Editor’s note: This is an interview with Ayngelina Brogan of Bacon is Magic. I first met Ayngelina via Twitter and Facebook when I was preparing for my extended travels a few months ago.
Aygenlina left her job 9 months ago as an Account Director at DraftFCB, one the world’s largest advertising agencies, to take extended time off to travel and explore the world.
She is currently in Ecuador and Latin America and learning about everything from homemade Peruvian ceviche, the many uses of sugar cane to how to watch soccer like an Ecuadorian.
What were you doing at your job before you left?
I was as an Account Director at DraftFCB. I worked on TV, radio, print and outdoor campaigns for a number of clients and primarily Kraft Canada for the past four years.
On January 4th, 2010 I gave my employer 10 weeks notice and on January 6th, 2010 purchased a one-way flight to Mexico.
What inspired you to leave your job?
Honestly, at 32 I figured this was my last chance for long-term travel before deciding if I wanted kids. I had money saved that I could either use as a down payment for a house or for a massive trip and no real debt.
How are you funding your travels and how long are you going for?
It took me ten years to pay off a massive student loan from university. Once I paid it, I continued putting the loan payment amounts into a savings account and I sold everything I had – it was completely liberating. I started with just shy of $20K and my budget is roughly $30/day or $1000/month excluding any flights or big tours like Machu Picchu. (See Ayngelina’s article on Saving for Long Term Travel for saving tips.)
Some countries are a bit easier than others for this so I know it will last longer than a year but not sure when I’ll come home.
Any particular goals or themes for your time off?
No goals or themes in particular, I just wanted to spend the time rediscovering myself. I think in your 20s you are so obsessed with success and ‘making it’ that once you’re there you forget why you wanted it.
How did you feel about leaving everything behind?
The last two years I seriously considered taking a year off. I relentlessly tried to bully/cajole/beg my boyfriend to come along with me. I was petrified to go alone, unsure if I had the strength to do it solo. But it wasn’t his dream. I had to make the decision to either abandon the dream or do it alone.
The fear was petrifying but it’s not paralyzing. As much as I was afraid to go, I was more afraid to regret not going.
Want to know more?
Here are some of my favourite posts from Ayngelina’s blog:
- The 8 Weeks and Counting List – countdown to her departure day
- The Difference Ten Years Makes – reflections of early 30’s vs 20’s
- 6 Months of Eat Pray Love-ing – musings after half a year of travelling
- How I Will Remember 2010 – delicious post for the foodies
- The Secret I’m Most Afraid to Tell You – a post you’ll have to read yourself :)
>> Thanks for the interview Ayngelina. Do you have questions or comments for Ayngelina on how she quit her job to travel, or places she has visited? Ask away in the comments below :)