Free-dom! – Farewell, Good-byes and on my way to the airport…

Friday was my last day at the office…the reaction from managers and colleagues ranged from shock to “yeah, everyone’s dropping like flies” lol…Being that I just finished my MBA, people thought I’d be making the jump from IT to the “business-side” ie. trader, research analyst or other fancy title at another competitor or hedge fund that pays some ridiculous salary.  But when they heard I was moving to Thailand to train Muay Thai full-time they were definitely caught off-guard.  Everyone was really happy & excited for me. 🙂

I worked for a UK bank which was later acquired by an Aussie one (Macquarie). The good thing about working for these global firms is that the people that work in these offices come from the other side of the world to NYC…they understand the whole experience of moving to another country and being in a completely different culture.  I also had an Exit Interview with the HR rep and she said this was the most pleasant one..usually people are bitter and not happy, lol. Luckily I’m leaving on good terms and didn’t burn any bridges.  Macquarie is a global firm with offices in BKK and other SE countries ie Manila, Philippines….My Plan “D” (after A, B, & C of course) would involve possibly coming back (but this is really if I’m desperate). It’s actually not that unusual here…one senior guy left to travel South America for a year then came back as a consultant.

Friday night at the office I stuck around til 8pm to send over hand-over documentation on projects I was working on and a farewell email to my colleagues.  For most of my career, I worked on the trading floor…it was definitely a stressful environment where people needed things done yesterday and every IT issue is a DEFCON 1!!! lol (“Wait, you’re yelling at me b/c your computer won’t turn on?”…BUT you didn’t even check the f**** power button?!?!  –  Mind you it’s 7 AM and I haven’t even had my coffee yet…Yes, I can be cranky, hahaha).  Fortunately I’ve been lucky to have worked with people who have turned into “friends” and developed these relationships outside of the office…this makes the grind that much bearable 🙂  I’ll def miss the inside jokes…sometimes I’d be crackin’ up at my desk typing in-appropriate jokes over Instant Messenger…hopefully no one ever monitored them, lol.

Besides the colleagues at work, I’m also going to miss all my other friends and family. When I started planning my departure for Thailand, I decided to leave right after the holidays…that way I could spend extra time during this special time of the year, which usually coincides with downtime from work.  One of the reasons January was busy for me was trying to say goodbye to everyone, which included friends from my hometown in upstate NY (Hyde Park), college friends (Binghamton Univ.), summer shore house friends (Belmar, NJ) and friends from my home of 8 years, Hoboken, NJ. I’d like to say thank you to everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to take me out to a farewell lunch, dinner or drinks…because of you, I’ve gained a few extra lbs, missed the gym and had way too many hangovers,lol. It was also special that people (some whom I haven’t spoken to in years) sent cards, Facebooked, emailed, text’d and called to wish me luck. I truly feel loved and grateful for all the support from everyone 🙂 Leaving  the US is not easy, but when I have people behind me, it certainly helps.

It wasn’t til yesterday when I was packing up my apt that it hit me – I’M LEAVING!?!? HOLY SHIT!  WHAT AM I DOING?!??!  For the past 6 months I’ve been debating the decision, then planning for it…to be honest, the shock value of packing up and leaving kinda wore off. But now it’s starting to sink in.

Yesterday my rents and aunt came to help me move out of my apartment. We loaded my mattress and boxes into my dads CRV and trailer. Luckily my good friend Leslie signed a new lease to my apartment and pretty much bought all of my furniture. A few other items were sold on Craigslist.  Winter clothes and some other keepsakes are being kept at my rents house.  Today I unpacked and packed up my final two suitcases.  Both of them are 50 lbs exactly and I have one carry-on back-pack.  I got to JFK/ NYC about an hour ago and now just waiting to board my flight to Doha, Qatar (12 hours), a 2 hour layover then board a 2nd flight (6 hours) to Bangers.  I’ll be spending the weekend there and meeting up with my Canadian friend Bill.  Then off to the beautiful beaches of Phuket (an island) where I’ll be based for the next 6 – 9 months.  Will update when I land.

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