I Quit My Job & Travelled to Thailand on a Quest to Find Joy

Photography: 20th Century Fox

Photography: 20th Century Fox

Written by Sarah Hume

My birthday was a big one this year.

I turned one of the numbers that make you stop and reflect on every aspect of your life. That combined with New Year’s Eve resulted in a lot of pressure.

My symptoms ranged from heart palpitations at 3am to bursting into tears on my commute to and from work.

I found myself snapping at trivial things and recluding from my family and friends. Their endless questions, which came from a place of love, were filling me with dread.

“What are you doing with yourself now?” (ugh) “How’s work?” (*vomits*) “Have you met anyone yet?” (PLEASE, I beg you, STOP).


I think now would be a good time to insert a disclaimer here:

I have a very fortunate life. I have one of those disgustingly beautiful families and although not perfect, they’re pretty bloody close to it. My parents are actively involved, I get along with my siblings, and we all have each other’s backs.

I’ve worked for some extraordinary companies with incredibly supportive environments. Places which have since become homes and employers that have become lifelong friends.

But still, the clock was ticking, the air getting thinner, the pressure mounting.


How, with this amazing life, did I feel so empty?

I felt stuck, like I was amounting to nothing, like I had failed to live up to the potential promised in my primary school reports.

I was not living my best life, fulfilling my dreams or following my heart.


It was time for change.

I believe that we create our own reality, and if I wasn’t happy in mine I would have to take charge and try something different.

So, I did it. I resigned from my job and instead took on a part time contract to keep the bills paid and my gym membership going. And I began the year of me.

I still did know who ‘me’ was just yet, so I set myself some guidelines to shape my new life.


Guidelines such as:

1.    Only say yes to things that feel right in my heart and bring me joy.

2.    Lean into curiosity – in whatever form it takes.

3.    When it comes to making decisions, trust my gut and don’t rely on the opinions of others.

4.    Listen, read and talk about things that inspire me.

5.    My health comes first. (This included cleaning up my nutrition and prioritised training in my budget.)

6.    Be as present as possible. Live in the moment and trust that things will work out. Tune into my emotions and take time to process them before acting.

By following these guidelines, I turned down an incredible job offer that didn't feel right and said yes to a month in Thailand.

I’d always wanted to visit the Thai – Burma railway, so being presented with the experience of a lifetime – that also aligned with my guidelines – was too good to pass up.

I spent the first two weeks of the trip with GAP Adventures, hiking, cycling, kayaking and snorkelling our way around Thailand.

Sleeping on trains, houseboats, resorts and in rural homestays with incredibly generous families.

The combination of activities, adventure, cultural history and sharing the experience with like-minded people kicked off the trip in a spectacular way.

I was truly following my joy.

I found myself rock climbing in Railay, scooting around Koh Phangan, hiking mountain tops and swimming with sharks.

With a week left in Thailand, I booked in to see the incredible Dr Manta at the Koh Samui Health Retreat for a five day detox.

I was excited for an authentic Thai health and wellness experience and to have the space to connect with my truth. Dr Manta gave me all that and more.

The detox was quite strict; allowing herbals and liquids only, somewhat traumatising self delivered colonics, daily massages, walks on the beach, swims in the ocean and relaxing in steam rooms. If that wasn’t enough, I decided to do a digital detox as well!

It was a tough week, but I was determined to keep my perspective and practice gratitude for the experience.

I came back to Melbourne feeling incredible, like the puzzle pieces of my life were finally connecting.

I had a new sense of direction, a wholeness filling the void and an inner trust that it would all work out in the end.


I was exactly where I needed to be.

I learnt that adventure, trying new things and connecting with others was my way to joy!


As I write this, we are halfway through 2019.

This year (so far) has brought me countless challenges and obstacles and I’m very much a work in progress.

I’m both excited and a little scared to see where I’ll be next New Year’s Eve, but I have to trust that I’m on the right path and I’ll end up exactly where I need to be.






Sarah Fritz