The Daily Struggle Was Real.
Who am I? Why don't I fit into this world? Why don't my family and friends understand me? Why do I feel like I am all alone drifting aimlessly through life? Is this all there is? Why do I feel like everyone is happy just the way things are? What can I do to make the change?
This was essentially how I thought and felt every day of my life after I left the US Navy. I wandered from town to town, relationship to relationship, job to job and nothing seemed to be the answer to fill that giant hole of fulfillment. I absolutely hated the direction my life was taking.
The Return to My Roots.
In August 2008 I made the decision to return home to Rochester, NY which is where my family is from. Trust me, this was never in the plans. There were some private reasons that brought me back but believe me if I had my druthers I would have never returned.
After a few months I decided to find work. I was a Master VW car salesman so I stopped by the VW dealership and I was hired on the spot. I started working the next day. I no longer wanted to work in health care and if I was going to move back home I was going to take a job that I enjoyed. It took me a few years to receive that certification from VW so I leveraged what I had.
Then in January I bought a house near the Zoo in the city. Read the post here, "How I Bought a HUD Foreclosure, Rehabbed it, Lived in it, Sold it for Profit." It was a great move and I absolutely loved that house. Once again I owe so much to my parents for helping me with that project.
The Song, "Roots" by Imagine Dragons Sums Up My Experience Going Home.
So I did what most middle aged people do. I went to work every day, paid my bills and lived paycheck to paycheck. I would escape the rat race by taking a trip every year. I went to Ethiopia one year and twice to Panama. Whenever I was on vacation I would feel so free. That feeling I had when I was traveling was the experience I wanted every day of my life. Not just the few weeks of the year when I would escape.
Cutting the Cord.
Then in 2010 I decided I would start my preparation to expatriate. I did not tell my Mom @Sunscape right away because I had financial obligations regarding the house and I knew it would worry her. So I quietly laid plans. Then in May 2011 after a few trips to Panama I made the full move. I found a renter that would take care of my house and I cut all the rest of my ties to the USA.
I also made the move with less than $5k in my pocket. I was told I was crazy. I took a position that paid 100% commission in Panama before I even left. If I did not return home I might have never realized that I needed to leave my comfort zone. I had to take a huge gamble and what was the worst thing that could happen? I could always return to a life I hated and a house I loved.
This is Surreal!
Within a few months of my arrival in Panama I was flying high. I was offered a partnership in a marketing company with a German and South African firm and I was off to the races. Finally I found my tribe! I was living in a beautiful condo, enjoying life and I met @AnaHilarski at the office. We married in 2012 and life has been grand ever since. Now we are launching our 4th company in five years. Three were successful!