34 In About Me

Why I Left My Well Paid Corporate Job

Just over a month ago I left my well-paid corporate job. I was working at a Big Four company, in a shiny new office with views over the Thames River and Tower Bridge; I even had a promotion lined up for October. You probably think it was stupid of me to leave, and you might wonder why I did. Long story short; I wasn’t happy. I knew that a month after I started working there, but it took me a year and a half to decide it was time to move on. What did I move on to? I still don’t know.

The view from my ex-office (no that wasn't my desk...)

The view from my ex-office (no that wasn’t my desk…)

Before I jump straight into what happened and what’s in store for the future of this blog, let me give you a bit of introduction on myself and how I ended up here. Let’s go back to teenage me. Teenage me was an over achiever. I had good grades and I did lots of extra curricular activities, and I found it all easy. Not because I was particularly smart or hard working, I just did as I was told and didn’t leave homework to the night before. Naturally, I applied to those top universities, because that’s also what you’re supposed to do. When I got an offer from University College London to study Geography, I knew I could easily get the minimum entry points they required. After completing my summer internship, between my second and third year of university, I had a job offer lined up for after graduation. Instead of dealing with job search stress, I took the job so I could focus on my final year of university.

Enjoying the turquoise water of the Gili T beaches

Enjoying the turquoise water of the beaches in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

I never stopped to think about what I wanted to do, I just went along with what I was expected to do. I finished high school when I was 17, got my degree when I was 20 and started working a couple months after graduation. Now after a year and a half of working at a job I hated, I decided it’s time for me to stop and properly think about what I want to do. I’m still figuring it out, but what I’m sure of is that I’m not looking for a standard office career. I want a life of experiences and seeing the world, not of creating PowerPoint presentations for meetings I won’t even speak in. I want to hike volcanoes at night to watch the sunrise, snorkel with turtles and explore new cities. Maybe once I’m done I’ll go back to the corporate world, but at the moment it’s not what I want or need. I want to follow my passions.

Wandering around London, the city that has become my second home

Wandering around London, the city that has become my second home

As soon as I started working I felt trapped in my job. My flatmates make fun of me and say I get really bad FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) because as soon as I hear someone talking in the kitchen I’ll come out of my room to see what’s up, in fear that my flatmates might be having fun without me. I guess that’s also how I felt about seeing the world. It didn’t help that a lot of my friends who had graduated with me were off on incredible adventures around South America and Asia, while I was at my desk for 10+ hours a day, doing work I found boring.

At the top of the First Peak Hike

Feeling on top of the world after a hike in Stawamus Provincial Park, Canada.

I have always loved travelling. I was really lucky as a kid since my parents travelled a lot either for work, or they had long breaks and they could take me on cool trips. After I started working the travel bug bit me. You can call it travel FOMO too I guess. The thought of spending the rest of my life in an office made me want to escape more and more often, in an attempt to travel and see everything before I “grew up” and then would no longer be able to. The financial freedom that comes with having a well paid corporate job obviously also helped, as I could go on trips without having to ask anything from my parents. I went on 8 long haul international trips and multiple European weekend breaks in the year and a half that I spent working in an office. I got so many questions about how I could travel so much with a job that I even wrote a post about it. Every time I came back the post-holiday blues would hit me harder than the time before. I was always unhappy when I was at work, and it was starting to affect my personal life too. I wanted to quit, but I didn’t know how to break it to my parents.

Watching the sun set from Ipanema and Arpoador

Watching the sun set from Ipanema and Arpoador, in Rio de Janeiro

My parents are the most hardworking and successful people I know. My mum is an ex world champion in judo, when she stopped competing she opened her own martial arts gym and started teaching judo to children. Her gym had the most memberships across Italy, with 300+ children per year. My dad is a TV producer, mostly for sports TV shows but also cruise travel documentaries (his show is where I had my first experiences filming and travelling, that then lead to this blog)! They taught me from a young age that you have to work hard to achieve the things you want, and to never quit. After supporting me for so long, and finally being able to tell their friends that their 21-year-old daughter already had a degree and a well-paid job in a fancy company, I wasn’t sure how they’d take me quitting.

Swimming in the crystal clear waters of Sardinia

Swimming in the crystal clear waters of Sardinia, Italy

I started this travel blog about 7 months ago, and it has been a life saver since. I finally had a hobby again. I won’t lie and say that it started as a creative outlet that then turned into something more, although it is also that. I started it because I saw successful travel bloggers getting paid to travel the world and I thought, “If they can do it, surely I can too. I’m going to work to get that life”! So I started putting what I’d learned from my dad’s TV show to use online, creating videos on YouTube and advertising them on Instagram and Facebook. It then developed into an actual blog, where I write travel guides and stories with videos and pictures. Greta’s Travels then expanded to include also other social media platforms like Twitter and Pinterest. I finally had something to do again that I enjoyed, that was completely different from my day to day job, and I started getting more and more into it. Receiving comments and DMs like the ones below makes me genuinely happy, and I find it way more rewarding than any praise I ever received at work.

Some of the comments I received on Instagram and YouTube

Some of the comments I receive on Instagram and YouTube, that make me love what I’m doing

Enjoying the morning light after the night hike

Watching the sunrise from the crater of Kawah Ijen, an active volcano in Indonesia

I can’t remember what the tipping point was. I had a horrible day at work once and decided I couldn’t handle it anymore. So I did it. I quit. I called my mum in tears saying I wanted to quit, and she told me not to worry. That whatever I decided to do her and dad would always support me, and that my happiness was more important than any job. I’m privileged and I know it. I know not everybody can quit their job on a whim, and I’m grateful I was able to. This doesn’t mean I’m just going to go back home and have my parents support me. I saved up in the past year and a half of working, and I have some money of my own that I’m planning to live off and fund my future travels with. My parents are both entrepreneurs, and they raised me to value my independence. While they might have been a bit disappointed that I quit all of a sudden, they both knew it was never going to last.

Enjoying the sunset in Gili T, admiring Lombok in the distance

Enjoying the sunset in Gili Trawangan, admiring Lombok in the distance

I don’t have a solid plan for the future yet, and I’m ok with that. After doing everything that I was supposed to do so quickly, I decided it’s time to stop and actually think about what I want to do. What I do know is that I don’t want to be a management consultant, and ideally I never want to work in a corporate office again. I figured there wasn’t much point in me staying there and waiting till promotion. My flatmate makes fun of me for being impulsive. When we were flat hunting I fell I love with every flat we saw and wanted to rent it immediately, and I would have if she wasn’t more responsible than me and stopped me every time. In this case though, I knew I had to listen to my impulsive side and go for it, or I’d never get round to it. I’d always postpone; wait for the next pay check, wait till the next project that will hopefully be more interesting, or wait till promotion, and then never leave. And always be unhappy.

Getting up close to Bridal Veil Falls

Chasing waterfalls in Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park, Canada

What’s in store for the future now you might ask? At the moment I’m working at a judo summer camp for kids in Sardinia (admittedly it’s my mum’s summer camp but hey, no point in her paying for another assistant if I’m available)! Once this is over I’m going to dedicate myself full time to Greta’s Travels, creating more and better content. I’m going to spend the summer in Italy. Despite the long summers I had at university, due to internships and travelling I haven’t been home for longer than two weeks in the past five years. After that I have some trips planned from September around Europe with friends, and hopefully onwards to full time travel soon enough!

Enjoying the tropical beaches of Koh Lanta, Thailand

Enjoying the tropical beaches of Koh Lanta, Thailand

If you follow me regularly you will have noticed this is my first time writing something as personal as this. I want to thank you for taking the time to read this, and for following me in my adventures, I wouldn’t be able to do this without you! There will hopefully be lots of good things to come in the future for this blog, and I’m excited to bring you with me on this adventure! Have you ever felt the same way? If you have any similar stories you want to share just leave me a comment and I’d love to read about them.

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Just over a month ago I left my well paid corporate job, I still don't know what I'm going to move on to, but I'm happy that way. If you've ever felt trapped at work, and found freedom only in travel, you will relate to my story!

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  • Lucio
    June 28, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Bravissima Greta, bellissimo articolo, sincero e toccante.
    Hai mai chiesto si tuoi followers dove vorrebbero tu andassi per il prossimo viaggio? Sarebbe snchr piu’ coinvolgente. Un abbraccio, buone cose per tutto e a presto…

    • gomoboni
      June 28, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      Grazie mille Lucio! Sono contenta che ti sia piaciuto! Non ci avevo pensato, ma è un ottima idea, lo farò in futuro! (Anche perché qualche idea in più di posti nuovi da vedere non fa mai male!) Un abbraccio, grazie ancora, a presto!

  • Brigitte
    June 28, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Love your post Greta! I kind of recognise myself in your story! Loved the fact that you just decided to follow your heart and see where it takes you. I know for sure, that if this is really your passion, you will definitely get there! I also wanted to let you know, that since I will finish my minor at the University of Barcelona in December/January, I actually don’t know what to do after that. I might start a master program in september 2018, but haven’t figured out what to do with the time between January-September yet. I don’t know where your travels will take you, but I feel like it might be fun to meet up somewhere! I will talk to you further on Facebook of course, but anyway, wanted to let you know that I really like your move and you will def inspire others too!

    • gomoboni
      June 29, 2017 at 6:50 am

      Thanks so much Brigitte! We should definitely travel somewhere together! 😀

  • Ana Rita
    June 28, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this. So much respect that you left the corporate world to follow your dream of travel! I have the same dream as you do, and I wish you the best of luck in achieving it 🙂

    • gomoboni
      June 29, 2017 at 6:47 am

      Thank you so much for the nice comment, it means a lot! Hope you also achieve all your dreams, all the best and safe travels! 🙂

  • Totoro the Traveller
    June 30, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Hey Greta!

    Great news, congrats on quitting unhappy life! Was surprised to see my comment on a feedback picture 🙂
    Looking forward to new trips of yours!

    Cheers,

    Totoro

    • gomoboni
      June 30, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Hi,
      I blacked out your name so I didn’t think to ask, I hope you didn’t mind me using it! You left that comment on my YouTube channel in the early days when it was still small and I’d really appreciated it 🙂
      Thank you so much, I’m really excited for what’s to come and to share it with you guys!

  • Victoria
    July 1, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Good for you Greta, I can totally sympathise with your decision to leave – I quit my corporate job of 4 years a few months back too. It’s not an easy decision but it’s so not worth spending your time doing things you don’t enjoy. Wish you all the best and I look forward to seeing your future travels 🙂

    • gomoboni
      July 2, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment! Great to hear that I’m not the only one escaping the corporate world haha

  • Ali
    July 1, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I can definitely relate to some of this! I also didn’t really think too much about what I wanted, just went to college, found a job, and kept working. Sounds like it took me a lot longer to figure out I was going down the wrong path and get out! I hated my insurance job, but I didn’t know what else to do for so long. Now I’m a full time blogger, and I’m so much happier. It does take a lot of work, as well as patience, to get to the point where your blog earns enough to live off of, but it’s totally worth it. I run two blogs, one that makes 99% of my income, and it’s great to have the flexibility to work whenever and wherever I want. Good luck!

    • gomoboni
      July 4, 2017 at 6:49 am

      That’s so amazing to hear Ali, thanks so sharing your story! Glad to hear you went through a similar path to me, now hopefully I can do the same and earn enough from this blog to live off 🙂

  • Mia
    July 1, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Doing what you love is everything! It’s such an overused phrase, but life really is too short to be unhappy. Keep making your dreams come true! Looking forward to see what you’re up to next 🙂

    • gomoboni
      July 4, 2017 at 7:07 am

      Couldn’t agree more! Sounds like such a stereotype but it’s so true! Thanks so much for the lovely comment 🙂

  • Chiera
    July 1, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Congrats of finally chosing the life you want! I have spent 5 loong years in an office job, also ‘creating powerpoints for meetings I won’t even be in’ ha. I’ve finally decided that come October I will quite this job and move to Australia! I wish you so much luck girl! xx

    • gomoboni
      July 4, 2017 at 7:13 am

      Thank you so much! And that’s so exciting, best of luck with everything! I look forward to seeing your adventures too!

  • Aurelia Teslaru
    July 1, 2017 at 11:08 am

    So happy for you! Hopefully someday I will also quit my job to travel the world! Fingers crossed for more adventures!

    • gomoboni
      July 4, 2017 at 7:15 am

      Thank you so much! Haha yes, fingers crossed for more adventures!

  • Katie
    July 1, 2017 at 11:32 am

    This could be my story! I left my job at a bank to travel after it was affecting me mentally and physically. I’ve now returned to work after that year long escape and now I’m at a big four firm – working on my escape plan!! Balancing work and life with your passions is tricky – bravo for making the leap!! (Ps my mum was as supportive as yours when I made the decision too!)

    • gomoboni
      July 4, 2017 at 7:16 am

      I bet that year long escape was amazing! Thanks for the lovely message, hope you’ll figure out your escape plan soon haha!

  • Nina
    July 1, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    I can relate to this so much… I was/ am exactly the same way going through high school and university. It’s just easy to do what’s set out in front of you. Congratulations on making the leap 🙂 I know you’ll have great adventures ahead of you!

    • gomoboni
      July 4, 2017 at 7:18 am

      Thank you so much!

  • Andrea
    July 1, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    I left my corporate job too and have never looked back! I really gravitated to your “I never stopped to think about what I wanted to do, I just went along with what I was expected to do” sentiment….that’s how I lived a lot of my life too! Once you leave a job it’s soooo hard to go back and I’ll eat fuckin ramen before I stoop to working corporate again!

    • gomoboni
      July 4, 2017 at 7:17 am

      Haha I feel the same way too! Now that I’ve left ideally I never want to go back! Hopefully this works out 🙂

  • Siarra | Wander.Focus.Love
    July 1, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    I related to this SO much! I haven’t hit the point of quitting my job, but I started traveling after feeling restless for 6 months. And I needed a change, some control I could take hold of. I admire your decision to walk away and fly into your passions. I hope your work inspires others to do that same.

    • gomoboni
      July 4, 2017 at 7:14 am

      Thank you so much! Always nice to hear when someone can relate!

  • Bridget
    July 1, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Love this!! Sounds just like me, though it took me four and a half years before I quit! Two months into the freelance world and while not everything has gone to plan so far. I’m loving it! And sooo happy that I finally took the leap. Well done!! You’ll rock it!

    • gomoboni
      July 2, 2017 at 6:52 pm

      That’s great to hear! It makes so happy to hear stories of fellow freelancers that escaped the corporate world! There might be bumps along the way but it’s totally worth the extra freedom 🙂

  • Kate
    July 1, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Ciao Greta, articolo davvero bello! Sono italiana come te e mi rispecchio in molte cose che hai scritto. Un anno e mezzo fa lasciai l’Italia per cambiare vita, da sola, e fu la scelta migliore che abbia mai potuto fare! C’era chi mi dava della pazza, incosciente, ma per fortuna ho solo ascoltato il mio cuore e la mia impulsività. Sono passata dall’essere una persona costantemente ansiosa e depressa, ad essere invece felice, piena di volontà e coraggio! Purtroppo non ho ancora avuto la possibilità di viaggiare moltissimo, ma mi sto già organizzando per il futuro 🙂 Da un mesetto ho lanciato anche io il mio blog e spero tanto di riempirlo presto come il tuo! Se ti va, mi farebbe piacere rimanere in contatto, mi sembri una ragazza veramente in gamba e ogni tanto mi piacerebbe scambiare qualche consiglio con qualcuno sul blog, dato che tra i miei conoscenti sembra di parlare arabo 😀 un saluto e un abbraccio, Caterina.

    • gomoboni
      July 4, 2017 at 7:09 am

      Ciao Caterina, mi farebbe molto piacere! Sono contenta che anche tu abbia trovato qualcosa che ti piace di più, ogni tanto bisogna essere impulsivi nonostante ciò che ci dicono gli amici o parenti più “responsabili”! Scrivimi quando vuoi, sono più che contenta ti scambiare consigli sul blog, buona fortuna anche con il tuo!

  • lucila
    July 1, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    all the best on your brand new life ! 🙂 enjoy and have fun, I’m sure you will find your way before you know it.

    • gomoboni
      July 2, 2017 at 6:50 pm

      Thanks! Looking forward to what’s to come 😀

  • Ashi
    July 2, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Hey Greta! So nice to come across your blog ! I am in exactly the same boat … i too left my managament consulting job, and that has turned out to be the best decision of my life!!. Feels great to know that I’m not alone in this ! Cheers.Thankss. Love from India.

    • gomoboni
      July 2, 2017 at 6:50 pm

      Hi, thanks so much! So great to hear, glad you enjoyed the post and that I’m not the only escaping management consulting haha