This is a guest post by David Damron at

I have seen the light folks and it is amazing.

Back on March 13, 2009, I left the grind. Yes, I still remember the exact date because, well, it was one of the greatest days of my life. I left the 9 to 5 and spent a few weeks in Hawaii before moving to Australia as well as traveling through New Zealand. Yes, I actually did it.

Then July 12, 2010, I rejoined the 9 to 5 sloths.

So, you ask, “Why the hell would you go back once you have achieved the life you wanted?”
Let me explain…

Out of the Grind


Between my junior and senior year of college in 2005, I did some volunteer work and a lot of partying in Tasmania and the rest of Australia. Prior my Australia adventure, I worked full time at nights and took between 15-18 credit college hours.

Needless to say, I was drained going to Australia. However, after my Australia journey, I had found my true passion, my true love. It was spending as much time with the Australian people on their land as possible.

The only thing was that I came back stateside and talked a lot about moving to Australia, yet took few steps to make it a reality.

Long story short, I fell to the grind. I took a 9 to 5 which gave me a comfortable life. I was able to pay my bills, pay for my marathon race expenses and, most importantly, buy A LOT of beer.

Life was comfortable. But all along, there was this little pull in my head that kept me thinking of the dream of living in Aussie. There was no amount of comfortable living that made the Aussie itch go away.

I knew I needed to leave the grind, but couldn’t.

That was until I sat alone in my apartment and realized I had to get rid of this itch. No matter what happened, I had to try. So, I jotted down a note on a scratch paper that read, “What Are You Doing Today, To Be In Australia Tomorrow?”

I posted this note on wall exiting my bedroom so that every time I left that room I was reminded of my dream.

Roughly 6 months later, I gave my employer a 10 week notice (yeah, I am a nice guy) and left on my journey March 13th.

I moved to Australia and my girlfriend, who’s now my fiancée, followed and we lived it up. I became the Aussie bum I dreamed of becoming. We had accomplished a dream and loved life.

Life could not be any better and, yet, I would eventually return…to the grind.

Back to the Grind


On July 12th, 2010, I ended up back at my employer I had left just 16 months earlier grinding away. You ask how this happened? It’s not a simple answer unfortunately.

While in Aussie, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do there. I had no drive to support myself beside the savings I had built. In other words, I quickly realized I was missing the part that I should have addressed the night I wrote that note and posted it on my wall.

I hadn’t established a means to support this lifestyle long term. Thus, I eventually ended up back at the grind starting over from scratch.

As of writing this, I still am at the grind. Mind you, I did create a revenue stream upon returning to the States that could have supported me living in some random Thailand beach hut.

However, my fiancée made the call to start a masters program in Eastern Medicine which meant I was going nowhere and now would need to financially support us for a few years. My online income definitely was not going to cut it.

Thus, I headed back to the grind.

Now, I could complain about going back to the grind, but it really isn’t the grinds fault. It is my own. My choices and decisions have led me back there. Admission of guilt is one of the highest qualities I look for in others.

We are all guilty of something and admitting to the fault is an honorable thing to do. The thing I admire more is someone who admits guilt and does everything in their power to correct their error.

Thus, the story continues…

Pursuit of Grind-Free Life Again

As Steve is trying to do here at Ending the Grind, I am pursuing that free life as well. My journey from grind to freedom the first time around was important because now I know it can be done.

Sure, I failed and returned, but I know what it takes. I have learned from previous mistakes and know how to make such a life a reality for the rest of my life. On top of that, I am a prime example that YOU can learn from.

As I pursue this life again, I want to give you some helpful pointers in the pursuit. Now, I am not 100% correct in the approach, but the following are the ways I learned to free myself from the shackles of the cubicle and live a life I wanted as well as my advice to prevent you from having to return to the grind as I did. Enjoy!

1) Set a tangible goal – For the longest time, I dreamed about moving to Aussie, but it didn’t become a reality until I committed myself to what I wanted and was as specific as possible.

2) Be a minimalist and maximalist – Limit the things you have and want in your life and start maximizing the things you want. Sam Spurlin of The Simpler Life has coined the second term as he focuses not on a minimalist life, but a life that maximizes the things/experiences he wants.

If you are able to rationally approach the things you have in your life and eliminate that which doesn’t help you reach your end goal, you will be closer to your goal then you may realize.

3) Start building multiple income streams – As we see more and more companies seeing us as numbers and cube-dwellers, the fact that so many people rely on one sole income source is ridiculous. Yes, it’s absolutely fricken’ ridiculous. No income stream is safe.

That’s why building even one or two backup income streams is so crucial to your goals. Even if you don’t want to leave the grind, you should start establishing some second stream of income so that when they let you go (they will at some point – whether you believe it or not), you don’t lose your entire income. (P.S. This doesn’t mean you have to start a blog that your wife doesn’t understand.)

4) Set up a get-the-hell-out-of-there fund right now – Not in a couple hours. Not tomorrow. Right now. It can be as small as $1 in cash that you put in an envelope under your bed. Just do it.

This small action will get the wheels turning on how you can start putting more and more money away to make your dream life a reality.

J. Money at Budgets are Sexy built a $50k get-the-hell-out-of-there fund and in December 2010 was able to follow his dreams of being his own boss when his “secure job” let him go.

Once again, it doesn’t matter how small the amount is, just the act of starting this fund is what is important.

Honestly, I could go on and on for hours on end about what to and not to do. These were the key points that I feel will make your dream a reality.

Hopefully, through the articles here and, possibly, my small influence, you will start acting towards your dreams to leave the grind instead of just dreaming. Trust me. The guy in the cubicle next to you is doing enough dreaming for all of us.

It’s time to stop the dreaming and start executing.

David Damron, the writer of Life Excursion, has lived in Australia, traveled through much of Europe and New Zealand, and preaches the importance of simplifying one’s life to maximize the aspects the have true meaning in his life.

He continues his pursuit of the grind-free life by developing products that inspire life altering action.

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