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Are You Wasting Your Life, But Too Scared To Face It?
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Are You Wasting Your Life, But Too Scared To Face It?

My wife and I decided to take a slightly unusual path in our lives as we entered our 30s. We walked away from succe...

Are You Wasting Your Life, But Too Scared To Face It?

My wife and I decided to take a slightly unusual path in our lives as we entered our 30s. We walked away from successful careers in London to follow our dream of a simple life on the coast of southern Portugal.

 

Our basic motivation was as follows: We understood the path we were on, and simply didn’t like the idea of what faced us further down the road. We had enough money and we had good food and fancy cocktails when we went out, but we never had enough time, and all we could see in the distance was more material things, even less time, and the prospect of having children we would have to offload onto a nanny in order to keep supporting ourselves.

 

We’re now into the fifth year of our life in Portugal. While I wouldn’t try to pretend that it’s exactly as we imagined, we would never swap back. And the main reason is that we have to witness the depressing reality of some of our former peers still cramming onto those commuter trains, having no time for family and friends, and staying in jobs that wear them down due to the fear of not being able to pay the bills.

 

 

Does this resonate with you? Do you wish things were different but feel lost as to how to change them? If so, here are some tips:

 

1. Take a risk

Moving to another country is quite a drastic step, and there’s nothing to say you need do that, but don’t just let the months fly past if you are genuinely unhappy. Try something new—just do it—because your time on this earth is limited.

 

2. Don’t let money be your boss

We’ve not once been as financially stable since moving abroad as we were when we were part of the rat race, but I’d far rather be stressed about money than be unable to spend enough time with my friends and family. Just because everyone around you has skewed priorities, it doesn’t mean they’re right.

 

3. Think about where your current path leads

Think about where you are likely to be in five years’ time. If the answer makes you happy and has a good element of certainty, then perhaps some short-term sacrifice is justified. If your five-year outlook depresses you, then it’s time to take some action to change it.

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