How My Husband and I Went From Corporate Drones to Tropical Organic Farmers in Puerto Rico


Sarah Ratliff And Husband Paul

I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was summer 2007. My husband and I were both working for Amgen (the world’s largest biotech) in Thousand Oaks, California — about an hour north of Los Angeles. He was a systems administrator in the IT department, and I was working in the training end of manufacturing as the assistant to the department head.

We had a beautiful house in a small, almost-rural town 45 minutes from work. We were enjoying the best salaries we’d ever made in our lives, which were complemented by bonuses and stock options. We had two cars, two motorcycles and two cats.

We religiously took two vacations annually — Europe, road trips to neighboring states and frequent trips back east to visit family and friends (Paul is from Washington, D.C., and I’m from New York City).

We had no children (by choice) and by all accounts were living the life. Some might call it the American dream. And apart from working between 50 and 70 hours a week, we were.

The ‘American Dream’s’ Stress Has Costs for Health

I woke up one Monday morning with an aura, which told me a migraine was minutes away — but this wasn’t new, I had been there many times before.

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