One Month After Losing My Job – Lessons Learned


Even as I write the title for this post it’s hard to believe that it’s already been a month. I was in France, admiring a transporter bridge in Rochefort (I still don’t know what a transporter bridge is) when I got The Call. Cuts had to be made and I was at the top of the list. I described it as a punch to the gut, and it still feels like one. I still can’t believe that it happened and I replay the call in my head every night before nodding fretfully off to sleep. But the outpouring of support has been amazing and there are a few things I’ve realized since I got The Call.

Life is Full of Choices

I can’t tell you how many people have told me that losing my job is probably for the best. That’s because so many people, including thousands who’ve never met me, know that my passion – my true love lies with travel and not what I was doing before. That’s not to say I didn’t do my job and do it well, I did. But for the last year or so I was just going through the motions. Like a relationship gone south, it just stopped working for everyone. I think it’s ironic actually that the cut came for budgetary reasons and nothing I actually had any control over, but life is funny like that I guess. But now I have a choice, a proverbial fork in the road and I have to decide which path to take. (Resisting the temptation to channel my inner Robert Frost here)

The choices are obvious, pursue another job in the same profession, get a paycheck but be miserable and unfulfilled. Or, and this is the one I like, follow my passions, my love of travel and hope for the best. It may seem like an easy choice at first, but there are many real world concerns to take into account. This decision doesn’t just affect me; if it did the choice would be easier to make. I’m one half of a couple and we have both worked hard over many years to create a great life for us both. It’s important that I contribute to this life, to contribute to making our house a home and frankly making sure that the bills get paid every month. But that’s where the second thing I’ve learned enters the picture.

I Have Amazing Support

I’m not sure that I ever appreciated just how much support I have both at home and around the world. As soon as I told my partner what happened, and stopped crying long enough for him to add his two cents his words were of support and strength. He has urged me to use this very unique opportunity to see if I can make my dream into a job and take the blog full time in every sense of the word. He could easily not have been supportive, not have been understanding and yet he’s been selfless and amazing. I am truly blessed.

I also realized how much support I have within the travel community and from readers around the world. As it turns out, most people thought the blog was already my full time job, especially given how often I post new content. But the truth is I’ve essentially been working two full time jobs for almost three years without even trying to make the site my business. But after a lot of urging and words of support, I think I’m ready to make that great leap.

Maui sunrise

The Best is Yet to Come

That’s why I know that everyone is right when they say that this is just the start of great things to come and finally I believe in me. I’m ready to take that great scary leap into the abyss, follow my dreams and see what happens. I figure the worst thing that can happen is that I fail, but you now what? At least I will have tried. I’m going to try to follow my heart, follow my passions and live the life I want to live instead of one into which I feel forced. But I’m also going to add my support to my partner and our family. I don’t have everything in place just yet, but it’s coming and I hope you’ll stick around to see how it all works out. (P.S. – Email me if you know someone in need of a social media consultant)

Have you ever been at a crossroads in life? Which road did you take?

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

20 thoughts on “One Month After Losing My Job – Lessons Learned”

  1. Good for you, Matt! You’ve built a great community with your passion for travel and experiences. BTW, I’m at a cross-roads myself and will update you on that later.

  2. You go, Matt!

    Having that support at home and from friends is key. I’ve been able to try to pursue my dream of working in an arts institution after re-locating to art-centric Boston. I feel guilty that I haven’t been able to pay the bills for the past six months (once my unemployment ran out), but I’d rather be broke and looking for what makes me happy than stuck in another job I hate. I was dreading coming back to work from TBEX last year, and I was laid off exactly a week later. I know what I don’t want to do, and now I’ve finally got the chance to network, intern, and volunteer my way into a museum. I heart travel, but I know it’s something I want to keep separate from my professional life.

    I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and LandLopers. :)

  3. Honestly, I still can’t believe this hasn’t been a full-time project for you. I post FAR less than you do and don’t post all the travel news that obviously takes time to round up, and I still feel overwhelmed sometimes between blog, work and life demands! Can only imagine how great things are going to be once you’re able to dedicate 100% of your work day to this.

  4. Congratulations on making the leap! None of us that read you regularly have the slightest doubt that you will be even more successful when you don’t have to spend 40 hrs/wk on another job. Just think – you’ll never have to request vacation time again! Wishing you the best. :)

  5. Best of luck to you, Matt! Way to make the decision to follow your passion; you’re an inspiration for many people :) I hope all goes well for you in the future!

  6. I’m sure losing your job was hard no matter what the reason or what kinds of great things it might lead to in your future. I’ve always been amazed at how much work goes into your site with you still managing to work a full time job. I’m sure you’ll do even better in this industry now that you can focus on it without that pesky day job getting in the way. Good luck!

  7. Ah, Matt, so sorry. I can’t imagine what it’s like to get The Call but I’m sure it’s gotta suck. You can only make the best of it and it seems like you’re already on your way to following your passion. Good luck!

  8. I can really relate to this post… I didn’t lose my job, I left a business but I too was just going through the motions. I had been too afraid to leave it until it was clear that I HAD to leave it, or I would wither and die. Well, maybe not on the outside, but inside-yes. I traveled aroun Europe for 6 months last year and decided that THIS is what makes me happiest, so now what to do? Try and find a way to re-create a new life. Good luck in your endeavors! I hope you find what you’re looking for!

  9. Matt- you’re so right: The best is, indeed, yet to come. While I’m sorry to hear you lost your job, I’m also terribly excited to see what happens next. Keep being a rockstar.

  10. It’s a shock, Matt, but after the initial shock comes the floating euphoria of freedom. I’m surprised to hear about this double-job doing because your website looks like as though you’ve been putting full- to triple time into it already. Your photography is absolute tops and I look forward to seeing just how far you’ll be able to take LandLopers now you’ve got that extra time & energy freed up. I always find you have worthwhile content, are never a wasted click, really an interesting & useful site you’ve built.

  11. I’ve just started reading your blog recently, but it’s very well done. I hope you have no trouble and only success turning your avocation into your vocation. Cheers!

  12. YES to that last point, Matt – the best IS yet to come. Keep a positive attitude, surround yourselves with loving people and realise our futures are not set in stone and you’ll be just fine. Keep moving on up! Or listen to that M-People song, Movin’ On Up – one of my motivational songs oh yeah!

  13. Hey Matt,
    I applaud your courage. I think you’re a natural at this blogging/traveling/partnering with businesses thing! You’ve created a great foundation on which to build whatever you choose. What direction will that be? I don’t think anyone can know at this point — that’s the scary, yet exciting part of it!
    And I totally understand about having a supportive partner. My husband is retired now and is my greatest support — and dishwasher, house cleaner, shopper, and laundry specialist! He says, “It’s your turn now to follow your dream.”
    Best of luck,

  14. Ah, just heard about this. It sucks :( It’s never fun to get ‘the call’ (or ‘the email’ or in my case ‘hey, I can’t login to my work email anymore’) But just like they say, when a door closes, another one opens. Just make sure you don’t stare at the closed door too long not to notice it :) Good luck in whichever direction you end up going.

  15. Hey…
    Just a quick note from Greece that has badly been struck by unemployment and thousands have been fired over the past months …
    Count your blessings, Matt and follow your path.Just as you have already cited Frost: “Two roads diverged in a wood.And I ..I took the less travelled by” ..(if I remember the words correctly)

    Greetings from Athens

  16. Like many, I’ve followed your blog for quite some time, and had no idea you weren’t already doing this full-time. As someone who hopes and dreams to do the same, I wish you the best of luck. We’ve only recently returned from out 2nd RTW, and have just begun a new work contract. We are still looking to make the transition ourselves, and examining just what might keep us out on the road WITHOUT having to come home and earn some US $$. Again, wishing you all the best, and hoping to follow in your footsteps!!

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