Before the weight loss
As you know, after spending 5 weeks exploring Ecuador, including meeting you and our becoming friends last fall, I made the decision to make some major changes in my life.
I was 54 years old, I owned several successful businesses, I had two son's in college, a nice home, a couple of boats, nice motor home, a fleet of cars and trucks and a gold claim in southern Oregon.
I was considered a success by all who knew me. I also had a monthly overhead of $8000+. Those were bills that had to be paid before I got to keep any.
With that overhead and the running of my companies, came responsibilities to clients, employees, family, and the keeping track of a million details. The stress load was terrible.
However, I did enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle and I was able to travel, take family and friends on great trips, buy what I wanted, etc.
However, the stress was tremendous. I was irritable, had headaches all the time, and worried constantly about a thousand things.
When I returned home from Ecuador, I had a decision to make. I knew I could keep doing what I had been doing, keep working, making money, paying the bills, continuing to grow my businesses and maintaining the status quo.
OR, I could chuck it all. I could sell or close down the businesses, sell all the toys, explain to my sons I needed a change, hope my girlfriend understood and went along, and do what I really wanted to be doing... to follow my heart, trust my gut, to take a leap of faith.
Well Stan, you know what my decision was. I chose to take my life back, to put myself first, to spend the rest of my life adventuring, exploring, challenging myself, physically, socially and emotionally.
I did walk away from an almost $1 million a year income, a fleet of toys, a very comfortable existence. I moved here to the Pacific coast of Ecuador in January and I am loving it. I am more relaxed, and am happier than I have been in many years.
Sure, there have been challenges and a few unexpected surprises. But, I have not regretted my decision for one moment. I did not plan on living alone. (The girlfriend did not make the trip) Money I had planned on having, did not materialize. But, I have found that there are some advantages to being alone and I need very little money to live comfortably here.
I have easily shed almost thirty pounds. I feel strong; my mind is clear. I wake up every morning and thank God I made the decision to quit the Rat Race before it killed me.
Life is short. We do not know when it will be our turn to check out. We only have so many days in our life. I choose to spend my remaining days enjoying myself.
I look forward to our many future adventures Stan. I thank you for being my friend and for helping me make one of the most important decisions of my life.
My advice to my family, my friends, and anyone else who will listen is, if you can, get out. Start living your life, I mean really living, not slaving for a paycheck. Take stock of your life today. Tomorrow may never come.
Stan's response: What can I say Jack? I count you in as one of my very small circle of close friends. For those of us who know of your recent, huge, "life changes", you are a tremendous inspiration to us all. What do you think we will find on our upcoming expedition?