Chapter 2: Early Retirement

Hi friend. It's been a minute.

The last time you were here was likely two months ago when I was musing on my decision to leave my job and the city I had called home since 2010.

So, what's been going on?

Well, I blinked and June was over. Between packing up my apartment, transitioning out of my role at work, and saying goodbyes, it was a miracle that everything got done.


My favourite day of June was the 30th. Sarah Boland, a close friend of mine and badass entrepreneur, got married in Squamish, BC. The ceremony took place in the woods - a day-of decision to avoid the impending rain. Only magic can describe this special day.

Sarah and I met while working at Clearly Contacts and built a network of incredible friendships during our time there. Celebrating Sarah and Bobo's love with some of my favourite humans on the top of a mountain overlooking the Howe Sound was a surreal place to bid adieu to the west coast.

On July 3 I hopped a plane to Toronto for a long overdue visit to the 6ix. Having decided to apply for a German Working Holiday Visa, my research informed me that the German Consulate in Toronto processes these visas and visiting in person saves you a step when you arrive in Germany. With that in mind, I knew this was the perfect time to catch up with some East Coast pals. Sweating through a Toronto heatwave was worth it.

Taking in the skyline from Toronto Island

Taking in the skyline from Toronto Island

Stress level zero.

Mom and Dad's backyard - Lakeview Heights, West Kelowna

Mom and Dad's backyard - Lakeview Heights, West Kelowna

After 6 nights in Toronto and a German visa application now filed, I jetted back west to my homeland in the Okanagan Valley. This is what I've deemed the "early retirement" portion of my adventure. My days have been filled with sunshine, family and unrivaled scenery. It's easy to lose track of time, but I'm grateful for every moment over the last few weeks.

This gift of time off has allowed me to explore new areas in my hometown, connect with old friends and make some new ones, stargaze in the backyard, and savour every home-cooked meal. There has been boating and floating in Penticton with my Vancouver boys, and camping in the Shushwap with mom. And on July 12 I celebrated another trip around the sun.

The countdown is on.

As much as I'm enjoying this early retirement life in the Okanagan, I know that all good things must come to an end. Besides, Kelowna isn't really known for its live music scene - and I've been craving new concerts in my life. Conveniently, my Youth Mobility Visa for Germany arrived on July 23, and last weekend I signed papers for a 1904 Altbau apartment in Berlin. The next chapter of this adventure begins August 19.

How about the tunes?

It wouldn't be a music blog without some tunes. My trusty Shazam helped me discover this track a few weeks ago in a Kelowna bar. It's got the perfect vibe for those hot summer days we've been having. The accompanying music video is a real treat, taking you in the bedroom as cameras capture tender post-sleep moments between three couples. ✌

One more time just pass me by

Imma make it half the night.

It wasn't until my uncle shared this live performance of Bon Iver that I was able to fully connect with "22, A Million" - Bon Iver's third studio album which came out in 2016.

Hearing this album live elevates things to a whole other level.

8 (circle) takes the cake for my favourite track from 22, A Million. This recording from the Cork Opera House in Ireland might help you understand why.

It's just life on earth

How do you walk away from an extraordinary life in an idyllic city?

You trust your instinct.

You listen to your gut.

Three nights ago I knew what I needed to do.

The thoughts themselves had come sailing into my conscious mind during a concert three weeks earlier. Instead of embracing the band and my physical surroundings, I went inward to a place of deep, inner thoughts - the ones we don't always acknowledge on a daily basis.

My breakthrough, which came near the end of the concert, was the discovery that the time had come for me to go off and travel. I'd dreamt about it for years, talked about it with friends, and always found an excuse for why the timing wasn't right.

"I should save a bit more money first.
"I need one more year of experience in my job."
"What about my studio apartment, there's no way I could give that up."
"I still have plenty of time to do this before I'm 30."

But this night at the concert was different. Everything clicked. My life in Vancouver had stalled, and things like investing in a couch or getting a four-legged friend just weren't going to happen until I got the travel bug out of my system.

My desire to see the world was stronger than any of the creature comforts of home.

"I had the craziest revelation during that concert"; I told my friend as we spilled out of the venue and on to Granville Street. "'I'm going to quit my job and go travelling". Her response was a combination of support mixed with "I'll believe it when I see it". Fair.

I slept on it. I woke up to a sunny Saturday morning and strolled over to the Trout Lake Farmer's Market. The thoughts were still there. I phoned my dad and shared my discovery with him. With his support and fatherly wisdom, I put it out to the universe. My friends all shouted a resounding cry of "Yes! Go do it."

Then, over the last three weeks, it almost didn't happen. The "logic" side of my brain took over and I shifted my energy and attention elsewhere. I let outside forces steer me down a different path.

I allowed myself to take the leap of faith by removing fear from the equation.

I got clear with what I was afraid of giving up (the relationships I'd built, my career, this damn studio apartment), and suddenly I saw that I was responsible for manifesting all the things of great value in my life. These things weren't merely a product of luck. And if I did it once, I could do it again. I was at peace with what I wanted to do.

I ripped off the metaphorical band-aid, quit my job and gave notice to my landlord. The time is now.

June will be my last month in Vancouver for now. After working hard and hustling for many years, I'm looking forward to some quality down time in Kelowna with family + friends over the summer before I embark on a journey to Europe for a working holiday.

I created this website last year with the intention of starting a music blog. It seemed criminal to have gone to 29 concerts in 2017 and not properly document them along the way (if only for my own sake). Life got in the way, as it often does, and Every Genre took low priority on my to-do list. But with a new journey about to begin, the creative juices are flowing.

So I leave you, dear reader, with a song I've been listening to this week from Snow Patrol's latest album.

This is life on earth
It's just life on earth