Thursday, 17 January 2013

Stop that train, I'm leaving

At the time it felt like an unmitigated disaster, but one of the worst events of my 2012 may just turn out to be one of the biggest turning points of my life.

In the autumn, I slipped a disk again - requiring an ambulance visit to get me into hospital after 8 hours stuck on all fours in my bedroom, and putting me off work and out of climbing for two months of excruciating rehabilitation.

This event became a sort of catalyst point for a growing dissatisfaction with the direction my life has been going. Instead of wishing I was off doing something else, I began to ask myself "why not do something about it?".

Clare and I had been talking about going on an extended climbing trip, but the finances to do so seemed a long way off - since I arrived in london 9 years ago I've always been in reasonably substantial debt.

To begin with this was mainly down to excessive drinking and partying, but a few years back I gave this up. I got the red bank balance going in the right direction, but the main thing holding me back from finishing the job has been consumerism. I buy stuff, I throw it out, and I buy more stuff, just like all the rest of us - and like many of us I've been doing this on credit.

As I began to think there must be another way, I started to take notice of quotes and videos that popped up on social media that said exactly that - there's plenty of evidence under our noses that we can change the priorities of life easily, I was just ignoring it. I began to think about why I needed that stuff, and came to the conclusion that all the toys are to make this "life" of traipsing into the city to write code five days a week bearable - if I was doing what I wanted to do, I wouldn't need them. 

The realisation that if I continue to spend 40 hrs a week in the unnatural position of an office chair, I'm going to suffer more of these episodes, was enough to trigger a change of mindset from "we should do this" to "lets get planning the logistics".
The first thing to do was for me to get clear of my debts. A few months of hard saving and a couple of PPI claims later, I'm well on the road to doing that.
Next step is to save up for a van, and its conversion into something that we can live in for a while, and then enough cash to dirtbag round europe for a year, with a small contingency fund. Target date is June 2014. 
What happens after that can be decided later - maybe find some work near some decent climbing, or we might decide to just carry on travelling, working our way round.

But either way, I'm not going to be sucked back into the nine to five - life's too short.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah man follow the dream, everything else will fall into place!!