mini retirements a la Tim Ferris

inspirational books

Birthday gift

life changing

good friends


For my thirties birthday I had invited some friends at my place for dinner, cake and going out. One of my friend asked me what type of present I would like — I told here that I like to read. Accordingly, she bought a book as a present. How she chose the book and the impact it had on me is the story I am telling you about below.

So, I turned 30 in Summer 2015 and was working since January 2010 in Luxembourg in an consultancy firm. I had my moments… at times I was highly motivated and liked what I was doing but at other times I was miserable as I knew I was working a lot (on weekends, late nights) and the benefits were not always worth it. But I was working for a bigger goal it was not the short term benefits that interested me. My goal was to become a partner at the firm. However, working more and more with the partner as the years passed and I got promoted I realised that I have been idealising the partners at the firm and their actual life isn’t as glamorous and perfect as I was imagining… Just a few things that I have learned about them was they had a lot of stress, were working during week-ends and holidays, heart attacks, broken marriages, unhappiness and resulting certain drinking and partying habits that may suit a 20 year old single but not a mid 40th to 50th year old married partner at a large consulting firm….

I meet my friend also at work where she had also stayed many years and she even started at the firm a few years earlier than I did and was working in a different department. However, due to some cost cutting she was let go and suddenly realised that her job she though was providing her safety was at the end not as safe. She got a small severance package and had to leave immediately. It took her some time to mentally absorb it and she finally after several months found herself at another job in Luxembourg. And while she was working at the new job she continued to search for her dream job and once she found it it was a paralegal position in Paris she prepared for it for a whole one week it and without a law degree was accepted for the job while her law friends who also applied to the job were rejected. As of today she is still happily working in that same job. She was also telling me for some time that I had so much potential and why I was stuck in the same small country and the same firm. She saw me in a different location and a different firm….

So at my birthday she gave me a book “1000 places to see before you die” from Patricia Schultz, she said she wanted me to be inspired about all the different countries that exists and to maybe move a different destination. She was right about that Luxembourg was holding me back… I have such good memories from Luxembourg but after several years I felt somehow trapped but didn’t want to admit it to myself.

I had a lovely birthday and started to whenever I had free time to read the book and magically without even trying or any effort half a year after my birthday something life changing happened that I have never considered before. Around three months after my birthday I submitted my resignation letter and six months later I was boarding my flight to London to start a new career.

I am sometimes wondering whether I would still be in Luxembourg if it hadn’t been for the book that somehow subconsciously changed my mind or was it for my friend who had been slowly planting this idea in my head or was it all together including my starting doubts whether I really wanted to become a partner within this firm. Whatever it was I am really happy that I did the move. Many things have changed for the good.

Would it be fair to say that the book “1000 places to see before you die “changed my life???

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