You might call someone crazy for giving up a successful career in the world of high-rise office buildings and pressed suits during a time of global economical instability. Others are calling it the best decision of their lives.

We reached out to the Matador community to find people who quit their jobs to pursue their passions in life.
The result? Total happiness.

Let these people be your inspiration the next time you’re stuck gazing out the office window on a sunny day.


1. Alex Hackett just handed in his notice at a media marketing firm to bike across America (from San Francisco, CA to Boston, MA), raising money for the American Cancer Society while encouraging others to get out and live their lives. Alex and his buddy Evan plan to couchsurf and camp, sharing their story along the way, all the while honoring the memories of their mothers who were both victims of cancer.


2. Erin de Santiago left behind a 12 year legal career in California to move to Taiwan to be with her now husband, and to pursue her dream of being a travel writer and photographer. Erin met her husband through an online travel site, and then at a Las Vegas get-together in 2008. He lived in the Netherlands but was making the move to Taiwan, and Erin agreed to join him. Just a year later, they were married and fulfilling their dreams of travel, while Erin is making great strides to become published in such places as CNN (online and TV), and Examiner. Here they are exploring Taroko Gorge in Taiwan.


3. Keith Savage is a soon-to-be world traveler: his need for meaning and excitement finally outweighed the comfort and luxury of a nice salary. Come fall, he plans to travel 3-4 times per year for about a month at a time, all while having a wife, house and cats to return home to after each period. A compromise that works!


4. Joel Ward is leaving one “dream job” for another. Currently he works on developing resorts around the world; but he's tired of running from place to place, sitting in meetings and staying in hotels tailored to business travelers. In July, he's taking the slow road around the world, starting in Europe and letting things develop naturally... and he's doing it by bike. He plans to rent a room for a month or more at a time, set up shop and unload his gear, and cycle to nearby towns and cities to explore more extensively. This photo was taken in Angeles National Forest.


5.Carina Port quit her successful job as an editor because she could no longer stand the climate controlled office and daily boredom. Her profession of choice: chicken farmer. Carina says she's already sunburned and thinner, and has written more in less than a month than she has in the 3 years at her old job. She started the chicken and organic vegetable farm with a friend, and they sell grass fed beef at a local farmer's market. She's even restoring an old house!


6.Allan Karl founded one of the top 50 digital advertising agencies in the USA. Then, as the economy tumbled, he quit. He sold virtually everything he owned, and rode his motorcycle around the world. He's been gone three years, and covered 62,000 miles, 35 countries and 5 continents. He's currently writing two books and spreading the word of freedom through public speaking. Follow him on Twitter.


7.From February 2007 to March 2008, Sean Aiken traveled around North America, working 52 jobs in 52 weeks for The One Week Job Project. Instead of pursuing a career straight out of college, he found a unique way to figure out exactly what he wanted to do. Anyone could offer him a job for one week, and all earnings went towards the ONE/Make Poverty History campaign: a total of $20,401.60. He tried it all: bungee instructor, dairy farmer, baker, firefighter, and more. Here's Week 51, the Air Force.


8.A year ago, Daniel Nahabedian and a friend did the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain. It was such a life changing experience that once he returned home to his well paid, stable job in the UAE, it never felt the same. Dan resigned four months later, picked up his camera and decided to leave for an unlimited period of time traveling around the world. He's currently taking a short break to live in Thailand while working on his photography business, and his ultimate dream is to be a freelance travel photographer/blogger. He says, "The only person blocking the way of our dreams is ourselves."