What kind of freedom do you want?

Do you really know the answer to that question? Many people say they don’t like being a slave to their job. They say that they want to be free. They say that they wish they could live on the beach drinking margaritas. Have they really thought about it?

Dancer jumping with freedom

Dancer jumping with freedom

I used to say that I would do any kind of job for 6 months every year if it gave me enough money and freedom to not work the other 6 months. That might mean that I would have to clean toilets – or clean up dog poo – I didn’t care.  Anything that would give me enough money during 6 months of work to have 6 months free – I would do it. You may be wondering what I wanted to do during my 6 months of freedom. I wanted to travel, paint, learn another language, learn to play piano – oh, so many things.

Well, I didn’t end up cleaning toilets or picking up dog poo in a park. What I finally ended up doing is far better than those two options. You can read more about my journey on my About page. You’ll see that I was pretty serious about adopting that lifestyle. I was willing to sacrifice half of my life in order to totally liberate the other half in order to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted, with whomever I wanted.

I didn’t develop this lifestyle quickly. For several years, I went from job to job – teaching Spanish, working as a secretary, doing word processing, working as a waitress – all in an effort to find a lifestyle I’d love. I also tried several businesses – a pet album that I sold at dog shows, import/export, making dog biscuits. None of those jobs gave me the lifestyle that I wanted.

Summer Vacation Beach

A beautiful place to relax

I don’t belong to that group of people who only want to work 4 hours a week until retirement or who want to spend every day free as a bird, lounging on a beach in some beautiful tropical country. I’m willing to work hard in order to attain my goal of 6 months total freedom every year. I achieved that goal once I became a tour director. You see tour directing is seasonal work that naturally gives the tour director months off every year. Not every tour director wants that much time off, but I certainly did.

It was becoming a tour director that allowed me to reach my goal. You see tour directing is seasonal work that naturally gives the tour director several months off every year. Not every tour director wants that much time off, but I certainly did.

Once I achieved that lifestyle, I looked back on my life and saw that many things I did along the way formed an overall path in the direction that ended up liberating me half of every year, even though I didn’t understand it at the time.

Looking back, I see that the most important thing I did was to take risks. When something came my way, I jumped at it. I didn’t sit and cogitate about whether or not it was the right thing to do. And believe me, sometimes it was most definitely not the right thing to do. But when I made wrong decisions, I just picked up and tried something else.

Eventually, I ended up being ‘semi-retired.’ That’s what I call 6 months on/6 months off – semi-retired.

Becoming a tour director is not the answer for everyone. It turned out to be the most difficult work I’d ever done. But that was ok because it helped me reach my goal of semi-retirement freedom.

Have you figured out what kind of freedom you want?

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