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Some dream of quitting their jobs and traveling across the country or sailing across the world. But too often, they tell themselves they have too many responsibilities—work, school, kids, aging parents. Yet, some people manage to live their dreams every day, leading to a life full of happiness.
Jessica and Matt Johnson followed what they considered a traditional path. They attended college, obtained professional jobs, started a career and bought a house. While sitting on their couch one Sunday, they looked at each other and realized they needed something new. They decided to sail the world.
The next day they found a boat on Craigslist and taught themselves how to sail. A few weeks later, they sold their house, cars, and all of their belongings and told their employers they were leaving.
“One summer day in August we just tossed up the lines and sailed into I guess the sunrise that day,” Jessica says.
They spent six weeks in the Bahamas and visiting Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico. Last year they traversed the Atlantic and spent six weeks in the Azores. They knew they were hooked.
“One morning I woke up. It was like a light switch and said, you know I don’t want to work. I want to do this forever,” says Matt.
Sailing forever costs the Johnsons very little. Their monthly living expenses range from $200 to $2,000, which depends on where they are. In 2014 they spent only $12,619 all while seeing the world.
For others, finding happiness is as simple as looking in one’s backyard.
Bill Bumbernick worked as a CEO of a voice telecommunications software company, which meant he frequently put in at least 12 hours a day. He missed his three kids’ baseball and soccer games. He missed seeing his children grow up.
He sold the company and purchased a RV to take a cross-country trip with his family. While in California, they visited the local farmers’ markets.
“It wasn’t long before a light bulb went off. ‘Hey, we have this land at home. What do you think about putting together a community farm?’” Bumbernick says.
Bumbernick works the farm with his wife, Megan and children. They feel truly happy, while setting a good example for their kids.
“It was important whatever we did we need to teach our children a work ethic. We have to work for everything we have,” Megan says.
While hard work fulfills the Bumbernicks, Anayra Calderon found her happiness in relaxing. After teaching high school for 11 years, she quit her job to teach yoga.
“It was a very hard decision to make. But it’s not like I woke up one day and said, ‘I quit.’ I wish. It took a bit of planning to do so,” Calderon says.
People often tell her they wish that they could do what she does. She tells them they can.
“You just have to have faith in yourself. If you don’t believe you can do it, nobody else will believe it,” she says. “The secret to happiness is understanding that happiness comes from within and only you can create your happiness.”