I’ve never been really happy with the city I’ve lived in my whole life, Criciúma. It’s a small city with not much to do, and although I have friends and family there, I always wanted to experience living in another city, meeting new people, and having new experiences.
I’ve been working from home for many years now, but it took me a long time to realize I was procrastinating on leaving town. Every year I would come up with an excuse:
- “I need to finish college” (I did it four years ago)
- “My company needs me here” (it’s been closed for a year now)
- “My girlfriend needs to finish college” (and she did it one year ago)
… and the biggest one: “I don’t know where I should live.” Here is the thing: I’ve been working remotely for the past 8 years, with a brief 10 months of working in an office in the middle of that. There is nothing stopping me from living anywhere I want here in Brazil or even in other countries that don’t require a working visa. I wanted to leave Criciúma, but I didn’t have any good reason to go to any particular city, and this lead me to analysis paralysis.
Morgana and I talked about it many times: “We can live in Curitiba! It’s a very clean city, with lots of theaters, culture and interesting people!”; “Oh, we can live a few months in Argentina!”; “I know! We can go to New Zealand!”. Every time we would get excited, research the place and… nothing.
At the beginning of 2014, after I started hanging out with some very smart people, and I realized something: I could just pick ANY city, move there, and adjust if needed. What was the worst-case scenario? I could lose a lot of money and I would have to go back to Criciúma and maybe live with my mother. The world would not end; I would not lose my job; I would not lose my friends… just money. Money that I could always get back by working extra hard and doing some freelancing on the side.
So in February, Morgana and I talked and decided to move to the beautiful Florianópolis. It’s a much bigger city with great opportunities for fun and work for both of us; it’s far enough from Criciúma to force us to make new friends and do new things, and yet it’s close enough to visit our families at least once a month (including my father, who lives in São Paulo, because of lower plane ticket prices). It will make it easier to travel too, since Florianópolis has an international airport.
When I started really writing down my fears, the worst-case scenarios and how I could recover from them, it was ridiculously simple to make a decision: there was basically no downside, and the upside was enormous. I read about this concept of “fear-setting” before, but I’ve never used it before to make a such an important life decision. I’m now making a point to revisit it every week to see what else I’m postponing because of uncertainty.
We finally moved here on June 17th. I’m happy we finally took the plunge and moved, and I’m really excited about the new possibilities!