How I Moved To Paradise — With Student Loans

Illustrated by Abbie Winters
I'm a typical career development center success story: I landed my "dream job" immediately after graduating from a four-year university. Unfortunately, the job wasn’t quite as dreamy as I had imagined. Super-long hours and poor structure led to me feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and often asking myself, What am even I doing with my time? I knew that climbing the ladder was certainly one way to get to the top, but the top of what? Was that really what I wanted? When I thought about my (dream) five-year plan, it didn’t include an office or conference room meetings.
The issue: I had nearly $14,000 in student loans following me. While I was in a lot less trouble than many of my friends were, the number felt intimidating. But I also didn't want that number to hold me back from a more fulfilling life. So I began doing a ton of research to try and figure out how I could change my reality — while dealing with the reality of my student loans. Here, read how hours and hours of research led me to where I sit at this very moment: in a brown leather chaise, drinking a lime juice by a pool in Cambodia.

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