Five years ago, our schedule was far different. We were travel writers, traveling frequently on assignment to destinations that ranged from Borneo to Bermuda, Jamaica to Jordan. For 20 years, John and I traveled a lot for both magazine and book assignments.
But then the economy changed. The travel industry, already limping along after 9/11, was hard hit both by the economic downturn and by rising gas prices. The publishing industry was in a state of flux due to the Internet, and many of the travel publications that remained in business found themselves turning more and more to crowdsourcing as a free way to get content. Relying both on the travel and the publishing industries, many travel journalists found themselves ticketless.
When one door closes, another opens, though. We took a good look at our careers and decided to make a sharp turn and journey into the pet world. We knew there were risks making a career change, but, just as we had reasoned when we made the decision to become travel writers two decades before, risk isn’t a good reason not to go after your goals.
Recently over on Social Spark, a community for bloggers, the conversation arose about “Good Hands for the Good Life”, the new brand vision for Allstate Good Life. It really struck a chord with us because it echoed what we thought when we first made the switch to the pet world. We made the change with optimism, and we haven’t looked back.
Besides the changes in our schedule and the subject of our writing, though, we also made changes in our outlook on life. One change that we’ve definitely made is the ability to celebrate moments of simplicity. In our prior career, a good morning might have been spent walking a souk in Fez or photographing the canals of Amsterdam.
In our new career, a good morning often consists of a great walk with Irie and Tiki, photographing them and the late spring wildflowers. Or loading up the car and taking off on a daytrip with the dogs to a park we’ve passed but never taken the time to visit.
It’s celebrating the simple things in life, and celebrating the ability to make a fresh start to love it. We know that, without our career change, we never would have met the amazing people around the country that help animals, day in and day out. We never would have had the chance to write about an adoptable animal and, weeks later, hear from a reader who shared a photo of that pet now with his new family thanks to social sharing of our post. And we never would have had the chance to learn all new skills (including my certification as a dog trainer) to help us live a good life with our dogs, every day.