We Quit the day job and embraced Life
Maybe we’d reached the age and time in mid-life where you think about doing something a bit wild and different, but don’t know quite what that is. For us, it was time to quit the day job and just embrace a different kind of life to the one we’d had for decades.
After 30 years of full-on work, busy running a business for most of that time, as well as raising our two son’s, for us, the time had come for change.
So, to some extent, we’d begun feeling trapped between the thought of working like this forever and yearning for more and more travels in our motorhome for quite a while. But, we’d say “let’s just give it one more year” or “maybe we should wait a bit longer”.
Looking back, we’d been caught up for too long in a work cycle that drags you down. Maybe you know the type we mean, where our ambitions for wider life enjoyment took over. Yes, that seed had been planted, with a need for fulfilment of something other than work and an urge for adventure and we couldn’t let it go.
Married young and working all hours
The restless side began a few years before the year when we finally did take the plunge. Our story began decades before, when both of us went straight into work from college. Of course, this was before the days of most school-leavers going off to university or taking gap years. Then, back in the 80’s things were very different.
Nigel and I also met at college, although we had been in the same school before that. We were just 17 and 18 years old and gosh it seems so young now. Then, just a few years later we were married, only 19 and 20 and by then, working 7 days a week.
Looking back, we barely saw eachother.
I was in our family house-building business, where I’d stay for 20 years and Nigel had his own catering business, running a shop and outside catering, as well as doing the food in the club house of a golf course.
Caravans and Motorhomes
With a young family, our twenties were happy times of raising our growing Son’s and the businesses. We loved it, but worked hard throughout the decades to ensure financial stability for our family. However, we’d already bought our first touring caravan’s and whenever we could, we’d go away.
Usually, it was just small bursts, having a weekend close by or a week here and there, the most we could take was about 10 days, so we began touring abroad.
After selling the catering business, Nigel joined our family house-building company for a number of years, before going on to start a different business altogether. Stemming from what was by now, our love of motorhome travel. So, we got the idea of having a motorhome hire business.
By the time our children finished in education, we really started to get itchy feet, so began the plan of leaving work behind.
Grown up Children
By now, our children are were all grown up and ready to venture out into the big wide world. When they started on their chosen career paths, we realised they no longer needed the warm surroundings of the family home.
Although, we’ve always been a close family unit, it was a time when we could begin to think about doing our own thing, knowing, we are always around for advice, guidance and support.
Now our chicks really did have feathers and could fly high! As they took off on their own, fresh, new and exciting directions, we became free again ourselves. Now,all that was holding us back was the business.
Winning a competition with Heathrow Airport
It wasn’t long before the choice was taken from our minds, because a few months before closing our motorhome hire business, I’d entered a competition for Heathrow Airport’s 70th birthday.
All I had to do was write a small piece about a time I’d been through Heathrow airport. So, I put finger to phone, whilst sat at the desk in the office and forgot about it. Then, lo and behold, a few month’s later, I got an e-mail saying “Congratulations, you have won the star prize”.
Well, you can’t imagine the excitement. I’d only gone and won flights for two to Sydney, Australia and 5 nights in a plush hotel.
So, this was the first big step into how life sometimes guides you into which direction you take. Because, this coincided with finishing our business and gave us a direction we needed.
We soon realised, this was a golden opportunity. Then, deciding to take a 6-month overland trip across Australia with our free flights. Here we bought a van and converted into a campervan in hotel car park using IKEA stuff. Although, we had to leave it in Sydney and ended up hiring one, it was still such a great experience.
Ultimately, Australia changed us forever. After that trip, we really didn’t want to start another business, which at one time we thought we might do.
We did it and quit the day job
At the end of the day, it’s such a big wide world out there. How many of us really want to see more of it? Many of us talk about making that decision to quit the day job, but few of us take action.
Talking about something and actually doing it is so hard in many ways. Back, in 2016, it was a difficult decision, but taking a giant leap of faith was what we needed.
For us, closing our business for the last time and starting to plan for a new life ahead was liberating. The following day, after closing the gates for the last time, we drove off in the campervan to France. Here, some well earned relaxation on the French Riviera followed and then we never looked back.
Over the last 7 years, we’ve seen so much more of Europe and Australasia. To put it mildly, it’s been such an education and thrilling to say the least.