Meet Russ – From Wits End To Land’s End: How We Regained (Most Of) Our Sanity
Image credit: Russ Reynolds
Guest post by Russ Reynolds
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
We just couldn’t take it anymore. In truth I don’t understand how anybody can. I suppose you ‘do what you have to do,’ as they say, but the cruel irony is that you don’t; you just make yourself believe you do.
By ‘it’ I mean ‘working for the man’, ‘the rat race,’ ‘the grind’ or any other euphemism you have for slaving away at a job you hate to make somebody else wealthy.
Whatever you call it, it was just not for us. I assume, if you are reading this, it is not for you either.
Letting Bad Things Happen
As Tim Ferriss points out, there is an art to letting small bad things happen. The worst of our fears, as it turns out, rarely come to fruition. Sadly, many of us let these fears rule our lives.
We have certainly come to realize that, although a location independent lifestyle can be fraught with stresses, none of them are nearly as difficult, or as insurmountable, as they seem in our minds.
Perhaps our story will help convince you that location independence is not only desirable but infinitely achievable as well.
My name is Russ. My wife and best friend’s name is Lisa and our 8 year old daughter is Olivia.
We lived in a small, average town north of Toronto, Canada, and had what some people assumed was an ideal life. A big house, 3 car garage, 2 nice new cars, a beautiful big backyard with a pool and lots of friends to enjoy it all with.
Stressed Out And At The End Of Our Rope
In truth, though, we were stressed to the max and dying inside. Lisa had a demanding on-call career as a Respiratory Therapist which had become much more mundane than she could have imagined in college.
I was going nuts as a sales manager at a Fortune 100 food company. It is amazing how difficult and stressful something as simple as food sales can be.
Neither of us were fulfilled and both of us were approaching burnout. Of course none of this was great for Olivia either. Perhaps you can relate to our story so far. Here’s where it gets a little different:
A Cerveza In Mexico Changes Our Lives Forever
We decided, admittedly under the influence of a cerveza or two in Cancun, to take a leap of faith and quit our careers – reasoning that we could always return to them later if need be.
We just felt that life was too short to be living it on other people’s terms.
We were very angry that we only had 7 days, two or three times per year, to explore the world and have a little adventure. We wanted to feel the sunshine everyday.
That I had begun a freelancing career in my spare time made our decision even easier. It wasn’t nearly where it needed to be to support us but it was something and we were eternally grateful for it.
If you haven’t done so already, start something on the side now, so that you are prepared when you reach the end of your rope.
After a year of ups and downs with business and much emotional turmoil, we finally reached our first location independent destination – Los Cabos, Mexico. Los Cabos literally means ‘The Capes’ but is also known as Land’s End. It is the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific.
Los Cabos is an amazingly rich and vibrant community in an absolutely beautiful natural setting. I can’t imagine trying to see all of the sights in 7 days as most people have to. Instead we have been here 5 amazing months.
Life is not Shangra-La (yet) but is a thousand times better than it was:
- Instead of rushing out of the house to fight traffic, we rush out to hit the pool.
- Instead of spending my working time in a cubicle with no view, I very often work under a special palm tree (I desperately need another laptop battery though).
- Instead of fast food dining, we have long dinners with our Mexican friends (sans Blackberry).
- And, best of all, instead of Olivia getting token time with her mom and dad, she gets as much time with us as is humanly possible.
In and of itself, our story is not remarkable. But our lives have become remarkable, at least to us, and it’s choosing to ignore our fears and press on that has made all of the difference.
Here’s hoping you reach the end of your rope soon.
14 Responses to Meet Russ – From Wits End To Land’s End: How We Regained (Most Of) Our Sanity
Leave a Reply