In the past month I’ve come across two separate stories of women who left successful business careers and moved to an island.
Kathleen Byars, founder of Blazers, Inc., a marketing strategy firm, recently published a post titled, “Why I Traded My Lipstick and Pinstripe Suit to Live on an Island“.
Byars write that in 2004, at the age of 34, she retired her lipstick and executive career to live on an island. She was curious about all the people who made their living leading kayak tours and whitewater adventures whilst she swam from corporate meeting to corporate meeting in a pinstripe suit. And curious to know if a simpler life, one that had nothing to do with the American Dream, would be more satisfying than the life she was living.
In a separate story, Veronika Janeckova, tells about her recent decision to quit her job in London and move to an island in Southeast Asia and pursue her love of surfing. In her post, “Life’s better in a bikini, or is it?“, Janeckova notes that she had become a person who could no longer stay in the place she was.
After looking for the moments when she felt truly at peace and when she thrived and felt inspired, she decided to travel to a small island in order to experience a life that’s radically different from the way she lived until now. It would include wearing bikini, fighting mosquitos and working from a surf shack in over 30’C.
She notes that she is not sure if life will actually better in a bikini, but she believes that we all should take our time to listen to our inner selves. Grass may or may not be greener on the other side, but that’s not the point. It’s a trap anyway because there always will be “the other side”. The real question is: “Is the grass green right now and if not, how can you make it green for yourself again?”
I find such stories inspirational, and I admire the courage that such decisions take. To leave behind the familiar, a secure source of income, friends and family, and go into the complete unknown is a scary proposition.
You can read more about Kathleen Byars’ experience here (she will share how she finally found balance and carved out a brand-new life built on her own terms in her next post), and keep up with Veronika’s journey on her blog, Into the Reality.