Sweet sweet freedom! I have just given notice at my job. For the last three and a half years I have worked 10 hour days or more, for a large investment firm doing a variety of communications and analysis work. I spent my days not in an office, or even a cubicle, but at a portion of a long desk that was mine—a “desk slot,” if you will.

This little space was mine. Cozy, isn’t it?

This little space was mine. Cozy, isn’t it?

I am no longer Kelsey Stout, Portfolio Management Group Communications Analyst (I loved that title). I no longer have to sit (or stand—the company supplied me with one of those fancy adjustable desks) at the same spot every day. I no longer have to report up six levels of management.  After three years of scrimping and saving I am now Kelsey Stout, World Traveler, just figuring things out on my own with the luxury of time to do what I want.

I am excited for this new freedom and what lies ahead. But for today I have other feelings swirling around too. I am sad to leave this place where I started my career. It was not a perfect job (Remember? 10 hour days? Every. Single. Day.) but it has been a good job with great coworkers just an arm’s length away, management that encouraged and rewarded hard work, and a purpose I felt strongly about. I felt appreciated there and found meaning in my work. But now, I am at a point in my life where I need to go see the world.

My last day at work will also be my last day in our little house and the day we start our three-day drive from Portland to my hometown of Encinitas. It is going to be a big day. I expect to cry at least twice and probably freak Andrew out with some stress-induced rage nagging (Yes, that is a real thing for me) at least once.

But once that day is past, Andrew and I will have an entire month in SoCal with family and our closest childhood friends to just relax, organize, get some sun, and re-charge before we venture on.