In 2011 Jonathan Look took early retirement, sold everything, and began traveling the world. Before that, he had lived a relatively typical American life, however at the age of 50, he found myself surrounded by possessions, but longing for adventure and endowed with an unquenchable curiosity to see far beyond my familiar little corner of the globe.

Before I retired, even though my schedule was dictated by limited vacation days, I was able to discover that I was happiest when I was traveling, having new experiences, interacting with other people and expanding my comfort zones. However, because I didn’t have the time, I often found myself fruitlessly trying to bridge the gap between what I longed to do and what I was actually doing, with material things. I didn’t feel that I had much control or choice in my life, so I used consumption to fill the void.

With the opportunity of early retirement came the necessity to examine my life and decide what I wanted for my future. I could stay the course, plodding along the deeply-rutted road that I had been lazily prodded to, or I could study the possibilities, make a leap of faith and pursue my dreams of discovering new horizons. The right choice for me now seems obvious but, at the moment, plotting a new course in retirement was as scary as it was exciting.

Read more at Forbes

Jon blogs at LifePart2