When my therapist first told me that when you take the leap into the life of your dreams, everything will just work out, I didn’t believe her.
I was simply too practical, too much a realist. Or so I thought.
And that sounded too much like magic.
Jump and the net will appear? Yeah right.
Then I finally took one of those leaps, quitting my full-time job and starting my business. Granted, I was practical about it. I had money in the bank. I had clients lined up. I had plans A – Z.
Still it felt like magic when things began working out. When my ad agency continued working with me on a freelance basis for a year and a half after I left my full-time position there. When I found a way to volunteer at an industry conference that I was too afraid to pay to go to. When my first year in business I made almost as much money as I did my last year as a full-time employee.
As usual, my therapist was onto something.
Whether I understood it or not, there was something magical about being brave enough to step into the unknown…and watching as my life slipped into a new and sustainable rhythm.
It felt similar when, a year or so later, I decided to leave my permanent address behind and suddenly the whole world unfolded before me. When a friend with an inside connection offered me access to super cheap plane tickets. When I discovered that my productivity and creativity skyrocketed in Europe. When suddenly a year had passed and I was still sustainably traveling full-time.
It was only then that I realized that everything we do for the first time feels like magic. How could I have forgotten? When I left college and started supporting myself, just being able to put food on my table felt like magic. Paying off my debts felt like magic. Getting Luna and being able to keep another creature alive and well felt like magic.
Somehow, over time, the things that first felt like magic became commonplace. I forgot that life itself is a mystery. I took too much pride in my own practicality.
But now I am again forced to remember the magic of doing something utterly new and different.
I quit my business and launched into something new: full-time travel and inspirational writing. And all the tiny, magical coincidences have begun to pile up.
First, I found a cheap sublet in the Bernese Oberland and spent the first three weeks of my new career writing a draft of my book proposal against a backdrop of cliffs and waterfalls.
Then I found a free place to stay in Paris.
A client contacted me to pay a bill that was over a year overdue—and that I’d given up on and forgotten about.
My landlord in Croatia offered me a discount, then found the blog and loved it and offered a second, larger discount.
One of my editors introduced me to another editor—and landed me two new projects.
And, oh yeah, the freaking New York Times contacted me for an interview.
I have my theories about why these things happen, but mostly they’re a beautiful mystery.
I still have a ways to go before travel and inspirational writing is a sustainable living, but just like every other risk I’ve taken, this one seems to be full of unexpected gifts and beautiful surprises.
Jump and the net will appear.
I totally agree. After my divorce I was a wreck but, with the help of great friends I was able to feel alive again. Now I have a 4 year old daughter who has taught me more about living and enjoying the simple things than I have learned in all my years so far and a good husband.
Thank you for this post, Gigi! I have been reading your posts for awhile and thinking about the kind of life you live and had just decided that it was time to dig way back in your blog to read about how you began your journey to this nomadic life–and along comes this post that basically sums it all up. I’m cheering for you and wishing you much success! Keep showing the rest of us how it’s done ;)
Oh, I love it when posts have such perfect timing!
In case you still wanted a little background, here are a couple possibly relevant posts:
How I made the decision to start my business (a method that I now use for loads of other decision-making and also used to decide whether to travel full-time): https://gigigriffis.com/how-do-you-choose-where-to-travel-the-body-method/
How I became a paid travel writer: https://gigigriffis.com/how-to-become-a-paid-travel-writer/
A pep talk on breaking free: https://gigigriffis.com/a-pep-talk-on-breaking-free/
The first thing I wrote from the road: https://gigigriffis.com/exquisitely-exhausted/
Thanks! And hope those are also useful. :)
I love that Giggi! I might be one of those secret readers, but I openly agree with everything you say and experience.
PS: apartment in Perugia realy felt like home…and Sara & Angelo went just out of their way for me.
Oh, I’m so glad to hear it. I just loved them. Definitely some of the best landlords I’ve had so far (though the guy here in Croatia is giving them a run for their money; he is also so wonderful and helpful).
Once you are clear in what you want – the magic can start. Congrats Gigi for being bold. For believing in magic. You inspire.
Thanks – and so true! Clarity is an important first step.
Reading this made me smile. What a beautiful dose of inspiration!
Lovely little update for everyone: just a few days after I published this, I received positive news about this year’s other big jump – my application for a Swiss long-stay visa. Swiss Immigration has asked for paperwork, which I’m taking to mean they like what they’ve heard so far!
[…] so I started to relax, to let things unfold, to appreciate the mystery, the magic, of taking things as they come. I let opportunities come to me and I jumped when they came: […]