It sounds like a stupid financial move and a backward career step, but it’s been one of the best lifestyle decisions I’ve ever made.
I was on a decent salary because I was working more than 70 hours a week away, 3000 kilometres away from family living in a remote area. I was a FIFO (fly in, fly out) worker on a remote construction site but my story is similar to anyone who works long hours for a decent salary.
After a while it started to wear thin. My body reacted. I started getting back pain, something I had never experienced. I was becoming increasingly sick and rundown. It was also very isolating as I felt that I was constantly missing out on key events in the lives of my family and friends.
But it was a choice. I had chosen the lifestyle and it wasn’t even the money that was the main drawcard. It was a chance to work and travel with my partner (also a FIFO worker), and do interesting work in places I would otherwise probably never visit.
But it was also a life that was hard to sustain. It was a lifestyle that eventually made me question what was more important to me – financial security or a more balanced lifestyle.
So I chose to turn my back on the big bucks and return to a ‘normal’ life on a ‘normal’ wage. And I’ve never regretted it for a day.