How I Reclaimed My Digital Nomad Story
Three weeks ago, we asked our community to share their stories about quitting with intention.
We were instantly moved and inspired by your personal stories of quitting the very thing that is preventing you from creating a space for more positive ways to contribute to the world.
Here is one of your stories…
By: Melissa Presti
I used to think the most defining moment of my adult life would be when I left a 10-year career behind in New York City as I boarded a one-way flight to India. I was trading stability for the unknown, and leading my own rebellion against corporate America.
The real life-defining moment actually came 3 years later, after I walked away from a remote job that was supposed to be the answer to everything. It brought back the stability of income and insurance, and it didn’t anchor me to one place. I attached my freedom to this job and honestly thought that I couldn’t continue my unconventional life on the road without it.
But something that I had learned pretty quickly after leaving New York was that I owed it to myself and no one else to make decisions that would only serve me the best. That first day in India when I looked out at the Arabian Sea and felt pure joy was the moment I realized I had made the right decision. And here I was now, with the aching realization that I was in another fight or flight situation.
The walls started closing in ever since my remote company began settling into a permanent office, and I started to feel that working remotely was putting me at a huge disadvantage. I was undervalued, underpaid, and unable to grow. The simple part was recognizing the warning signs of an unhealthy work environment. The difficult part was making the decision to choose me again and leave.
I had reached the dream, right? That’s what I asked myself when I considered what other people would think if I quit. I had been sharing picturesque moments from my traveling life on Instagram in an attempt to prove there was another way to live outside of a cubicle. If I had found the golden opportunity that afforded me the travel, why would I give that up?
Because the pictures are pretty meaningless if the underlying story is that I felt just as lost as I was the first time I chose to pack up and quit. I remembered that feeling in India when I was confident in my gut feeling that there was still something else out there to find. It didn’t matter if I was remote or chained to a desk if I allowed a company to dictate the terms of my happiness. And so I quit. Again.
I built this nomadic life over the last three years on my own and I have to give myself credit for that, not to a company that wasn’t built to withstand the challenges of remote work culture. And it certainly wasn’t built with my personal goals and future in mind. They gave me the paycheck, not the curiosity to expand my cultural experiences. My quitting story isn’t about how a remote company failed me, it’s about reclaiming ownership of my digital nomad story because I couldn’t have done it with anyone but me.