Most of us have probably fantasized about quitting our jobs and traveling around the world, picking up new experiences and life lessons in each continent, a la Eat, Pray, Love. But a number of professionals are actually trading in their high-powered jobs for a life on the road -- and redefining success in the process.
A recent Atlantic article, "When Do Women (And Men) Stop Leaning In?," looked at the trend of many employees "leaning back" from their careers in their late 20s and onward. According to 2008 data, just 37 percent of working women and 44 percent of male workers reported wanting more responsibility at work. Why? It's not for lack of ambition or passion. Instead, they're leaning back in order to live more, and in some cases, to travel the world.
"I had this dream of seeing the world and I got to this point where I thought, 'OK Kim, you can keep showing up to work everyday for the next 30 years and know exactly what your life will be like, or you can take this really scary leap of faith and do what you always wanted to do,'" writer and former sustainability coordinator Kim Dinan said on a recent HuffPost Live segment, "Leaning Back... To Have A Life."
After quitting her job and selling her home, Dinan set out to do the two things she loved most: write and travel. Now, she says of her lifestyle, "It's working. And I didn't really have any guarantee that it would."
Former attorney Katie Aune also quit her job to adventure around the globe for over a year. Echoing Dinan, she told HuffPost Live that once you take the plunge, things have a way of working out for the best.
The desire to leave it all behind and voyage into the unknown is a common one -- and many have found, to their surprise, that they were actually able to make it work. A recent Reddit thread brought together travelers who turned their escapist fantasies into reality, buying a one-way plane ticket and starting a new life in a totally new location.
"Leaving it all behind isn't for everyone -- it takes a strong person," one Redditor commented. "You WILL feel alone, you WILL doubt your decision, but if it's something you've always wanted to do, you will be grateful in the end and you'll become a better version of yourself."
Check out the two video clips featured here to see Dinan and Aune discuss their experiences, and head over to HuffPost Live to watch the full segment.