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5 Women who changed careers for a happier life

WOMAN,BIKE,SUMMER

Lumina | Stocksy United

Caryn Rivadeneira - published on 06/15/18

Blakely Downs, from Producer to World Traveler

BLAKELY DOWNS
Photo courtesy | Blakely Downs
Blakely Downs, while traveling in Egypt.

In her “previous life,” Blakely Downs produced television commercials for well-known clients such as ESPN, Target, Heineken and Delta. Downs loved her job. And she loved the apartment she shared with her husband in New York’s West Village. But, Downs says, she wanted more. “Our life in New York challenged us and inspired us to be the most we could be,” she says. “We kept thinking that there’s a big world out there, and we wanted to see it.”

Downs and her husband had been talking about taking a trip around the world since they first started dating, and the dreams, she says, “slowly grew into a certainty.” Though quitting steady jobs was scary, Downs and her husband knew it was “now [before they had kids!] or never.”

Packing for a yearlong trip across the globe was the hardest part of the trip, she says. But well worth it, of course. “In our nine months traveling,” Downs says, “we’ve witnessed some deeply emotional things that have dramatically changed us. I feel privileged that I get to see this gorgeous world, and that I get to meet and learn about the incredible people who inhabit it.”

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