20 votes

Has anyone here actually acted on their escapist fantasies?

I would love to hear stories of all the tilderinoes here who somehow acted on their impulses to somehow upend their lives, that could be in small or big ways -- moving to another country, changing careers, changing their name, anything else.

I very often think about how someday I'll finally take hold of my life and suddenly start doing all the things I'd like to if I do some "big thing", whatever that currently is (changing my name, moving abroad...). So I was wondering if it is at all realistic, if anyone here actually has experience with something similar and if it actually helped to improve their life.
I always really enjoy reading advice people give here, even though I sadly do not ever actually really use it. Thank you.

12 comments

  1. [2]
    Akir
    Link
    I guess I did before, out of necessity. I've told the story about how I left my abusive home to live with my Grandparents. And yeah, absolutely, it was a marked improvement in my life in every...

    I guess I did before, out of necessity. I've told the story about how I left my abusive home to live with my Grandparents. And yeah, absolutely, it was a marked improvement in my life in every measurable way.

    I kind of want to do it again simply as an excuse to get rid of all the stuff I've accumulated. I've had far too many hobbies and there's a lot of stuff I would need if I ever go back into it, but I honestly don't know if I ever will, so why am I holding on to everything? I want a house that is clean because I don't have anything to make a mess with. I also have a lot of stuff that I'm carrying for purely sentimental value, and I'm at a point where I realize that sentiment isn't actually that valuable. And beyond that I think I'm a different person than I used to be so not everything actually has the same sentiment to them.

    I don't know if I would be able to do the more extreme versions of this, though - moving to a different country. To be honest, I don't know if there is any other country I'd actually like living in more; Canada and the UK are increasingly losing their lustre and I don't think I'd be able to get a resident visa in any of the European countries I'd like to live in (and honestly I don't want to learn any more languages - I know I would probably be fine as an English speaker in many nordic/germanic countries, but I'd feel compelled to learn anyways because I'll feel like a jerk if I didn't).

    Basically every time I think I would be better off in another country, I just think to myself "I'm trading one set of problems for another" and that makes those thoughts go away.

    13 votes
    1. kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Can't remember where I first heard the idea, but the absolute best advice I got on this was to take a picture (or several) of sentimental objects and then get rid of the actual objects themselves....

      I also have a lot of stuff that I'm carrying for purely sentimental value, and I'm at a point where I realize that sentiment isn't actually that valuable.

      Can't remember where I first heard the idea, but the absolute best advice I got on this was to take a picture (or several) of sentimental objects and then get rid of the actual objects themselves. The photos still allow you to muster up the attachment/connection associated with items but you don't have to deal with the clutter of actually keeping the items around.

      This helped me clean up a lot of stuff that I'd been holding onto for way too long.

      15 votes
  2. [3]
    scissortail
    Link
    Yes, actually. I'm in the middle of doing just that right now. A few weeks ago I quit my job, sold my car, threw my stuff into storage, and booked a flight to the Big Island of Hawai'i to work on...

    Yes, actually. I'm in the middle of doing just that right now.

    A few weeks ago I quit my job, sold my car, threw my stuff into storage, and booked a flight to the Big Island of Hawai'i to work on a farmstead. It was a move I had planned for some months before, but it didn't feel totally real until I bottle-fed a goat kid for the first time.

    This was all precipitated by a deep existential crisis, in which I realized that I was wholly unsatisfied with the way I was living my day-to-day life. The skilled blue-collar, commuter worker lifestyle felt hollow to me, and had for a long time. I couldn't abide the fact that I made so little of what I consumed, that my routine and situation kept me from producing for myself and others. While I had (and still have) an incredible group of friends back on the mainland, I could no longer stand going to and from work every day and coming home too exhausted and in-a-rut to work on projects that actually interested me. I couldn't keep waking up in an ugly, soulless city and seeing glass and concrete everywhere. Severe managerial incompetence at my workplace did not help, either. When an opportunity to live a life like the one I had been dreaming of fell into my lap, I decided to take it.

    For the last several years of my life, I have viewed homesteading as my end game. I realized that I could no longer wait to taste the lifestyle, or to learn the skills I would need to live the rest of my life.

    So now, I live in the middle of the jungle. I sleep in a tent (for now), get regularly gnawed on by mosquitoes, and shit in a glorified bucket. But by god, do I love every second of it. I'm getting the best sleep I've had in years, eating quality food, and seeing the results of my hard work every day. So far I have zero regrets, and am quite certain that this is the sort of life that I want to live until I die.

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      autumn
      Link Parent
      I have a friend who also worked on a farm in Hawaii! Are you doing it through WWOOF?

      I have a friend who also worked on a farm in Hawaii! Are you doing it through WWOOF?

      3 votes
      1. scissortail
        Link Parent
        I am not, though my host does take WWOOFers. My host and I met through reddit, of all places.

        I am not, though my host does take WWOOFers. My host and I met through reddit, of all places.

        3 votes
  3. knocklessmonster
    (edited )
    Link
    I often think of this I kinda did it: I quit my bussing job, managed to snag an internship in a field I'm interested in, and am finishing me degree next month, starting the job my internship led...

    I often think of this

    I kinda did it: I quit my bussing job, managed to snag an internship in a field I'm interested in, and am finishing me degree next month, starting the job my internship led to in June. However, sort of like Internet Shaquille's manager becoming a stripper, or moving into the woods, it takes several things:

    The means to support yourself on the gamble: I live at home, and don't pay any bills, as well as collecting that 1200 a month in unemployment for a year, so I could take the gamble. I have savings, and have managed to retain most of them. I do not currently have a car, and have the means to buy one cash-up-front, as well as a brother who is conveniently selling his old car. My mom also manages the apartment complex we live in, so I can manage to squeeze a little leeway out of the parking situation, maybe. Not to mention, I was only able to work the internship with the leeway I had because of a global pandemic.

    I feel like these stories are more inspirational, or even just aspirational than they are actually helpful. I'm unable to give advice on how to get a job because I literally fell into it: My guidance counselor sent me a listing, had two super casual interviews which got me in, without my resume and cover letter even. I'm even living one, and imposter syndrome aside, it's very much "How the fuck did I wind up here?" and not in a good way.

    The only thing I would say is find a goal and try to get there within your means.

    EDIT: I feel like I'm being a bit of a wet blanket, but realize I've also got a good story that better represents a real-world example. My dad put himself through CNA school for a career change into medical that he'd wanted since he was college-age. The only resource he had was his girlfriend he had been living with for a few years helping with some of the rent, but their situation was closer to what would be real for somebody who wants to pivot: They had an established life, responsibilities, and more constraints than opportunities, and they managed to make it work by being careful in their approach, and jumping into the unknown once they were ready for it and it wasn't so unknown: They knew how to build the log cabin before moving into the woods, so to speak. My living situation is pretty poor, but theirs was actually poor, at least my dad's was considering both of their insistence on mostly split finances (groceries/rent/etc were shared as it made sense). They eventually moved to Oregon, which my dad had wanted to do since the 80s and he did some work up in the PNW, working in the same facility even.

    8 votes
  4. autumn
    Link
    Yep! After my first semester of college, I quit my job at a grocery store and moved from Indiana to Seattle with very little money and even fewer possessions. I had never even visited Seattle...

    Yep! After my first semester of college, I quit my job at a grocery store and moved from Indiana to Seattle with very little money and even fewer possessions. I had never even visited Seattle prior to moving there. I roomed with a friend I had never met in real life, but we had been friends online for a few years. I got a job as a web designer/developer, and aside from a 3-year stint as a copy shop clerk making minimum wage during the economic crash starting in ‘09, I’ve been one ever since.

    Fun fact: this move was inspired by a song called “Seattle” by Jeffrey Lewis. I also considered moving to NYC, but I didn’t think I could cut it. I was probably right, since upon visiting for the first time, I did not think I’d like living there.

    7 votes
  5. [3]
    Merry
    Link
    6-7 years ago, both my partner and I quit our jobs on the east coast and moved out to California. We stayed in Fresno while the job hunt was underway. She found a remote job that was part time for...

    6-7 years ago, both my partner and I quit our jobs on the east coast and moved out to California. We stayed in Fresno while the job hunt was underway. She found a remote job that was part time for awhile until I found something. I was offered a few jobs and while my bank account was getting lower and lower, I rejected them and held out for the current company that I have been at since. At one point I even cashed out my 401k to keep is afloat for longer than anticipated. I was so close to getting a job at Starbucks if things didn't pick up. When we moved into the apartment a week before I started, we had ~$300 in our bank account. They have promoted me three times since starting all those years ago and my partner has had remote jobs since. COVID hit and suddenly I am now 100% remote as well so now we are planning our next steps. Not ready yet to leave California and it is by far the nicest place I have lived! In that time, both my partner and I have doubled our income from six years ago.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Nivlak
      Link Parent
      What kind of remote work are you into? My partner and I are looking to do something similar.

      What kind of remote work are you into? My partner and I are looking to do something similar.

      2 votes
      1. Merry
        Link Parent
        We both work in HR Information Systems (HRIS). Although we have shared the same job titles in the past, our jobs have been pretty different. I work on a bunch of systems such as Kronos, Taleo,...

        We both work in HR Information Systems (HRIS). Although we have shared the same job titles in the past, our jobs have been pretty different. I work on a bunch of systems such as Kronos, Taleo, ServiceNow, and manage a lot of projects, while she has only worked on one system, Workday, but specialized in specific areas of that application. At the end of the day though we can speak the same language and know what we are talking about. HRIS remote jobs are definitely out there, but I will admit getting into them can be a bit difficult.

        6 votes
  6. HotPants
    Link
    Yup, I moved countries, changed my job, changed my entire appearance, and changed my behavior. I had this really weird idea when I was single, that a cool chick would come along and reinvent me...

    Yup, I moved countries, changed my job, changed my entire appearance, and changed my behavior.

    I had this really weird idea when I was single, that a cool chick would come along and reinvent me into someone cool, and that is kind of what happened.

    6 votes
  7. MimicSquid
    Link
    Yes, absolutely. I changed jobs, started going by a nickname, restarted college, and changed social circles. It gave me the freedom to be the person I wanted to be as opposed to the person anyone...

    Yes, absolutely. I changed jobs, started going by a nickname, restarted college, and changed social circles. It gave me the freedom to be the person I wanted to be as opposed to the person anyone thought I was. It was immensely freeing. I had felt in a rut, stuck being someone I didn't really like. That total reset let me reinvent myself.

    5 votes