I had a safe career working in the fashion industry in New York City; a steady salary and a tangible trajectory at a great company. And then I quit. I hopped in my car, jam-packed with all my belongings (sans a few boxes of pencil skirts, heels, and other corporate attire that would end up stored at my parents' house indefinitely) and headed south for Miami to help launch an environmental clothing startup.
My hand hovered over the trackpad as I contemplated the repercussions of the impending decision: to buy a plane ticket to Australia or not? It was Thanksgiving 2011, my second year as a PhD student, and I had been invited to film an interesting field experiment on rip currents down under.