I spent my first 11 years of my career in Toronto. It was a city that all my friends from back home, and their differing careers, could head to and get a job. That's the great thing about Toronto; there is a lot of work, and a lot of money to make. In my 20's that city was the bomb. I had a crazy job that I couldn't have ever dreamed of from my hometown in Marmora. Flying around on private jets, getting police escorts through Miami, tarmac parties when we landed in L.A. Who does that? Well, once upon a time I did.
I left that job when I was 27 and advertising was never the same. High pressure, low budgets, no timeline, these things were normal, but there used to be HUGE perks that made it all worth it. Instead work was a lot of the not-so-fun stuff and none of the super-fun-wtf-are-we-doing-here stuff.
It didn't take long after I left the fun job that my city career ended in a blaze of …not quite glory. It burnt me out. Seriously. So along with that and everything else that was happening in our lives, Derek and I decided to pack up and move back to Marmora. A little before schedule we thought, but also, a little late, my health had been seriously challenged. There were a lot of people that thought I was nuts for deciding to pack it in. How could I leave the city? I mean really leave the city, Not GTA suburbs city, 200Km out of the city...where would we work?
Derek was lucky enough to keep his job and work remotely. It started with him having to drive back to Toronto for two days a week. That sucked, but it has slowly gotten to the point where he goes twice a year. So that worked out.
For me, my annual income has been cut in half, 'yikes!' you say...but so has the stress that came along with that money. Some days I miss being the bread winner, but seriously, the freedom is pretty amazing.
Here are 16 reasons that make the pay cut worth it:
- I'm the boss - After a few years in any job the boss becomes an obstacle...haha...no? Well there is no obstacle when you're the boss. I can show up late, make appointments, take a nap and no one gets jealous or complains to the boss. Because I have not developed multiple personality disorder yet.
- Zero commuting - I don’t spend any time driving to and from work. Instead of reading the the abandoned molested newspaper, squished between five grumpy TTC-mates, I walk my dog, make a tea, and surf the web in the comfort of my pyjamas.
- Fashion - no one cares.
- Reasonable hours - I work from 10am – 4pm every day (approximately).
- Driving is easy - I live two minutes away from the The Beer Store and it always takes two minutes to get to The Beer Store, no construction, no closed roads, no surprises.
- No noise - we hear coyotes, birds, crickets but not squealing TTC cars and traffic or construction.
- Shopping is pleasant - when I shop in Marmora the retailers know my name and are super friendly.
- The culture is simple - small towns are fun loving, unpretentious, wild and crazy! Just ask anyone who worked with me over the years.
- Perks - right now I am working on my laptop on my deck.
- More perks - I also just took a break to play ball with my dog.
- More free time - see 1, 2, 4, and 5
- Losing weight - Derek and I both lost weight, just by not ordering food in so often. We have time to cook!
- Space - Our house was $126,000 cheaper than our condo and it is 3x larger, plus a yard.
- Air quality - The air smells awesome. Flowers, grass, the occasional smell of a tiny skunk (wink wink), but nothing like old processed cheese melted on the sidewalk and rotting garbage mixed with BO. I don't ever smell that here.
- We are young - I am recognized as a young entrepreneur. That’s nice. With all the youths in Toronto, once you're out of your 20's you start to feel old.
- Feel good jobs - I have the opportunity to help small and sometimes struggling businesses. It feels good!
I could probably keep going, but you get the point. It’s really nice. Maybe one day I'll make more money. Sure, that would be nice too. But until then, I'll enjoy what I have. And maybe this will encourage some of my city friends to make the big move to the small town.