September 23, 2016

How to Quit your Job & Live in a Van.

 Marianne Veitch author's own

Warning: F-bombs dropped below!

I told a stranger the other day about quitting the job I didn’t enjoy to pursue what I really loved.

“Wow, I wish I could do that,” she said with raised eyebrows.

“You can,” I replied with a smile.

At this point the conversation came to an awkward pause. That tends to happen when you unexpectedly call a person you don’t know out on their bullsh*t.

Maybe I felt I could call someone out on their bullsh*t because I recently called myself out on my own.

I’ve spent the majority of my young adult life in school. I went to college, then graduated school and earned my doctorate. I landed a job before I even graduated, with a salary of well over six figures. “It will be so awesome”, I told myself.

It wasn’t.

The stress and monotony ate me alive. I was cranky, stressed, losing weight, and the worst part was that I was bringing it all home with me. It started affecting me and my relationships outside of work. The extravagant vacations and shopping sprees weren’t making up for what I was losing 40-50 hours a week.

So I did what many people do to deal with stress—I found something to escape to. For me, it was a band called Twiddle.

I went to every show I could, no matter what. No matter the distance, I was there. I surrounded myself in the healing power of their music. And I’m not the only one. Their music has created a community of like-minded individuals who also believe in this way of life: not being miserable in a job that sucks the very life force out of you so you can buy crap you don’t need.

By surrounding myself with beautiful, positive human beings and music that inspired me to be my best self, I gained the courage to blossom into the incredible human I am supposed to be. This past year has been a continuous journey to stretch deeper and keep growing.

I realized that I don’t have to live my life through escapism. I don’t have to work a job that doesn’t bring me joy. I don’t have to drive myself crazy sweating the small stuff (it turns out, the world won’t blow up if I don’t organize my sock drawer). Those things in my life weighing me down were there because they were my choice.

Whatever is heavy in our lives, we do have the ability to let those things go.

Too often we choose to stay in our suffering because we think that we have to. It could be a job or a marriage or a relationship; if it isn’t making us happy, we don’t have to stay there. The song Every Soul by Twiddle made me realize this when I heard the lyrics:

“Love and actin is the greatest truth
Life’s your passion make your dreams come true
Don’t give up, don’t get stuck driving the same old route
It’s not fun living life tied up in a suit

So I let go of the heaviest thing in my life, and I quit my job. I quit my job to go on tour with the band that has shaped me and inspired me to live freely and fully. I looked at what in my life I thought was holding me back from following my dream, and I finally called bullsh*t.

Instead of choosing suffering, choose the things that ignite a fire in you and give you passion. Find your “Twiddle,” whether it be hiking, photography, knitting or whatever and do it. Do it a lot.

The more room we make for the things that inspire us, the easier it is to let go of the things that don’t.

I will never look back on my life and wish that I had worked more. I will look back and smile about giving up six figures to drive across the country and live out of a van. Because instead of choosing “I can’t” or “I wish”, I chose “F*ck yes.”

So when people respond to my story with “I wish” or “You’re so lucky” I have a hard time not speaking up. I didn’t win the fucking lottery, I made a loving choice.

“Every Soul” by Twiddle:


Author: Marianne Veitch

Image: Ali Kaukas

Editor: Sara Kärpänen

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Thebes Puttonen Oct 19, 2018 6:53am

If you get sick the system is designed it can take all you can give unless you're well insured or extremely wealthy. It's a new kind of "your money or your life". By contrast I know people both old and young who've dropped out of mainstream society, some happily living with little more personal wealth will fit in a backpack. I've taken to asking some of them if they fidn that their lack of material belongings makes them freer and I've yet to have one say no.

Heath Welch Oct 18, 2018 3:33pm

So you follow a band around? Well they are out working. What do you do to bring in imcome so you can just cruise around behind the band?

Christine Hardy May 9, 2018 10:49am

My first thought is "wealthy parents."

Jon Finder Sep 28, 2016 2:26pm

I feel like I just walked into a Twiddle advertisement not an article.

Ky Alecto Sep 28, 2016 5:42am

Erin Frances hmm, maybe it's a country thing? i live in Australia which does have some different conditions that America...but i have made this choice a few times in my life definitely WITHOUT money to burn and it was very freeing. I busked around the world and often woke up without a cent and made the money that day to move on to a different place or eat or whatever so you might want to hold on to your assumptions about strangers. It was so freeing to make some different choices - we can actually get by on very little. the poorest thing on here are the mindsets that seem even more in poverty than the finances.

Frankie Mund Sep 26, 2016 9:28pm


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Marianne Veitch

Marianne Veitch is a native of Connecticut. After graduating UConn with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, she moved to Rhode Island and currently lives on a lake, where she enjoys kayaking and gardening. A music festival fanatic, she spends more time in a tent than in her own bed during the summer. Things she loves include the band Twiddle, puppies, and matching pajama sets.