Sergio Najera is a software engineer at Pericle, an app-driven tabletop fantasy game. For his love of traveling the world, he walked away from a six-figure paycheck.
In his own words, here’s what the eccentric had to say about why he quit his job to pursue something less lucrative.
I quit the firm due to the company’s rigorous employee travel policy
I was working as a software developer at a big business during the outbreak. For a long time, I had wished to visit overseas. So, when we went remote, I asked if I could work from Puerto Rico for a while. I spent the next few months trying to figure out whether there was any way I could achieve this, and the answer was no.
So I decided to be deceptive. I consulted with a few buddies and came up with this VPN configuration that allowed me to disguise my IP address and work from Puerto Rico. I’m not sure how I got caught, but reportedly the security team could trace my IP address and determine that I was not in the United States.
On my return, my director told me not to do it again, but it was just a slap on the wrist.
My workplace was really rigorous. So working from 7,000 kilometers away was out of the question.
I’d already booked my ticket and Airbnb, as well as a climb through Machu Picchu, so it was literally a matter of life and death.
Around the same time, a game I’d been working on with friends called “Pericle” began to take off.
We conducted a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising $182k to recruit some full-time employees. I had two options: (1) Quit my job and figure it out, (2) Cut my pay in half while still having a nice job that I began as a fun side project, or (3) Attempt to locate some contractor work.
I chose the startup position because it would allow me to work from anywhere I wanted, which was really important to me. At my last work, my basic salary was roughly $115k, plus 401(k) benefits and matching, bringing total compensation closer to $140k.
I’m not saving as much as before, but my ‘pleasure per dollar’ increased
I’ve been to the Netherlands, Spain, Morocco, and Argentina, among other places. Following that, I’m planning visits to Chile and Brazil.
If you wish to live in Europe but on a lower budget, you may move to Bosnia or Croatia, which are less expensive than destinations like Italy. Even Spain was less expensive than the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany.
I like Europe, and while I may see things through rose-colored glasses, I believe it is a better match for my lifestyle. It is really simple to get nutritious meals. People don’t work 70 hours a week, and society isn’t as grind-oriented.
You may go to locations like Argentina for very little money. It is often cheaper to eat out here every day than to purchase groceries and cook at home. For example, I went to this small empanada shop with a buddy, and we had eight large empanadas and a bottle of wine for $4.50.
I often inquire how much their rent is when folks say they can’t afford to go. I aim for $30 to $32 per night or $1,000 per month. Flights are the most costly item.
If you prepare ahead of time, you may quickly locate hostels or even cheaper Airbnbs. In many parts of the world, you may easily find accommodations for $25 per night.
It will be quite pricey if you choose Berlin or London. Malaga and Valencia in Spain were also not too awful. Or you may go to South America and select whatever capital city you like, and it will be cheaper than paying rent in the U.S.