The Will: How I went from NYC workhorse to Euro bohemian

by Nicole Trilivas

“People can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.”

-John Lubbock, English banker, politician, naturalist and archaeologist


When I decided I wanted to change careers and become a writer, I gave up a some things:

I gave up my upper, upper east side apartment. Because of all the flooding and the mice, I was able to break my lease. I gave it up because I knew I would need the money. I gave up my city life and moved in with my parents in Long Island on and off, for four years total. I gave up $15 martinis at Cambell’s Apartment. I gave up expensive handbags and Tuesday night drinks because I had to catch a train home. I gave up parts of my social life in my twenties to live at home and save money. I gave up watching TV during the week for a whole year. Instead, I used that time to write.

I eventually gave up my high paying job as a creative director at an up and coming advertising agency. I gave up the salary, the travel that came with work, the perks, the lifestyle. It still makes my heart thud in my chest when I think about it, even though I still freelance from them time to time.

But making myself a writer wasn’t just about giving things up. It was about rearranging my priorities. I gave up my expensive New York City lifestyle and traded it in for a bohemian European one. Once I was untethered, I was able to move abroad for short periods of time to work on my writing: I lived in a party house with a bunch of Australians and Kiwis in Edinburgh, Scotland. I live with a band in the suburbs of Dublin, Ireland. And I lived with dancers in Sydney, Australia. Those weren’t glamorous years. The houses were dirty and cheap. But I was living the life that fully and wholehearted wanted to live. And that made it beautiful and thrilling. And I swear to you, on that first trip–with my only agenda being writing–I had never felt more alive.

It’s been almost 7 years of this mad, creative, wild, pull-your-hair-out frustrating creative life. But it’s mine. And I love it.

XO Nicole

“Travel is my muse.”