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  • Writer's pictureEmily Breeden

Step Two… Plan Something.

First of all… Holy cow, did the number of encouraging responses on Facebook to my first blog post surprise me; I did not realize people would connect with it so much.  Thank you for the encouragement!!  Apparently, my situation wasn’t all that unique, and a lot of people have gone through or are going through something similar.  To those of you struggling to find (or sustain) happiness in your job, hopefully my experience so far will show you that it’s okay to quit something you aren’t happy with (key words: “so far” … okay, it’s only been a few days, this all might change if I suddenly become a hobo living in the bandshell at Lake Harriet, and have to sell all of my belongings for food…)

Okay, SO FAR, in my four post-quitting days, the world hasn’t blown up and I’m still surviving.

One thing I have made sure of is to make each day productive.  On my first “FREEEE!” Monday after quitting, I got up early and felt so energized to determine what I wanted to do on my career break.  Waking up excited for the day felt crazy, considering I had not woken up feeling that way in a pretty long time.  (For quite a long time before I left my job, I absolutely dreaded my alarm going off.)

After getting up, doing some stretches and having a deliciously healthy shake (chocolate and banana…mmm), I decided, “F*ck it, I’m going to South America.”  If I’m going to take a career break, I want to do something that will truly take me out of my comfort zone, and go somewhere that I can maybe even make a difference.  Plus, I have a (not-so) secret affinity for Latin American/Spanish culture, and have never been to South America.  My alter-ego, Josefina (who is fluent in Spanish, and usually makes an appearance after a few adult beverages) agreed 100% that this was lo mejor idea del mundo.

After lots of interweb-research for different volunteer programs, and contemplating between going to Peru, Costa Rica, or Guatemala, I finally decided on the program in Peru. ❤


Let’s be honest, I just really want to look at Machu Picchu while listening to Machu Picchu!!!  (I have a feeling it will be as cool as eating pizza in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa!  Ah, memories.)  According to the program manager, I will be working with kids at an orphanage, and/or working on community improvement projects, and/or even helping at the local zoo, depending on the needs when I get there.  Mr. Manager from New York asked me if I was flexible, and I told him “Flexible” was my middle name right now.

So, the next steps are to get a background check saying I’m not a criminal, and a medical report saying I’m healthy.  Assuming an unpaid parking ticket from Milwaukee doesn’t show up on my criminal record and they accept my application, then I will have a month to figure out what the bleep I’m going to do with all of my stuff since my apartment lease is ending.  Then, it’s off to Peru for some serious volunteering and Machu Picchuing!!!

Josefina está lista. 🙂

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