We’ve all made big life decisions – what college to attend, what job to take, whether to get married, have children.  We all know it can be scary, knowing that decision will be one of many that charts the course of our lives, so we do our research and often follow the path we know or recognize, the path we are most comfortable with.

It’s easy to see what is expected of us in a lifetime, what the societal norm is, how Hollywood portrays the ideal life.  Go to college, fall in love, get married, buy a house, have children and live happily ever after.  But how do we really live our best life, the life we truly believe in?  How do you take that leap to break from the norm?

  1. It all starts with an idea.

Maybe it’s a childhood dream to visit the Eiffel Tower, or a movie setting that you keep thinking about.  It might just be a need for change, a way to break free from the life you were given to create a life you love.  Wherever the idea comes from, it takes courage to listen to yourself, to be open to new opportunities.

Personally, I was burnt out, surrounded by concrete in the city that never sleeps with what felt like no escape.  At the same time, I had a job I loved, an active social life and my best friends by my side.  It was time for a change, but I knew I wasn’t ready to settle down.  I needed a bigger change, an opportunity to figure out what would come next, so I came back to an old idea of moving to Europe.  After realizing the difficulties involved with visas and jobs abroad, I learned about the digital nomad lifestyle, allowing me to live and travel internationally while working remotely.

  1. The idea comes first, but denial comes second.

At first the idea is exciting, until you start thinking about the risks.  What does this mean for your career?  What would out on at home?  How do you keep in touch?  You might think you can’t do it – you’ve worked hard to get where you are and shouldn’t give that up!

  1. Then stubbornness kicks in.

Why not?  Why can’t you try it?  What’s the worst that could happen?  People take gap years, sabbaticals, create new careers…there is no good reason why you can’t do the same.

  1. Organization will always be key.

In order to be successful with a major life change like going remote, you MUST be organized.  Start to think through the logistics and what it will take to make your dream a reality.  Take it one step at a time until you feel comfortable and confident in yourself. Can you stay at your current job and do you want to?  Do you find a remote based role or move into freelance?  At the end of the day, what will it take to make this work for you?

  1. But so is the fear.

The more you get into the details, the scarier it all becomes.  There is fear of the unknown and what comes next in life, and the work leading up to departure might become overwhelming.  I was scared of what people would think when I decided to take time off for an adventure before jumping into freelance & consulting.

  1. Ask for advice.

Reach out to family, friends and mentors.  Listen to, and think about the hard questions, like should you take a risk with your career, or are you running from something.  At the end of the day, you might be surprised at how much support you receive.

However, the more I spoke with others, the more I came to realize that while I valued their advice and guidance, I was really looking for their acceptance.  We care what the people around us think, and weigh the risks of how they will see us.  Be confident and brave.

  1. From there, you’re decision will be made.

Regardless the support you may or may not receive, you have to make the decision for yourself.  Take the feedback, advice and difficult questions into consideration, but don’t let others decide for you.  Focus on what you want and need.  I needed a break, an opportunity to reflect and decide where I want to go next.  We make a lot of decisions because they are “right” or what we think others expect.  Take control of your life without conforming to those societal influences we see everyday.

  1. Preparation is key – and extremely stressful!

You’ve thought through all the logistics of making remote work a reality – now it’s time to put that plan into action!  It’s difficult to give up the consumer way of life and figure out how to live on a suitcase worth of “stuff”.  Stay organized and plan your transitions well, whether that be moving from a house to storage, changing jobs or saying goodbyes.  Most importantly, ask for help from the people who support you, and keep them close.  They will make it all much easier!

  1. Start your adventure!

Your bags are packed, you’ve locked away your belongings and you’re ready to board that flight!  Get excited for a new adventure that will change your way of thinking and will drastically change your life.  The opportunities are endless with everything the world has to offer.

We’ve all heard the things you regret most in life are those you don’t try.  So don’t have regrets – hold onto your ideas, and take the leap that makes your life the greatest adventure it can be!

Visit my site to read more about my personal experience!

Written by Nicole Hudson, adapted from original post at:
www.reflectiononthehudson.com

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