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Why I Quit My Job Before It Was Too Late to Begin Living

HuffPost logo HuffPost 10/03/2016 Mag TravelingGirl

I was fearless and thirsty for adventure. I was searching for something. I didn't know then what that was, but my constant curiosity was moving me towards new ventures, new places, and new people. I was happy with what I have experienced but continued to have this anxious feeling of excitement about the future. I sensed that there is much more to life than I have come to realize yet, so I quit job to travel the world and find out what living life is really all about...
2016-03-09-1457497344-3899855-MagBondi.JPG © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457497344-3899855-MagBondi.JPG
I was born in Poland but my travel wanderlust took me all over the world and I came to call USA my second home. After graduating from college, I spent over a decade building my corporate career across IT, Aerospace and Financial industries. Very quickly, I found myself managing large international teams and seamlessly navigating through the corporate world. In my 30s, I got to the corporate VP level. At that point I worked about 60-80 hours a week and was in a process of completing my MBA. By most standards, I was very successful. I had an amazing husband, career, and home.
I also had absolutely no time to enjoy any of it.
And that's where I stopped to think.
Didn't I want this? Didn't I want this amazing, successful career? Didn't I want the financial security? Didn't I want to become a CEO one day? So why am I having second thoughts now?
For the first time in my life I started looking around and paying attention to life. I was rushing to achieve so much and was getting close to my final goal only to realize that there is a serious cost associated with that accomplishment. The cost of life. I realized we have only one! Wow, what a revelation to this overachiever.
We have only one life and there is no do over. 2016-03-09-1457499080-8356238-MagWaveWeb.JPG © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457499080-8356238-MagWaveWeb.JPG
All the hours, months and years dedicated to my education and career, while very productive, were not used for truly living life. Don't get me wrong. I had a life. I fully used my standard 2 weeks time-off for amazing vacation, I had dinners with friends and even dancing with my husband. But with each accomplishment there was less and less time for the simple pleasures in life. Feeling wind in your hair, watching sunsets, trying new things, laughing so hard that it is difficult to catch your breath...
So I sat there one day and wondered: Is that all there is to life? Is it possible that I will spend the next 10 years achieving my goals only to realize that it is too late to begin living? Didn't I want this?
The problem was: yes, I did. Unfortunately, in my calculations for climbing to the top and accumulating wealth (um... stuff), I did not account for the loss of time. I took my time here for granted. I operated under assumption that I will have plenty of time to focus on me after I finish everything else... after I retire.
The question that lingered was: why am I postponing living life for retirement years instead of living now?
The questions kept coming and I did not have all the answers yet, but I knew for sure that I needed to start living more. I wanted to do what I love the most: travel the world, meet people and truly live life while I still can! I wanted to try the things I have always been afraid of or simply did not have enough time to tackle. I wanted to learn how to make wine in Tuscany, and how to sail in Mediterranean. I wanted to climb the base camp of Mount Everest, scuba dive in Bali, and every other thing you can imagine.
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The voice in my head kept telling me that all those things were normally reserved for retirement. But, when I listened to people in retirement, many of them didn't have the energy or were not in a physical condition to do the things they have always wanted to do. They urged to live life to the fullest, live the life of no regrets while you still can. After all, there are no guarantees in life. You either do the best of it or not. No second chances.
This was such a departure from my thinking thus far that I would question my decision over and over. But each time, I kept coming back to the memories from years past, when still in college I embarked on a summer-break trip around Europe. I had completely no money but figured out ways to travel all over Europe. I remember eating fresh peaches from the tree, meeting people, swimming in the sea, sleeping on the white sand, climbing mountains. I remember feeling that sense of wander, excitement, possibility and I wanted to feel it again!
But do I have to do it now? Is that the right time to take a break in my career? Do I have enough money? How about waiting another year... maybe two... maybe three? All very valid questions and I learned to rationalize answers to all of them. But each time I pushed my dream aside, I heard about a friend diagnosed with cancer, facing heart attack, stroke, accident... From one day to another, without any warning life was cut short. I was realizing that there may not be the next year to give my dream a try. I started understanding that quitting my job to finally live my life is not the riskiest decision. Staying in it and not giving my life a chance is. 2016-03-09-1457498838-9528777-MagAvatarWeb.JPG © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457498838-9528777-MagAvatarWeb.JPG
I wanted to make sure that one day, when I am 60 or 70 years old and ready to retire -- I feel like I fully lived. I figured I still have another 30-40 years of work ahead of me and once I complete my adventure, I can always come back and continue my career.

Over 50 countries and 5 continents traveled, soaking sun in Santorini, diving on the Great Barrier Reef, soaring above the clouds on the hot air balloon in Turkey and sailing Mediterranean is my life now.
I am still learning to how to enjoy life without over-scheduling and over-planning for tomorrow. In those few months, I learned that you have only two choices in life.

You either follow your dreams and make them happen or you will be fulling the dreams of others.

I decided to do the first.
I learned that fear can stop you from accomplishing your goals only if you let it.
And I don't.
Once you do that you will quickly find out that amazing things begin happening. Opportunities you have never even though off or imagine for yourself are not fully available.
The impossible becomes possible and the only thought left is: why didn't I do it sooner! 2016-03-09-1457499663-2522364-MagCroatiaWeb.JPG © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457499663-2522364-MagCroatiaWeb.JPG
So, if you have a dream, big or small -- give it a try. Worst case scenario, it may not work out and you can always go back to living your life as is and have no regrets. Best case scenario, you may just surprise yourself and fulfill your dream! So forget any excuses and give it a chance before it is too late.
Mag Traveling Girl enjoys interactions with her readers. Feel free to reach out through her blog www.TravelMe.World or Facebook. To spark you wanderlust, check out her Instagram with photos from around the world.


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