Trevor Davis was ready for a change.
At 37, he had spent a decade working as an investment banker in Toronto.
Clocking in at between 80 to 100 hours a week, the Prince Edward Islander wanted his life back.
His partner, Christine Healy, felt the same way.
She had enjoyed successful career in finance and capital market research, often spending days on the road.
So, when the recent economic downturn resulted in Healy taking a voluntary layoff in 2015 and Davis getting a pink slip in 2016, due to company restructuring, they were not disappointed at all.
“We felt that the stars had aligned. It gave us the opportunity to make a huge change in our lives – having more freedom and self-determination,” says Davis, during a Skype interview last week.
That’s because they were on call 24/7, tied to a BlackBerry, at home or at the office. Even on vacation in Chile, they had to pull over to the side of the road to take conference calls.
“We had no control over our lives.”
After their jobs ended, the couple decided to downsize. While waiting for their house to sell in Toronto they got their first taste of freedom during a three-and-a-half week vacation in Spain and Portugal last winter. They quickly realized they wanted more.
So, after selling their house and most of their belongings and putting their remaining possessions in storage, they took a road trip to Halifax, waved goodbye to friends and family and boarded a plane for Europe.
“After all the sacrifices we had made for our careers, it was finally time that we focused on our own health and wellbeing and did something for us. We wanted to push our boundaries and comfort levels and build experiences that we would remember for the rest of our lives,” says Davis who blogs their story at http://grabbinglifebytheballs.com.
The couple arrived in Iceland on July 2 where one of their favourite attractions was Glacier Lagoon.
“We were able to hike around a portion of the lagoon where we could see many icebergs ranging from small to quite large. Because the weather was warm, we saw icebergs break apart and flip over as they drifted through the lagoon.”
Since then, they have visited Helsinki, southern Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro. Their itinerary also included a day trip to Albania, Bosnia and a visit to England/Scotland where, after attending a wedding, they decided to stay an extra month because they were having so much fun.
“It’s been a great trip, a whirlwind. We thought we might get tired of being on the go by now, but it hasn’t happened,” says Davis.
Along the way they stayed in budget guesthouses, hostels and enjoyed some fabulous scenery.
“We both loved Slovenia as a country. The capital city of Ljubljana is small, but has a beautiful old town that is almost entirely car-free, with many patios lining a riverfront. The fortress towers over the old town from on top of a high hill,” says Davis, adding there’s more to come.
Before returning to P.E.I. in mid-November, they will travel to Serbia, Cyprus and Israel.
“This is only our first trip. On Dec. 28, we leave Toronto for Australia. We will spend five weeks there in early 2017 and approximately four months in Asia. After that trip, we will figure out what to do next.”
After three months of traveling with a knapsack, Healy realizes how little she really needs.
“Neither one of us miss material things back home at all. We only miss our parents and friends,” says the Eastern Ontario native who looks forward to reuniting with her family on their return.
Their travel-inspired lifestyle is a conscious one.
“We have too many friends who feel trapped in their careers. They all look forward to retirement when they hope to have more freedom and the ability to travel,” says Davis.
They’ve also had friends who have developed serious health issues or have had other circumstances that prevent them from travelling.
“So we think it’s important that when you have the opportunity, you take advantage, as you may not (get) another opportunity.”
- A former Guardian carrier, Trevor Davis grew up in Parkdale, P.E.I., graduating from Colonel Gray High School. He attended the University of Western Ontario, graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering. Then he worked in the automotive industry as a design engineer for five years in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. At 25 he enrolled in an MBA to pursue a career in finance.
- Christine Healy grew up in eastern Ontario, moving between the towns of Whitby and Belleville. She studied business in university and qualified as a chartered accountant. After several years spent in audit and corporate strategy, she landed in equity research where she spent almost a decade. As an analyst, she wrote reports that mutual fund and pension managers use to make investment decisions.
- Blog: Go to http://grabbinglifebytheballs.com.