The Road Less Traveled

Posted Mar 18 2006

Sometimes you just do what ya' gotta do. (Mi Gente, November 2001).

The questions I get asked most often begin with “why.” Why did you quit your job? Why would you trade in a stable life for one filled with so much uncertainty? Why would you just pick up and uproot your life? Why would you fly so soon after the attack on the World Trade Center? They’re valid questions of course, but sometimes you have to do what’s right for you. So earlier this year, three months after securing a great new job, I decided to resign and move to California. I had caught a bad case of “mid-twenties life crisis.”

The roots of this “crisis” were numerous. Among them, I wanted to see the world! I had spent the past several years in Michigan and was ready for a change. I always wanted to return to California because of its enormous Latino population, warm weather, and overall diversity and I finally decided that it was time to go. I stayed on the job for three more months, saved up as much money as I could, then packed up my things and set out for the west coast.

Once I made it to Oakland, I immediately began looking for a job. But a funny thing happened during my search. I began to ask myself, what was the big rush to jump back in the rat race? This might be the last time in my life I’d have the opportunity to travel and explore with relative freedom so why rush things? I was single, in good health, and had some money to play with. Once I made this decision I looked at my trip differently and began to enjoy it more. I explored California and took in all of the little things, from the sunset, to the mountains, to children playing soccer. I began to appreciate the fortunate position I was in. Growing up, I had always wanted to drive across the country and I had just done it! But while I became more appreciative of the little things, I also knew that my opportunity could end at any moment so I made a list of everything that I wanted to see. Why limit myself to the Bay Area? So over the course of two months, I made two more cross country drives, checking out sights in states as diverse as New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas and delving into southern California. Yet I wanted more. So I began making plans to travel abroad and finally decided to go to Europe.


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