June 6, 2017

It took Losing a Parent to Give up my Career for a Life of Travel.

I was always someone who had been consumed with the idea of career success.

I’ve continually strived to do better and be bigger than the year before. I saw career success as a way of enriching my life. I believed with career success came financial success, and that’s all that mattered.

I thought money was the only way to find true happiness. In fact, I was obsessed by the notion. I was going to do whatever it took to make buckets of money, because it’s money that makes us happy, right?

Well the career success came and even the money came (to some extent)—so then why didn’t I feel fulfilled? Hadn’t I received everything I had ever wanted?

No, I hadn’t. Because all the years I was obsessed with working my way up the career ladder, I had forgotten what was truly important to me: seeing the world.

Travel has always been a big part of my life. Throughout my whole adult life, I have traveled. I have always had a passion to see and experience the world. It’s always been a deep need within me.

I had hit some extremely low points in my life, but the event that bought me to my breaking point was losing a parent—my only parent. Through the grief, I went through all the cliché questions: Why am I here? If I die tomorrow will I be happy with what I have accomplished?

It was at this time that I started to question the path I was currently on (being so focused on my career for one)—and the answers shocked me.

I realized that although I had a great career and reached all the goals I had set for myself in my profession, I was not actually happy.

I was climbing the corporate ladder, so to speak, but wasn’t feeling any more successful or fulfilled.

I worked so hard, and although I have no regrets, I wish I had seen the bigger picture sooner.

It wasn’t until I was 37 that I fully understood what I was supposed to do with my life. And it had nothing to do with the current career path I was on.


So, I sat down and reworked my “life plan,” and this time I did it from the heart. Sometimes we get so caught up with what society expects us to do that we forget who we are and what we actually want to do with our lives.

I gave up my career and it has been the best decision I have made so far.

I’ve never been as captivated by my career as I have been by the world. I’ve experienced things I would never have had the chance to if I was still fixated on that same career path.

I am not suggesting everyone should quit their jobs to travel the world full-time, but I do believe everyone should reevaluate their lives from time to time to make sure that they are still on the right track.

Don’t spend your days living the mundane because you think it’s the “right” thing to do.

You deserve extraordinary so stop wasting time on the ordinary.


Author: Nicole Connolly 
Image: averie woodard/Unsplash
Editor: Leah Sugerman

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Nicole Connolly