This message will be short and sweet.

For those of you who have read my writing in the past, you know that I seriously value travel and adventure. Well, if travel has taught me anything about life, it’s that I should do things that terrify me and do them as often as possible. This is the space where I really live.

Before the holidays I took the one action that terrified me more than anything…I quit my great, well-paying job (that I LOVED) without having another position lined up. Just ridiculous. I had a little voice inside me and I started to feel a bit scratchy about my circumstances. That voice gained momentum and try as I might, I couldn’t shut her up (she can be so irrational and difficult). I soon found myself budgeting and planning for a period of unemployment…but feeling an odd sense of relief over my future. This was certainly uncharted territory for me.

The week after my resignation I traveled to Las Vegas. I found myself on the shady end of the strip in front of Zoltar, the fortune telling machine from the movie Big (well, a good replica that is), and gave him my hard earned $1 for which I received the following fortune:

You may be riding the winds of change. Things may at times seem to be out of touch. Looking at the big picture will help shape your long range plans.

Wow. Dead on. When I look at my big picture, I know that I had to take this leap of faith, no matter how irrational it might have been. If the end result leads to a higher sense of fulfillment, it will be worth the pain and frustration to learn the lessons required to get there. Sometimes we have to walk away to be able to see and accept the lessons meant for us. Hindsight is always a much clearer view of any situation. At the end of my life, the learnings from the difficult or dark periods will be those of the most importance. This is my unique, albeit uncertain, path that I am choosing for me.

If you are feeling unfulfilled, I challenge that you ask yourself some difficult questions. As Zoltar said, “look at your big picture.” Get scratchy. Expect the best. Reach for your wildest dreams…and know they are attainable. Do Something Terrifying. After all, life is too short to be out of alignment with our inner voice or fail to live true to our unique purpose. Putting it simply…Just live a life you love.

And one more nugget of advice: I would recommend that you plan any soul-searching periods of unemployment with warmer temperatures. I did it wrong. This winter crap is for the birds.

CMBN_Ad_550x186 (2)

Kristin Streff Barnett

Hi, I'm Kristin. I am a feisty and frugal 30-something with a love for travel and adventure. My younger self pursued a career as an attorney, hated the practice of law and found myself unemployed during the Great Recession. Just bloody awesome. So I decided to take control and follow my true passions: traveling, writing (aka I’m not a millionaire), and making the world just a little bit smaller by encouraging other non-millionaires to travel to their heart’s content. My website and books (available on under “abroad awakening) are dedicated to this cause. In my spare time, wait….what spare time? Let me try that again….I spend all my time working my day job, enhancing and growing Abroad Awakening, traveling (obviously), and spending time with my husband and two four legged children: Scout and Mose (don’t ask). We live a simple life, explore the world, and always seek new experiences and challenges. I have been truly blessed.