I Quit My Engineering Career To Travel

“That sounds terrifying.”

I couldn’t help but smile as the words fell out. This was coming from the main manager of my group, a man that I respect, as I was handing him my letter of resignation. He had just asked me what my future plans would entail.

His shock mimicked the reactions of others. Some were excited by what I was planning to do, feeling inspired by my choice to take a risk. Others were shocked, not expecting me to divert off the path that I had worked so hard to follow. A few were outright confused, trying and failing to comprehend the reasoning behind my choice. And then there were those who were worried sick that something bad might happen to me (I’m looking at you, close family).

How I Got Here

On paper, everything appeared to be great. It was clear from high school that I was going to do everything in my power to follow “the path to success”. I excelled in school, got into a great college, continued to thrive in my classes, landed a great engineering job, held that job for almost four years, got a Master’s degree part-time while working, and bought a house.

In reality, I could barely get out of bed for work every day. I was unable to take good care of myself. I asked what I was doing with my life every time I walked into the office. I had developed a poor diet after a lifetime of healthy eating. I no longer worked out after years of being a competitive athlete. I searched endlessly for new hobbies and habits and struggled to make any stick.

This isn’t to say that I didn’t have things to be thankful for. I have my health, a loving dog, financial stability, an amazing support network, a great house, and many other wonderful blessings in my life. These factors grant me the privilege to have so many choices, something I seriously do not take for granted. However, I was turning into someone that wouldn’t have made me proud. Not because of my accomplishments or choices but because of the toxic emotions that had become my reality. I felt like I was headed for a major burnout without knowing how to redirect. I was stuck.

Everyone has a different version of success. Some find fulfillment the path that I just left. For others, they may become their best selves by doing something that others may not understand. In some instances, the path may point one way and then suddenly change direction. I believed that I would find my passions on my old path and in many ways, I did at that point in my life. I am now discovering that my passions, and my path, lay somewhere else in the future. The best thing I can do is to be honest with myself.

Building My New Lifestyle

Instead of fighting the fact that I dreaded sitting at a desk all day, I tried to understand it. Accepting my negativity lead me to convert it into an unquenchable motivation to learn more about location independent lifestyles. I binged on podcasts, blogs, and articles. I started putting together a plan to transition out of my current lifestyle. I sold a bunch of my stuff, I started renting out my house full-time, I created a financial plan and budget, I saved money, and I moved in with my boyfriend (who might possibly be the most patient man on the planet). Before I knew it, it was my last day at work.

And here I am, on the road and (finally) kicking off this blog. Katie’s Hustle is a place to document my adventures, create resources to guide others, and give back to the communities that welcome me along the way. You will find stories, life lessons, trip roundups, travel resources, and personal experiences.

As with all risks, it’s going to be rewarding and challenging. I’m planning to write through everything that I encounter along the way.

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  1. Sammy Maness April 8, 2017 at 8:56 am - Reply

    Katie, I always enjoyed working with you and being your friend! I so admire your courage to be able to do this and wish you so much happiness and fulfillment in this life that makes me slightly envious. Be safe and happy and I look forward to reading about your adventures!

    • Katie Fitton April 8, 2017 at 4:25 pm - Reply

      Sammy! I’ve been thinking about you lately and have been happily creeping along with your running adventures. I’m so excited for you that you’re finding a routine that works for you in working out… the jury is still out for me on that one. Hopefully with more time there I can get that one nailed down too. Thanks for the well-wishes, and let me know if our paths get a chance to cross again!

  2. Ana San Martin April 8, 2017 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    This is awesome Katie! I’m glad you have found the courage to do something different and somerhing that will lead you to where you want to be. Many people strive (and fail) to have the life you had but I would say more people settle and live “unhappy” living a life they don’t want. I’m glad you’re doing this and I’ll read your blog along the way 🙂

    • Katie Fitton April 8, 2017 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      Thanks Ana! I would agree, and that’s what I’m hoping to advocate. It doesn’t matter what you dream for, whether it’s something as extreme as what I’m doing or a simple as something else. If it fulfills you, you should go for it. Excited to hear that you’ll be reading along the way!

  3. LWADE Lewin April 8, 2017 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    You’re still bougie…lol. Seriously, I asked one of your coworkers where you were and they told me. The crazy thing was I was happy for you because you are doing something you want to do and the courage it took to do it. I remember when your bf told me his plan, I believed him at that very moment and when he did it i was just as happy because I was making a similar transition mentally in my life. Point is ill keep reading and enjoying your adventures

    • Katie Fitton April 9, 2017 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks LWade! Excited to hear that you’ll keep on reading. Steve is doing well himself, him and I are certainly growing a lot and figuring out exactly what we want to do. Good luck in your new adventures as well!

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