We’re Doing This

It isn’t a matter of “go or stay” anymore. We have to go. We can’t stay here knowing that we could be out there. It has been decided. We are leaving by October.

 

It isn’t a matter of “go or stay” anymore. We have to go. We can’t stay here knowing that we could be out there. It has been decided. We are leaving by October.

It all started with this blog Josh found called PhD Nomads. It is a blog about a couple who both have PhDs, quit their great jobs, and are now traveling the world working as Medical Writers. Josh was very struck by this couple and gained the confidence he needed to stop worrying about “being a failure.”

In addition, the couple gave us an idea. Why should we try for low-paying, sporadic, freelance jobs when Josh could get a “real” job in a field that is important to him and pays well? He is qualified to be a Medical Writer. What else is out there?

Turns out, a lot!

Josh is a geneticist and has been working for the last 3-5 years towards becoming a Certified Molecular Clinical Geneticist (I know, nerd!). The idea of quitting this dream of running his own diagnostics lab is a bit of a downer. He hasn’t made it past the application process thus far and I’m sure adding a few years of “Between Jobs” on his CV won’t help. So I set to work looking for the perfect middle ground and I think I found it.

Josh is now applying to remote positions available in Variant Curation Science. He is qualified for the job, it pays really well (enough that I could officially retire), he can do it from anywhere with good internet, and it will look great on his CV the next time he applies for certification.

He hasn’t heard anything back yet from the jobs he has applied to, but the fact that the jobs exist give me so much hope. I have been walking on air. Not only will we be able to travel the world, but there is a chance we will have money and stability as well. I couldn’t even imagine that this sort of life was possible. Wish us luck!

The Price of Freedom

If Josh breaks his contract now, the University would be in poor standing and Josh would owe the government $35,000.

One of the big problems we have with this adventure is Josh’s work. He is currently on a research grant provided to him by the US Government. It is a two year contract with some pretty serious consequences in place if broken. If Josh breaks his contract now, the University would be in poor standing  and Josh would owe the government $35,000.

That idea scares the crap out of me. I have never owed that much money to anyone. Especially without getting anything in return. But how much is freedom really worth?

Josh’s boss requested that he wait until October to quit so that the University will not suffer from any serious hits to its reputation. Also, by October, we would only owe $23,000 for breaking contract. It is still a big number, but slightly more manageable.

I know this all sounds very silly. If I were to read someone else writing this same blog, I would think to myself, “Then you shouldn’t have signed the contract in the first place.” or “Who would sign a contract with those sorts of rules attached. Don’t you read?!”

And, I (you) wouldn’t be wrong to think that way. I should have read the contract. However, at the time, he was super excited about the job so I’m not sure I would have considered the pay-back paragraph as much of a risk. He really wanted this job and we worked hard to get this job. We have always been very mature, organized, and smart. Had we known, we wouldn’t have done it. Foresight is a bitch.

 

 

Another Week, Another Ponder

April 3 – We woke up in tears knowing that we had made a horribly stupid decision.

April 2 – We decided we were going to quit our jobs and wander the world. We cancelled all of our upcoming commitments, called our parents, and looked at airline tickets.

April 3 – We woke up in tears knowing that we had made a horribly stupid decision. We need to make a change in our lives, but not something so irresponsible.

April 4 – This was the day Josh had scheduled a meeting with his boss to quit. Instead, we met with a mortgage broker and talked about buying a house.

April 5 – We told all of our family and friends that we were making the plunge to buy a house. I deleted all of my travel accounts and set my blog aside as worthless.

April 9 – We were sad again.

April 10 (today) – I don’t know what else to do. Maybe there are other choices out there, but this is the only one that brings me any sense of joy. We need to go.

Commitment?

We’re considering quitting our jobs and wandering the world. We’ve committed to going… at least until tomorrow.

We’re considering quitting our jobs and wandering the world. Nearly every minute of every day has been an emotional roller coaster.

On Wednesday, we decided we were going. I started mentally cataloging everything in the house to sell, Josh cancelled all of his upcoming meetings, and we purchased memberships to various websites that would help us along our way.

Yesterday, we decided we were being idiots. There is no way we could just up and leave. I threw away my notebook, bought a new work shirt, and the day went on as normal.

Today, we’re going. We made preparation plans over lunch, talked more about our fears and the potential struggles, got excited, got nervous, but left the meal feeling confident of our decision.

Until tomorrow, I’m sure.

What Now?

I know quitting a job isn’t a big deal, but it adds a little bit of anxiety when considering the options we’ve laid out for ourselves…. I say, “fuck it.”

“I nearly quit today, but I was worried you would be upset with me, so I didn’t.” – Josh

It has been nearly a month since this one sentence has taken control of our entire existences. Every conversation and every lingering look has been filled with the daunting question of “what now?” I know quitting a job isn’t a big deal, but it adds a little bit of anxiety when considering the options we’ve laid out for ourselves.


Option Adulting

Just deal with it like a real adult. Everyone hates their jobs. That’s how life works.

Risk Level – Low

Pros – We keep our cushy lifestyle and nothing really has to change.

Cons – Nothing really changes and we still hate our jobs.

Option Take the Reigns

Find a new job, then quit the old one. Maybe it’s time to hate a new job with different scenery (see option adulting).

Risk Level – Medium

Pros – We keep our cushy lifestyle and hate our jobs slightly less.

Cons – We still hate our jobs, but in a new way.

Option Fuck It

Throwing all caution to the wind in search of living our dreams as world-traveling nomads. Who needs money when we have… life without money? Yeah. That’s a solid argument.

Risk Level – High

Pros – We have the time and freedom to do whatever the hell we want.

Cons – There are mass amounts of unknowns and a huge lack of stability.


So there we have it. We have marketable skills, we’re child-less, pet-less, and debt free. I say, “fuck it.”