Can You Just Quit Your Life?

by Brandi Savitt – updated April 21, 2014

Choosing Happiness Over Money

Many of us fantasize from time to time about quitting our jobs (and our lives) and escaping on an exotic adventure to start anew, right?  But then the practicality of life and need of money usually jolts us quickly back to reality…

Melanie’s Story

Two years ago, 37 year old Melanie filed for divorce from her husband of five years – and the ambitious young lawyer found herself at a crossroads.  While she was reeling from her failed marriage, and panicking over her ticking biologic clock, Melanie was also working endless hours to make partner at her firm.  And the week her divorce became final, Melanie was asked to become partner…

Buy In or Bail Out?

Finally, everything Melanie had worked so hard for professionally was paying off.  But somewhere between her marriage ending and getting promoted, Melanie realized her happiness depended on her changing her life – completely.   Instead of using her savings to pay her buy in to become partner, Melanie did something radical – she quit the firm entirely, emptied her bank account and moved to a small town in northern Spain known for it’s vineyards!  She had always dreamed of working on a vineyard and learning about wine production, and she felt now was her chance…

Eat Pray What?

There wasn’t a person in Melanie’s life who didn’t question her judgement or worry for her future.  When she got married, all she wanted was financial security and a career to bank on.  What was she thinking?!  Throwing her life’s work away to learn Spanish and pick grapes?  Her mother even asked her “does every newly divorced woman these days need their Eat Pray Love moment to find themselves?”  But Melanie didn’t care what anyone thought.  She didn’t just want to change her life – she had to.

What Would You Do?

So, if you were at a major crossroads in your life, would you play it safe or dive head first into the unknown?  Was Melanie foolish to risk her nest egg on an uncertain and non-lucrative future? Is life too short not to be living the life we want – even if it means not having a lot of money?  When making life decisions, is it more important to follow your gut or follow the paycheck?

Tell us what you would do!

* Where is she now? Melanie now lives in Chicago with her boyfriend and their baby daughter. She bought her first house, is an emerging sommelier and an expert in Spanish wine. 





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5 Responses to “Can You Just Quit Your Life?”

  1. Kellie says:

    I would definitely move to Spain and pick grapes! People don’t seem to understand (especially our parents) that there is not a book on life with different steps in it. Everyone is different and everyone needs to follow their passion and find true happiness. Life is about HAPPINESS, not getting married, having a great career, having children, and growing old together (or divorced in some cases). Don’t get me wrong, sometimes this is the best path for some people. But that is not the case for every person. We are not cookies, made out of the same mold. We are people. humans, free spirits, crazy lovers, artistic birds… We are all different and we all need to focus on what makes us happy and follow that path…

  2. Molly says:

    I tend to be a safe risk taker. I’m security minded, but also a free spirit.
    I think what Melanie did was brave, more brave than I could be. If it were me, I’d probably work at the law firm for a year as partner, bank as much money as possible, and then take a leave of absence for a year and after a year decide if I wanted to go back or stay in Spain.

    Do I think Melanie was foolish? No, not at all. She’ll find her way and her happiness.

  3. san says:

    yes, can i join her but someone pay my bills while Im gone?

  4. louie says:

    When someone takes the time to think out their life and then make a “Life Changing” decision, then of course they should intelligently follow their heart. The key here is knowing your own mind and not making a rash decision. This is easier said than done if you’re in the mid-life position and should not be done if it’s an escape from a failed marriage or demanding life style. The younger or older you are can make a huge difference as to adapting. Happiness is not always money or position and you do need to follow your heart, while still being able to support yourself one way or the other. You only have to answer to yourself and should not be influenced by the people around you. Most people resist change, being afraid of the consequences. Do what’s best for yourself. Remember, all roads lead to Rome. It’s the journey that gets you there.

  5. Sue says:

    Melanie had a bank roll to do what she did. What if she had not had the bank roll? What would she have done then? I made some major changes in my life this last year because of something that happened. No I have not moved to Spain but sometimes I probably feel that I did LOL.

Any Thoughts?