From a 60-Hour Workweek to Slow Living in Belize: Amanda Jarman (Ep. 1)

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

 
 
 
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BEFORE: Amanda learned a factory near her home in Portland, Oregon, had been polluting toxins into the environment. She and her neighbors fought back and eventually won. The situation was one of the factors behind her sabbatical decision.

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AFTER: Amanda at her 40th birthday party, on the beach in Hopkins, Belize, where she lives.

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AFTER: Amanda and her first Belizean friend, Dhalia. A close network of friendships has been one of the most special parts of Amanda's new life.

 

WHEN A SABBATICAL LEADS TO A WHOLE NEW LIFE

Amanda Jarman thought she was going to Belize to lie on a beach and recover from years of work stress, and environmental toxins, that had brought on a whole series of health problems. She and her husband had decided to take five months to live in a tiny village, Hopkins, Belize, to take a break from their regular lives back in Portland, Oregon, where they owned a house and where Amanda ran her own fundraising consulting business.

Upon arrival, Amanda was surprised by some important realizations. Hopkins felt like home. The things that weren't working for her marriage at home didn't go away once they were on sabbatical.

After going through an intense time of letting go and endings – she found the space to create a whole new way of living and working. She decided to live in Hopkins, and says she’s never felt happier and healthier. 

Our conversation covers: Why Amanda took her sabbatical, what big discoveries she made about herself and her life once she arrived in Belize, and what made her decide to stay. We also talk about how Amanda re-vamped her small business to work remotely, and designed a new slower life around her most important values.

I am so excited to share this interview with you, because Amanda’s story is about being brave enough to take time out in life to reassess what you really want; to make intentional changes, and to be open to the unknown.

 

memorable insights

  • How to really think through what you want out of your time off

  • Being open to what might happen

  • How to make a change intentionally – and for recovering from exhaustion and overwork

  • Reality of what actually happens when you take a break from work and regular life

  • Fears about not earning income

  • The need to overcome a Puritan work ethic, deriving a sense of self-worth from what you accomplish

  • How a sabbatical can lead to a time of shedding, and letting go of what isn't working.

  • Redefining a desired pace of life and how to work and approach your career

 

3 QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

1. What do you wish you had known before you took your leap?

2. What was the most unexpected thing that came of your leap?

3. For someone who is thinking of doing something similar, what one piece of advice would you offer? 

 

AMANDA'S RESOURCE RECOMMENDATIONS

It's cheesy, but "The 4-Hour Work Week" by Tim Ferriss really did spark my imagination around this kind of lifestyle. 

I would also recommend that people look into expat forums specific to their destination. Facebook has some great resources for newcomers to Belize, and I am sure there are similar groups for other countries. Even though I think it's important for people to connect with those who are actually from the place they are visiting, fellow expats are also a valuable source of information.

 

CONNECT WITH AMANDA

 

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