So now, with only one more band aid to tear off (saying a temporary goodbye to my family) I’m off. Ethiopia and India have been on my bucket list ever since I tasted vindaloo and injera. My time in both places will undoubtably be too short – 2 weeks and 3 weeks respectively. But then, I’m off to Mozambique to see what kind of life I can build there. I think after a few weeks of backpacking I’ll be more than relieved to see a familiar face and set up a base, hopefully beside the ocean.

So, here goes! I’m unsure how often ill have access to Internet over the coming weeks but you can sign up to have posts emailed to you at the bottom of my blog.