Coming at you live from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
I thought I would start the blog with giving some insight into why I would walk away from a stable job in a big company, promising career and comfortable lifestyle for a life of many long hours on trains/buses, rooms shared with randomers and VERY heavy bags. To do so, I need to take you on a little bit of a journey with me that will give some insight into my thought process. 10 years ago exactly I was 18 and about to receive my final school exams and discover that I did not do as well as I would have liked, resulting in the crushing news that I would not be making it to college. For the next 3-4 months I was literally doing nothing with my life. I sat in the city centre of my home town of Waterford, Ireland and walked lots but I would not say I was the most productive member of society. The highlight was a job in a pizza take away in the city centre, where I had to pay for my own uniform. I watched from the window of that take away as those around me began their futures and seemed so happy. Meanwhile, I was serving them pizzas with a cap and a hair net on.
I made a promise to myself back then that I would always strive for progress. I promised myself that there would never be a point where I settle for less. Throughout all of this I always wished to get out and see the world. I built up an encyclopedic knowledge of various far-flung locations around the world and I had a world map stuck to my wall which I would study and google any random name that caught my attention. I set the goal of leaving my city first, followed by one day leaving the country completely. At this stage I was a shy, socially awkward, introverted kid who had been onstage once and out of the country only twice(London and Paris).
This new-found single-minded ambition served me well. I quit the pizza job, I decided to teach myself the subjects I needed to get to university and I got myself into a band to get me onstage. Within 1 year I had taught myself 4 subjects without going back to school so I could repeat my exams successfully and began working with a music production company, which progressed to music performance and touring. I got to stand onstage in front of big and small crowds and be the persona I was inside but could not show without a microphone in my hand. This was the beginnings of who I am today. This eventually became working for Apple in Cork, Ireland, which eventually became management for Apple in Singapore.
Now, to put some perspective on that, I did get to travel a lot because of my work in music and my work in Apple. In fact, I got to see over 20 countries during my time working but it always felt like I was on “borrowed” time when I travelled. The feeling that I am given permission to have a taste of freedom, once I agree to report back on time. This is in no way a reflection of any of the places I worked, they let me travel my little heart out, it was just my own feelings, which grew and grew over the years.
The seeds for my final decision were planted when I took Christmas 2012 to travel from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi to Phnom Penh to Koh Kong to Bangkok to Phuket and back to Singapore. It was an amazing feeling to travel so freely by land and adapt to the varying places and countries seemlessly. When I returned I knew that I was not 100% focused on work. I was achieving better results than ever before, I had an amazing team reporting to me and I lived in a condo where I could pop down to the pool/gym at any point. I came to the conclusion that I had no reason to be unhappy, but that does not always mean you are happy or more importantly, content. This is a trap I believe a lot of people fall into. One particular conversation gave me a huge slap in the face and I realised I needed to change some things. First I had to clear my mind of all the safety nets I had wrapped it in. I did not need to find a job of the same salary, I did not need to worry about finding another management job, I did not need to need to surround myself with material items I did not truly need. I realised other people would very much appreciate the job and life that I had, but was not appreciating, so I was happy to give it to someone else to find the life meant for me.
So on my 28th birthday I walked into the company that I had worked with for almost 6 years and handed in my resignation……….