This is a guest post from Alison from

My Mid-life Crisis – Age 28 and 51 weeks

One week before my 29th birthday, my mid-life crisis began, prematurely. I was sitting at my desk in the large windowless room we mockingly referred to as “The Dungeon” for obvious reasons.

My work colleagues were busy discussing the side effects they were experiencing from the anti-depressants they were taking. It was disheartening listening to them.

I had always considered myself a positive, happy, fun-loving type but hearing them talk about how miserable they all were, I started to examine my own feelings.

I was also stuck in the same boat as my colleagues, minus the anti-depressants. The daily grind of my 9-5 routine really was pretty boring after all.

In fact, the more I thought about my life, the more I realized how mundane it actually was. The weeks rolled by monotonously.

I spent Monday to Friday 9-5 at work, by 5:45 I was at the gym, then home, shower, dinner, watch a bit of TV, then sleep. My weekends consisted of going shopping to buy new clothes and shoes to look good when I went out binge drinking with my friends.

I would spend Sunday recovering and reading through fashion and gossip magazines, just to find out which bag “I really needed to have”.

There Had To Be More To Life….

One afternoon, a loud voice stated “there’s no way I’m going to spend my 30th birthday in this miserable place” I looked up from my desk. Everybody was looking at me.

It was my voice!

“Yeh, right” was their response. “We’ll see” I said.

I became determined to change my life and although I had no idea how, I just knew things had to change.

A week later, my 29th birthday arrived and I went to meet a friend for lunch.

During our conversation, I mentioned how miserable I felt. My whole life was just so boring and routine. “I’m going to work in Kos again this summer. Why don’t you come too?” she asked.

It didn’t take her long to convince me and before I knew it, she had arranged an interview for me with a travel company. She knew they were looking for someone and she recommended me. Needless to say, I got the job.

Luckily I was living at my parent’s house at the time so I didn’t have any mortgage payments to consider. The only thing left to do was to sell my car and to Quit my job! (with a capital Q)

My boss smiled and said “Good on you”. I knew he secretly wished he could do the same. He also gave me a cheque for 250 pounds and told me to have a few drinks on him!

Time For The Inner Voice To Make An Appearance…

I can’t begin to tell you how nervous I felt. My stomach began to do daily dances. My inner voice questioned my sanity. One thing was for sure though. There was no turning back.

I had set the wheels in motion.

One month after my 29th birthday I boarded a plane, destination Kos, a small Greek Island in the Aegean Sea.

It was there, I met my boyfriend, Theo. He was working on the island and we clicked as soon as we met. He had left his home in Melbourne in a similar frame of mind.

For the next eight years we travelled. We lived and worked in several countries including Melbourne (Australia), Manchester (UK), Gran Canaria (Spain) and Crete (Greek Island).

We were searching for a feeling. A feeling of contentment. Each country had its own merits and each had its faults. We shared the same views on what we wanted out of life and finally we decided that Crete offered the most.

I guess I’ve done the opposite to most people. I didn’t set out with a plan or a focused idea. I set out on an adventure with no end goal in mind.

I feel this has allowed me to adjust along the way. Finding what suits and then making it fit.

I finally realized that odd jobs in tourism were not fulfilling so I decided to pursue my passion. So, at the end of September 2010, when the tourist season ended, I told my employer that I wouldn’t be returning the following year.

It wasn’t an easy decision but I felt that the timing was right even though the cash flow wasn’t.

Shortly thereafter, I read Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Crush It”. After reading it, I convinced myself that it would be possible to make money on the Internet by selling my art, with a dash of affiliate marketing thrown in for good measure.

So I started to learn about WordPress and managed to set up my Art blog. Luckily, one of my Greek friends is a graphic designer and She put together a couple of banners for me. That’s how it all started.

Hollywood Ending?…

If you’re expecting this story to have a Hollywood ending, (I know how much everyone likes those) you’re going to be disappointed.

My life isn’t a bunch of roses and I haven’t sold hundreds of paintings – yet. (I’m working on it) I have a maxed out credit card and a loan that still has 2 years to go.

What I can tell you is that I feel like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing right now.

I live in a fantastic apartment with beautiful views of the sea. The weather is gorgeous, I can go to the local farmers market and buy fresh produce daily, and the beaches are a 5 minute drive away.

My neighbors are old ladies who take their goats for walks and tend to their chickens and vegetables.

In my 20’s it was all about making as much money as possible, having the best car, new clothes, and expensive holidays. Now in my late 30’s it’s more about living healthy, enjoying the simple life, and most importantly, choosing what I want to do with my life.

It’s no longer about chasing the money, it’s about enjoying life.

When Alison isn’t painting or enjoying a coffee on her balcony, she can be found displaying her latest Art, talking about life on a Greek Island and other inspirational stuff on her blog

If you would like to read more about her journey, she has written a five part story, called Quitting the 9 to 5 in Pursuit of Happiness

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