After struggling to enjoy our mostly mainstream life, the stress and boredom got to us. In 2000, I was working for a company that kicked off the implosion of the telecom industry and realized that depending on a corporate job for a living was not a sure bet. For the next 5 years, I was in a constant state of wondering if my job was going away. This motivated us to systematically eliminate debt, reduce our expenses, build our savings, and think about how we could live without my corporate job. In particular, we wanted to live on the road and really experience North America. RVs are nice, but we’re environmentalists and we couldn’t justify the gas. We imagined a life of living in an area for a few weeks either in a tent or in a cheap hotel and driving on–touring from our Honda mini-van.
However, I haven’t been without some form of income since I was 9 years old and I find I care a lot about my career. As such, living without my corporate job was just a bit too scary of a leap for me; I couldn’t imagine where my identity would come from with no career. But, since the situation I was in really wasn’t a career either, my first step was to find a different job with a growing company that was less depressing than the dying company I was at. This I accomplished at the beginning of 2006.
At the time, we still thought I would have to leave the corporate world all together to live on the road. As we continued to plan for that, we waited for the right time to sell our house. While 2006 would have been a great time to sell in the market, we had 2 English Mastiffs and renting really wasn’t an option. We were content to enjoy our dogs and worry about selling later. Sadly, we lost one in 2008 and the other in 2009. While losing our canine kids was a horrible loss, it did free us up to pursue our plans. Unfortunately, the housing market was in the toilet. However, we managed to sell our house in 2010 during a recovery period. Simultaneously, the company I worked for was being purchased by a much larger corporation. We decided to rent a house and wait things out once more.
As it turned out, the new company has a much more friendly attitude towards working remotely. As a result, we’ve revised our plan to include me keeping my career while we move around. We’re not sure what that means yet, but we decided to start by establishing residency in a state with less tax burden than the one we were in. We now find ourselves with a 6-month lease on a really cool apartment in Chattanooga, TN. So, expect more entries on life from Chattanooga for the next 6 months.