The Road to Manarola

I was in Italy on a business trip.  It was the weekend, so I hiking the 531 trail on the way to Manarola.  It was also my wife’s birthday.  The first one I had ever missed.  And looking out across the Ligurian Sea, I saw a sailboat.  And I realized there is a more special life we should be living.  That started the quest to get out of the corporate world – even though I didn’t know how to make that happen.

After discussing with my wife, I realized I couldn’t possibly leave my great paying job.  I had a mortgage, student loans, and car payments.  So I decided to look for another job….

And I found one, but what really made the difference was we decided to pay off all our debt. We could retire early. Like really early. I had my sights set on “retiring” at 48. Then we would have the freedom to live something a little more special than working 48 weeks a year and packing a ton of fun into 4 weeks of vacation.

For the last several years, I had been trying to get my wife to quit her job to spend time with her parents.  And then Covid happened.  Both her parents passed within 4 months.  My corporate role was “on Hold” until mid 2021.  In my mind I was being asked to collect a salary to do nothing.  Sharing my frustration with my wife, she suggested I quit my job.  And I remembered what my friend Vincent Pugliese had said 6 months earlier:  “What’s the worst case scenario if you quit?”  Answer: I’d go get another job.  And his reply was “so you’re already living your worst case scenario…”

So I did it.  I handed in my resignation to the CEO. I knew I could always go get another job.  That first Monday, it was great to not wake to an alarm clock.  It was early December.  The temps were below freezing. And I went fishing.  I caught my first Largemouth bass of that year – and the first I’d ever caught in December!

And I realized I never wanted to give up this type of Freedom to help some company increase their bottom line ever again. That was the first day of the rest of my life. And I never imagined on that day overlooking the Liguiran sea that fishing could become my “job”. But here i am, a fishing YouTuber, and fishing really has become my side hustle. And I hardly ever feel like I’m working these days.

I hope you’ll go on this fishing adventure with me.

As they say “Tight Lines”.

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