In February 2009, the nation’s unemployment rate was 8.1 percent and climbing. As an editorial assistant for two boating magazines based in Irvine, I went to work every morning grim, waiting to be let go. When the day finally arrived and I was sent to pack up my desk, one thought kept running through my mind: “I’ve become a statistic.” ¶A month later, my boyfriend Steve also was laid off, from a far more lucrative job in sales. Rather than panic, we came up with a solution, actually more of an exit plan.
We leased out our three-bedroom Laguna Hills home for a year, dispersed everything we owned among friends and family, and left the country.