I don’t want to work anymore, so I quit.

Have you ever been working, and suddenly wished you could quit? The idea dawns on you as simple. All you would have to do is shut your computer. Say, “I quit.” Stand up. Walk out of the office.

I felt like that. So the next day, I nearly surprised myself just as much as my boss when I handed in my notice.

The afterwards was funny. People keep asking me what my plan is, and I answer so vaguely that they think I’m being cagey.

“What do you plan on doing next?”

“I don’t plan on doing anything next, really.”

“Oh you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

At least, I don’t know what I want to do work-wise. I have some vague plans to travel around Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and other countries around there. I think I’ll move my stuff back to Santa Barbara, because I can’t live in The Netherlands without a job.

I kept meaning to write about it, but I didn’t get around to it. Usually when people quit there’s a plan. I felt like I should have hyped it up. Added a countdown. I don’t need to work another day in my life, and I’m only 29. I’ve saved enough that I’m financially independent. Shouldn’t there at least be a cake?

But I didn’t make a plan, at least, not concretely. I suppose one could argue that I’ve been planning this ever since I found out about the financial independence, retire early movement and started saving 75% of my paycheck. The truth is, I just thought to myself, “I don’t want to work anymore.” A thought that has crossed the minds of probably every human in history at some point or another. Some folks have the ability to listen to that thought and take a break. Some are so dependent on work that honoring a thought like that is laughable. I thought, “I don’t want to work anymore,” and then I quit.

I’ll write about what comes next. I’ll write about the details when I get to them. Right now I have no answers aside from the concrete: I can stay in The Netherlands for 90 days. I want to travel. I want to write for this blog. I want to finish my painting. I want to write a book.

But I don’t want to work anymore.

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    1. Thank you! Sometimes I think you need to jump without too much looking in order to get to the next stage, but it’s still a bit scary!

  1. Being financially independent, you have many options that most people can’t afford to quit. Life is too short. Enjoy it while you’re still young. Sometimes you have to get away from your comfort zone and actually see what life has to offer on the horizon. All my best on your next chapter.

    1. You’re right, it’s a good reminder that life is short. Good to keep in mind that having money doesn’t do much if you never take the opportunities it presents you.

  2. “ I didn’t want to work anymore so I quit” Good for you!
    Glad you are planning to continue to write the blog posts as I am Interested to see where this next chapter takes you.

  3. Fantastic and amazing! I’m not FI but I’m in okay shape. I’m taking a year-ish off (2 months in) and it’s pretty great. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with your time.

    1. I love the idea of smaller breaks. A year-ish sounds like a great break! I’m curious what I’ll do too!

  4. Congratulations!!! I felt the same way when I quit almost 2 years ago. I was in a meeting, and my boss decided I should take over managing ~30 people in another country and I said…. “Well, let’s pump the breaks on that a little. I’m going to leave the company, here’s my 8 weeks notice.” I said some vague stuff about taking time for myself and if they needed more transition time we could figure something out because I wasn’t “going anywhere in particular.” i.e. pay me more to stay on to transition out.

    I worked towards it for a long time, I didn’t really know what came next besides deleting my morning alarms off of my phone. We were (and still are) in a pandemic so I didn’t know what exactly I would do. It took 8 months before I found a volunteer position working with marine mammals 1 day a week. And about that much time for the local SPCA to start accepting new dog walkers too.

    Surprisingly a year and a half after “retiring” I got a seasonal job working rehabilitating wildlife (wildlife technician), 2 more months left at this job then I’ll figure out the next thing. But I love that I get to do what I want. Until those 2 months are up I’ll be vaccinating racoons, feeding opossums, herding ducks, bottle feeding squirrels, and lots and lots of animal cleanup…. But I love it.

    Enjoy it, you earned it. Quite literally.

    1. I love this! The idea of working with marine mammals, to working at the local SPCA, to rehabilitating wildlife is such a dream. Seriously, my 10 year-old self would be so happy with that life trajectory. It seems like a great way to spend time outside, work with animals, and find meaning. I’m curious after 2 months what you’ll do next!

  5. CONGRATULATIONS!! This was such a pleasant surprise to receive in my inbox this morning. I’m so happy for you and can’t wait to read about your next chapters!

  6. Child!

    (For all the little kids who don’t know, most of what adults do is rather boring and/or unpleasant. Do you think you parents always want to go to work? Absolutely not, but they and you their child like to eat, have a roof over their head, etc, so they get up and go to work whether they want to or not. Do you think your parents were thrilled to change your pooey diapers? To clean up your vomit? To clean the house, and do a million other boring, yucky things? Do you think soldiers want to go to war and be shot at? Do you think your teachers enjoyed grading your stupid papers and wiping your snotty nose?

    ADULTS do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, regardless of their feelings at the moment.

    One piece of advice, child, from an adult… don’t get married for a l..o. n..g time because you are utterly lacking in the necessary maturity and mindset. And PLEASE don’t have sex now because sex is for adults and you lack the maturity for marriage/sex and the babies that sometime unexpectedly come along.

    The good news is that even though today you are thinking and acting like a child, you can and I believe will grow up to be a fine outstanding adult with an amazing (although often boring and unpleasant as I’ve said) future. At least you are YOUNG and stupid (those who are old and stupid are tragic). Youth is for making mistakes and learning from them. I believe you will learn alot from this mistake, never repeat it, and have an amazing life.

    1. It’s almost like this commenter hasn’t read any of your previous content and assumes that this decision to stop work is completely spontaneous and without forethought.
      I am looking forward to my similarly “often boring and unpleasant future” in the next 6-24 months when I also decide that I don’t want to work anymore (I’m struggling with one-more-year, six months at a time 🙂 ).

    2. Ew, Molly. Read the room.

      Feeling genuine pity for this commenter who clearly believes tHeY’rE a GrOwNuP aNd LiFe Is sUpPoSeD tO bE mIsErAbLe.

      Unlike Miss Misery here, I don’t find adulthood to be a tedious chore full of things I dislike. I’ve been married for a long time, and nothing about it is a chore. As a parent, cleaning up vomit and all those other miserable things listed in that comment has been less than 5% of the overall experience (yeah, diapers last awhile, but changing them takes 45 seconds, and then one day they’re gone forever).

      Seems like a certain someone is not loving the life they picked for themselves, and would rather ruin your day than say, “Good luck!” So, I’ll say it instead: good luck!

  7. How exciting and truly, congratulations on your leap – wherever it takes you. And, please (as long as it is enjoyable to you) continue to keep us in your life through your blog.

  8. Congratulations! And I so love the title “I don’t want to work anymore, so I quit.” Heck yeah!! Love the reactions of your coworkers. I’m pretty sure mine start googling if we won the lottery when I told them that my husband and I were retiring.

  9. Wow!! This is so exciting! I can’t wait to read about what your life without work feels like. I’m not pulling the plug yet, but about to leave for a practice run of a month in Vietnam and Thailand. When I get back, transitioning to 4 days a week. Being coast-FI, semi-FI or close to FI has emboldened my requests at work.

    1. I would love to hear about your month in Vietnam and Thailand, and get any recommendations you have for when I head out there!

  10. You should get yourself some cake to celebrate! Although I guess stopping work is itself a momentous way to commemorate being FI all on its own, there is always room for cake. Or stroopwaffel?

  11. Congrats! I love your blog. You keep things freshly honest. Sometimes, after a lot of planning, one just needs to jump.

    I completely support that feeling – I it so inspiring for us who are still “streamlining the processes”, “awaiting cross-functional feedback” and “clarifying the project ownership”. sigh.

    My own FI journey still takes a while.

  12. Congrats! I’ve just stumbled on your blog, was thrilled to find out you’re in The Netherlands (we just moved here), and now you’ve taken the bold step I’m still struggling to take!

    I recently transitioned to a 4-day workweek and have just come back from a sabbatical so I have taken a few steps in that direction.

    Anyway, enjoy your new adventures!

    1. Congrats on your recent move! I absolutely love living here, though I will be moving in order to keep costs lower in early retirement. It’s great you got to try a sabbatical and make changes in your life to take the first steps. I find that it’s much more common to make adjustments like that in your work schedule in the NL.

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