A Living Worth Scraping.

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Doing what you love.


Photo By Alan Kahler.

Drop everything to pursue what you love.  Yes, I’m telling you to quit your day job.

For some odd reason, this year I might have convinced a handful of people to quit their jobs in this bad economy to jump wildly into freelance.

Why would someone take this ridiculous leap? Why would I even suggest it?

The lines will start to blur. Things you separated in the past such as vacation and work or time off and overtime will become obsolete. Days of the week will mean nothing more than people don’t answer emails and the post office is closed on this random thing called “Sunday.”

Your creative, searching eyes will widen so much that you are able to capture inspiration and motivation from every aspect of your life.

Time will move so quickly that you’ll think that January is quickly followed by July. At the same time you’ll feel like a year has been a decade of experiences. I keep reminding myself and one of my friends who jumped the waitress ship earlier this spring to pursue her passion as a writer—you’ll live a thousand lives in the span of a year.

I realize that dropping everything to do freelance doesn’t apply to everyone’s life—although reevaluating your life and making changes in a way where you’re not afraid for things to get a little tricky is well worth it.

I am so lucky to have such great mentors in my own life that make the madness that is creative freelance worth every moment. They cultivate my dreams and support my wild ideas. The power of believing in someone is not something to be taken lightly. I hope to offer at least that to those looking for guidance on taking the plunge of freelance—support, belief, a smile.

I may be the influencer that many parents fear for their children to know. In fact, I almost persuaded a close friend to sell all her belongings and quit a high paying salary job to become an event coordinator until an excited phone call to her father slowly brought her back to the realities of a bad economy.

Radical suggestions of drastically changing your life aside, I can say this with confidence: if you look forward to failing, take what scares you and make it your best friend…there will be no regrets.

This video really says it all for me.

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About Allie Bombach

Living in her restored 1970 Airstream, Allie recently relocated to Portland, Oregon where she works as a freelance videographer and filmmaker for the outdoor industry. She graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado with a B.A. in Business Marketing with a concentration in videography. A former raft guide and snowboard instructor, Allie found a passion in inspiring others to make the outdoors a part of their lives. Finding inspiration from the power of storytelling, she strives to promote simple living and environmental education. Only finding true peace while in between the lines, she finds “home” while on the road. An avid commuter in love with her bike, Allie is always in search for the next adventure, a good high five, and a hoppy IPA.


51 Responses to “A Living Worth Scraping.”

  1. ricky says:

    Don’t get sick.

  2. will says:

    I did exactly that in late 2009 (albeit as a result of getting laid off) and spent the next 12 months bouncing around the country, seeing friends and doing some volunteer work with the Sangha that I was raised in. It was both the financially poorest and most rewarding year of my adult life. It really is amazing how little money you can comfortably life with.

    • Allie says:

      I can't believe it all works. But every year it does. And it works really well because I am happy. If money is your biggest problem, then your problems are not so bad, right?

  3. Allie says:

    I love solo climbs! High five Joseph

  4. helene_rose says:


    Love this line:
    "Your creative, searching eyes will widen so much that you are able to capture inspiration and motivation from every aspect of your life."

  5. Rosel says:

    Let me guess…. your parents worked professional day jobs, paid for your braces as a child, paid for your "Outward Bound" type camp experiences as a teenager where you were exposed to rafting, paid for Snowboard lessons at a "sick" ski mountain resort, paid for your college education that included more pricey outdoor activities and perhaps launched you out into the world with a bit of start-up coin. Am I close??

    • Allie says:

      Rosel, This is actually quite the compliment. I would go into my background a bit here, but I'll refrain. All ya need to know is the fact that you thought I was well supported growing up just compliments my confidence and situation even more and illustrates that I am doing pretty damn good despite what was. Cheers

      • Marsha says:

        Allie, In your tempered response I hear what you've dug deep to find in yourself. Bravo that you have done so while still young. I truly hope that we'll see more from you-a book-perhaps an e-book that is a joint effort between written and more video like the one you posted, which completely changed my day, and I'm 55! Those Airstreams are amazing, aren't they? My husband and I own a relatively newer, smaller one, and love it, but are having a lot of trouble with roof leaks during intense rain showers. How have you dealt with sealing the roof? We plan to install a composting toilet (AirHead) so no water-waste & haul it with a bio-diesel pickup. Grow our food in the summer, travel in it in the winter.

    • yogasamurai says:


    • Roger says:

      I have found that the people that seem to be care free are that way because they have never had to have any real responsibility. As soon as you have school loans to pay off or other bills your perspective changes. But hey I'm glad someone is living the dream but don't act like it is easy or something anyone can do if they just wanted to.

      • ADBomb71 says:

        This article, coming from a free spirit, does seem a little irresponsible … I would make sure you have a little nest egg before making the plunge.

      • remmy says:

        As someone who has been taking care of myself since I was 17. I live very freely. I have all my bills paid for. Have a degree and worked 100 hour work weeks to make it happen. Being free is also a state of mind. We all have choices. Let's honor each other and not just assume those who live this way lack responsibility.


  6. Jill Barth says:

    "Your creative, searching eyes will widen so much that you are able to capture inspiration and motivation from every aspect of your life."

    Our 'creative' eyes get bumbled with to-do lists and miss the inspiration. Your advice opens the realization that we don't know what is out THERE and if our eyes are busy, we can't be on hunt, can't be inspired….

    Meaningful post. Thanks.

  7. […] good friend wrote an excellent post on Elephant recently: For some odd reason, this year I might have convinced a handful of people to quit their jobs in […]

  8. corey says:

    I hate reading posts like this, yet i find myself drawn to them on a regular basis. they always speak to some deeper place in me that fears the leap, the unknown, the great vastness of a life lived on the edge. one day i'll read a post like yours, Allie, and actually act upon it.

    That video you linked does say it all. My aunt showed me that video a few weeks ago and i had shivers run up my spine when i watched it. Cinematography so beautiful it breaks your heart.

  9. Kala says:

    Allie, & Dorothee, Will
    Wow I hadn't see this article, as I was writing mine here on Ele, same thing, take that leap out! I left my job as a professor were I was losing my soul and while poorer at the moment, I have much more peace of mind, and ENERGY, my energy came back..slowly. I truly am a freelance/self-employed soul and I think many of us are being called to do what we love on a small scale, mini-enterprises.. .http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/01/how-to-quit-your-life-and-not-become-homeless–kala-viv-williams/

  10. Bethany says:

    I believe it is the wave of the future in terms of employment. I love freelancing ever since I made the move in early 2009. It has changed my definitions of word and play, but the "master in the art of living makes little distinction" between these two (James A. Michener)

  11. […] if it doesn’t make much money, I’m doing what I’m good at, what I was born for. I’m fulfilled, I’m doing my bit to be of […]

  12. Samuel says:

    Nice! I made the leap 6 years ago and couldn't be happier. The ups and downs in all the daily hidden lessons are so worth it. Long live the free spirit!

  13. […] Here’s the rule: if your blog fits into one of these six categories, it’ll do well. It’ll be a “B,” say. If it fits into two of these categories, it’ll do very well, an “A.” If it fits into more than two categories, it’s that rare home run. If, in addition to nailing one or two or three or…imagine, all six of these categories…you know how to use social media and network your articles via email and word of mouth and good titles and images and SEO, you actually can make a good living, or at least live a life worth the living. […]

  14. Debbi Weiss says:

    He, in the video, said, "To Do Something Worth Remembering". I want not only that but to do something worth being in the present moment with at all times.

    I agree with your attitude 100%. I have medical bills up the wazoo, but I dropped a Finance career to pick one up in Event Planning or some type of position for non-profits…about a $20k or more decrease in pay…pay check to pay check salary. However, I have no regrets. I want to get paid for what I would do for free as my social life anyway. I want my life to flow happily.

    I disagree with the passage of time comment. This is the way to slow down time. I read an article saying time flies because our schedule is repetitious…where we go for birthdays, what we have for dinner, the vacation locations we go to, etc. If you're doing what you love, it should, or will for me, be ever changing. What that does is create "vibrant memories", and that's what makes memorable moments which allow you to realize, "Hey, there was a year here." and for time to slow down.

    Loved your article…nicely done!

  15. gabygyoga says:

    Love your words – thank you!

  16. […] by laptops—what Steve Jobs called a bicycle for the mind—is able to walk out the door and leave the cubicles behind, and leave the sitcom-watching get-fat and settle life along with […]

  17. David Downs says:

    Thank you for your inspiring article. You are right in everything you said; though people should be clear that not only does one need to be freelancing something in demand, they also need marketing skills (which aren’t so hard to develop).
    And freelancing also can’t be a cover for true laziness and/or a drug or alcohol problem. The good news is people who are passionate about their work are happy and not resentful about being a slave to the grind.
    I am a freelance “Handyman” and I do that to support my freelance Mural painting business. I added the Handyman aspect esrly on because over a period of 10 years I’ve never been able to live completely off the sporadic earnings of a mural painter. Even so, I am still 100% freelance and it’s the only way for me. Never going back to the grind.

  18. Heather McCaw says:

    I quit my good, steady job a year ago to be an artist and recently my "rational" side has been asserting itself more loudly than ever, questioning the decision and wondering if it was time I gave up on this self-indulgence. It is nice to be reminded that this journey is worthwhile and necessary. Thanks so much!

  19. […] as an addendum to my post. Though, I’m giving credit where it’s due, since I did pluck it from this post. I hope this video makes you embrace the inspired way of life. Though we might have this or that […]

  20. I like reading various sites when I am bored or have a free time.

  21. Really cool post! Love you guys!

  22. Karlena says:

    As a girl currently working a full-time job and saving as much $$ as possible to do just this – adventure & explore & dream & discover – rather than slave to a corporation or life-droning career – your post as well as the subsequent comments made me excited and rediscover the fire that put this idea in my head in the first place. Right on to you & all alike. LIVE LONG – ROCK ON – keep on keepin on ……. xoxoxo

  23. NC75 says:

    Any advice on what to do for health insurance? I'd love to take the plunge but for that. . . Would appreciate any direction.

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  25. Mourad says:

    Drop everything to pursue what you love. Yes, I’m telling you to quit your day job :)Really I Like it but!
    Is yoga helpful in weight loss? This is a question which is frequently asked by people to yoga instructors. The answer is yes! Yoga can prove to be an important step in the process of weight reduction. Yoga is an ancient Indian meditation art which can prove to be highly effective in acquiring and maintaining a healthy body.
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  26. PDX says:

    I guess it depends on what your day job is. Why quit a pretty-good day job with fab health insurance, a bunch of vacay, plenty of sick days and a salary that allows for retirement savings, only to do a little bit more the fun stuff I already do on the weekends but have a ton of stress about paying my bills?

  27. James says:

    If a beautiful young woman quits her job she is adventurous if a man does it he is just a bum. I grew up poor and had to work very hard to get where I am. I don't see that changing anytime soon. I think this article is arrogant.

  28. sonia rykiel says:

    I think this may not apply to everyone, especially if you're living alone and this would be your only source but overall it does make it worth to give it a try at some point of your life.

  29. Molly says:

    The tricky part here, is that u can only quit your day job, to freelance, if you are not already a slave to the man. If you already 'depend' on health insurance, then this lifestyle may not be for you. If your set of priorities is the chunk u can put into your Roth or 401k…then this article may be just for entertainment value. The true free spirit artist however…might be able to do just such; living each day where their creative heart and mind takes them, hopefully benefitting them financially. In fact, most likely. Not sure I could break away from being corporate slave, but it sounds dreamy! 🙂 I lack talent…this is the resource article of encouragement for those who took this job and shoved it, for Nashville, Hollywood, NYC …etc

  30. onesadhaka says:

    really nice, Allie…both your post and his movie. A reminder I needed. Thanks again and…see you on the next wave or mountaintop…in the next adventure. : )

  31. Geoff says:

    Yes, we are free. Spiritually this in indispensable. But every action has consequences, good and bad. Ignoring debt may be impossible for most people, or foolhardy at best. Debt is karma. Unfortunately, it is the way our system works (big topic). To change as this lovely article states is not a simple venture for most of us, without causing a lot of damage or strain on others. There are so many angles to this. How does this work for the single mother of three, without a degree? However, I agree that the external transformation this article points to is worthy of the effort. We start from where we are. We consider others in all our decisions. Will this change bring joy to others as well, at least in the longer term? It is no measure of true happiness if we're causing stress to others in our freedom grab. Some of us can simply jump. For most of us though, it requires some organizing and likely – time if we are to avoid recklessness. Opportunity, as in all things, is not equal.

  32. kyork101 says:

    I've been in the pondering and researching stage of this life style for a few months now. I had originally thought about a camper, but didn't know if I'd always find a place to park it. And I don't know to work the water and toilet system or even the gas? for cooking (although I'm at least 80% raw now … yayyyyy for me!). Any ideas? I'd have to buy the camper used so it wouldn't come with instructions. Ha. Living in a camper with my 13 yo Golden would be a dream come true. Any advice would be appreciated.

  33. Paula says:

    Great article. Freelancing is the best. I am also a graduate of The Fort. Great school.

  34. Ann says:

    Great post. At 48, this very thing has been on my mind almost constantly since losing my mom last December. Priorities change, as do perspectives. I wonder if 2014 will be my year to take the leap….

  35. montyedits says:

    A sense of freedom, satisfaction and deep enjoyment in life is a very individual experience. I have been a freelancer most of my life however I have also felt sometimes more freedom when I actually have a salary based job. To know that next month I will have a paycheck allows me to take risks and seek fulfilment in other areas of life and means that I can stop the one side of my job I dislike – the hustle for work. I am very fortunate that it doesnt matter where I do it, I love my work and always have and thats my freedom.

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