Woman Who Quit $95K Job for New Life on Island Is Latest Internet Hero -- But Why?

woman on beachEver wish you could just drop everything and move to a tropical island? Well, here's someone who did. Journalist Noelle Hancock says she gave up her $95,000 job and life in New York City to move to an island and scoop ice cream.


Hancock was already living the dream, or so she thought. She'd graduated from Yale, was raking in way more money than the journalists I know earn, and living in Manhattan. Single, childless, unfettered -- and yet, not exactly happy.

But New York is a competitive city; you have to spend most of your time working to afford to live there. And a downside of living among so many ambitious people is they're often overscheduled. Sometimes I didn't see my closest friends for months at a time. Trying to negotiate a time to meet a friend for drinks was harder than getting into college (and the cocktails about as expensive).

Haha! I laugh bitterly as I throw my homemade cocktail across the room. Try spending "most of your time working to afford to live here," making a lot less, AND trying to negotiate time with your children. But I digress! Hancock felt like she had way too much screen time, and not enough real time connecting with friends and enjoying life. So she checked out.

Hancock sold everything and moved to St. John in the Virgin Islands. "It was startlingly simple to dismantle the life I'd spent a decade building," she boasts. "The hardest part was convincing myself it was OK to do something for no other reason than to change the narrative of my life."

Ah yes, the proverbial changing of one's life narrative. So this is the point in the story where every working mom looks up from her laptop and wonders what it would take to just up and leave her life and move to a tropical island. First question: Bring the kids?

I'm joking! Of course bring the kids because of laws.

Oh, but good luck prying all those Legos out of your kids' hands and selling them all. How much kid crap are you going to have to bring with you? Too much. Way too much. You will have to sell extra of your stuff just to cover the shipping.

St. John has good WiFi, right? Because my son cannot live without it. We might as well try living without fresh water.

Assuming that's in place, the next question is, how are the schools? I'd like to get my son into Yale someday so he'll have the luxury of quitting his high-paying job at the age of 31 to go backpacking through outer Mongolia (seeking to change his life narrative, obvi). But that's not going to happen if the island school is crap. And I'm not up to homeschooling.

That's because I'm going to make enough money renting out my Brooklyn apartment to focus on my epic book, The Best Sex a Woman in Her 40s Can Possibly Have. Hopefully it will be a memoir.

Which reminds me -- I'll have to talk my significant other into moving to the island with me, and he's actually quite happy here in the city. He worked very hard to get where he is now. Hmm.

I'm thinking I may have to postpone this island fantasy, which is just as well. I'm not really a beach person, and I hate the way sand gets everywhere. Anyway, a paradise without my people is no paradise at all. So here's to the daily struggle to connect with family and friends, the struggle that makes that time so much more precious to this working mom.

Do you ever fantasize about moving to an island? How would you make that work for your family?


Image via © iStock.com/Mila Supinskaya 


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