“You’ll know what to do when the time comes. Just follow your heart and what will make you happy” wrote my grandmother in an email to me three months before I made one of the most defining decisions of my life: The decision to quit my job with a Fortune 300 company and move to Nicaragua.
My mind was a wrestling match between excitement and fear. Fortunately the lure of adventure beat out the fear… just barely.
I didn’t leave California and take a 75% pay-cut in my salary thinking I wouldn’t return for years, or maybe ever. I left thinking that I could come back home at any time. That I’d return just as soon as I checked off a few personal goals – such as volunteering in an orphanage, learning to surf and speak Spanish. That mindset was enough for me to take the next step and buy a one-way ticket to Nicaragua.
That was back in 2007, and to this day I can honestly say that I have never, not even once, regretted that decision. Note to reader: That does not mean there haven’t been moments over the years when I’d miss my friends or crave first world conveniences like super fast internet and fancy restaurants. It just means that the highs always outweigh the lows.
So given the choice to do over, I’d choose a lifestyle of freedom and service again and again. Here are a few things I wish I’d known before I made the leap of faith.