“What if?”

The desire of escaping the ivory tower and undertaking a meaningful journey has never been so appealing in everyone’s mindset.

My generation and the next now have the tools at disposal to take the big leap, setting both feet outside the comfort zone and running their destiny. Co-working spaces sprouting at every corner of the planet, multiplication of online communication tools, and a constant change of mentality among employers keen to embrace this new breed of agile workers are making any remote endeavour even more possible.

With the market globalization, flexible and innovative bank solutions, affordable transportation tickets and low costs of living in some parts of the world, the “digital nomad” trend has become a sustainable solution for anyone in perpetual quest of an improved work-life balance with an estimated number of one billion of fellow remote workers by 2035.

I am currently walking down that road.

But I would be lying if I say that I am not scared.

Am I right doing it?

What would be the cost if I fail?

With a scientific PhD degree in hand, I guess two options stood in front of me after graduation: either pursuing my research work within an academic institute before—eventually—securing a tenure position, or switching gears towards the industry.

Life is short. Life is long.

With an increasing human lifespan and delay for age retirement, if we have to put strong efforts into something that will take a lot of our time, we are better off doing something we actually are passionate about…

But I still wonder…

Am I currently chasing a fairy tale?

Am I disrupting my life? How many succeed? More importantly, how many are failing?

Most of the people I have been studying with a few years ago have their own lives on tracks, achieving milestones a “normal” person would follow, with a more certain future in hands.

What if?

What if I have to come back to the same path the society and the education system wanted me to follow in the first place? What if my next HR manager doesn’t understand my previous choices, leaving me stranded in the twists and turns of the industry?

How could I explain to him/her that I choose uncertainty over steadiness and that I changed my mind?

I had an advanced degree.

I switched it for a passport, a computer, and a sip of uncertainty.

Is the way backwards possible?

But, even though sometimes I wished to have a time machine to get a sneak preview of my future and see the righteousness of the path I am walking on today, I deeply know that, while striving to achieve my full potential, I am… at my happiest moment…