How many times in your life can you say you flipped everything 180 to see what would happen? I’m talking jacking in life as you know it and embracing the chance for a new beginning.
I’ve done it.
Those three short words belie the months, years even, of agonising I did over my latest life spin. You read about people quitting the rat race and becoming a nomad, travelling around the world, posting enticing pictures of the places they’ve seen – or those who’ve finally decided to give their business idea a go. I used to read these articles and feel the hope bubble up inside me. Maybe I could do it too? “But you’ve got a great job that you worked so hard for,” was the maxim I mostly heard when I shared my plans.
True. It’d taken a lot of hard graft to get where I was and I was pleased when I told people I was a producer at Sky. Anyone would be if they’re honest. I’d earned it – I’d done the years of lacky work and went back to uni to get a journalism qualification. Then I’d landed somewhere so seemingly glamorous.
Pictures of me posing with celebs popped up on my social media feeds; friends with squawking babies launched vitriol (all in good humour… I think. “I hate you, I’m mopping up sick,” is just banter, right?). There were exciting moments of working there – of course there were. I got to cross that mysterious barrier and step beyond the screen.
But then I wondered… Why was I doing this? The foremost nagging point was keeping up a long distance relationship and the endless commuting was taking its toll. After 5 years of just snatching moments together, my other half and I decided enough was enough. And even though I loved living in London and the opportunities our fine capital presents, I couldn’t help but think I could be doing more.
Letting go of all the worry about what-ifs has given me the chance to go for something I’ve been dreaming about since I started diving…
In a few days I’m off to Koh Tao, a tiny island in the Gulf of Thailand to volunteer for a marine conservation project. I absolutely love getting involved in marine conservation here in the UK and on holiday. Now, I can dedicate my time to protecting our oceans for six whole weeks – and develop my diving skills while I’m at it.
Koh Tao boasts world famous dive sites, but the organisation I’ll be working with, Eco Koh Tao, asks the alarming question: “For how much longer?” Every diver should take some steps to understanding the underwater world and how we can protect it. Without marine biodiversity, what would diving be?
I can’t wait to get started and share my new journey with you. I just hope the fact I’ll be doing it somewhere so beautiful doesn’t solicit more of, “I hate you, I’m mopping up sick.”
Have you ever waved goodbye to the 9-5 (or 9-9!) for an adventure? Tell us about it below or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story – I’ll share the best.