Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day One - The Here and Now

Recession. In these trying economic times (cliché), it would not seem the smartest thing to quit your job, especially a job you enjoy. To lose your insurance, benefits, income – all for nothing. No. That would not seem smart.
I am not a smart man.
I’ve worked in broadcast journalism since graduating the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2003. It’s a calling I love. I love knowing that every day at work will most likely be different than the last. I love interviewing celebrities and athletes and asking them obscure questions. I love knowing that boxer Roy Jones Jr doesn't like swimming because he doesn’t want his arm torn off by a shark (link will be provided). I love getting free media food. I love standing on the sidelines of sporting events. I love writing the perfect line. I love making someone smile. I love what I do.
But all this love has not prevented me from quitting my job. I’m doing it for several reasons – one big one is to travel. Several months ago, as I sat on a pancake-thin Wal-Mart futon with bars jabbing my spine, a Warren Miller snowboard movie came on TV. It dawned on me that I haven’t gone powder plowing in more than three years. Riding is one of my favorite hobbies. My old Kemper snowboard, it’s doubtful that company is in business still – and I’m too lazy to Google it, has been accumulating dust like Miss Havisham’s bridal gown.
Snowboarding was essentially a metaphor for the many things I, and people in the TV industry, have to sacrifice. Living far from home, I’ve missed out on weddings, funerals, birthdays, etc. I have taken one vacation for myself in the last 6 years – and even worked on that vacation. The rest of my company-issued vacation time goes to weddings and other events, but really, mostly weddings. My alter ego is Katherine Heigl in “27 Dresses.” Disclaimer: I haven’t seen that movie and am solely making the comparison based on trailers.
My contract with WALA-TV in Mobile was ending (broadcast talent are like athletes with multi-year contracts and options), and feeling confident, or optimistic, that I’ll find a new job, I decided to leave my job to see more of the world. Ideally, my unemployment will only last two months. I’m 30-years-old, single, have no kids, and can pull this off financially (at least for a little while). It seemed my career was at a crossroad, and if I didn’t pull off some sort of grand traveling scheme – I might never get the opportunity again. I didn’t backpack through Europe after college, I didn’t join the Peace Corps in Africa, I missed the boat on experiential travel earlier – and now I want to catch up.
As I leave Mobile, I will drive to New Orleans, Houston, Austin, Oklahoma City, Denver, Vail, and Las Vegas before returning home to Orange County, CA. The very next morning, I will head off to Rio De Janeiro, with a layover in New York that’s long enough that I’ll visit my sister in the city. I’ll spend 9 days in Brazil, including Iguazu Falls. Some excursions planned include hang-gliding from a mountain top to the beach, and rappelling down waterfalls.
When I return from South America, I plan on heading to Phoenix, Seattle, and Whistler. While I do all this traveling, I will drop by several TV stations in hopes of convincing them that I’m someone they want to hire. I hope my work can do the talking because my selling skills are worse than Willy Loman.
Unlike the death of a salesman, I want to take advantage of my time; my life. I want to have as few regrets as possible. I don’t want to wonder what if. If I stayed at my work, I would constantly second guess my decision. I would also question not having the sticks to take this leap of faith. So despite my apprehension, leaving a comfortable situation, a great job, it’s off to see the world. It’s time to live for now.
Recession or not, it's recess time for me.

We’ll see if I get any smarter.


  1. Hey man. Best of luck with everything! And have fun traveling!

  2. Props for the Great Expectations and Death of Salesman references! (it was Willy Loman, not Lomax, in Salesman...just saying)
    Keep the blog going because I have to live vicariously through you from Baldwin County!

  3. Lomax is from Weekend at Bernie's (your favorite movie). I see how you could mix that up.

  4. Dang you Newman!! I couldn't stand I had the Loman mistake - I had to edit it! Speaking of Weekend at Bernie's - you see the SNL bit with DeNiro? It was the lone amusing bit on his show a few weeks ago. Lomax is also an old QB with the Cards...

  5. my brother directed me to your blog - look forward to reading the rest of your chronicles.

  6. You're going to be more than fine. And you're going to have a whole lot of fun along the way. Good job, Bob. I mean, Cary. I am proud of and rooting for you!

    - Crazy

  7. Didn't see the SNL bit but I'll have to check it out. BTW - was playing a board game (Loaded Questions--where one person has to guess who answered what to a given question) and the question was "What movie do you have to watch if it's on?" When I answered Lethal Weapon 4, everyone thought it was hilarious that someone would put that. We'll have to watch it when you get to town. And maybe you can invite ND over.

  8. Congrats on your gutsy decision! I have never regretted all the time and money I've spent traveling. There is amazing snow in the mountains in Colorado and Wyoming this winter, in case you head this direction :) Good luck and I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures!
    -- Hilery (from Casper)