Something funny: I’m the guy in the Maldivian picture up there. I was writing a piece for a magazine and the sun was so strong I couldn’t see sh*t on the screen.
And after a few years freelancing, and feast and famine, I’m now a corporate-guy, just as you describe, enjoying a work-life balance and talking about projects at the many “creative breakfasts” or “office beers” recurring with colleagues.
Truth to be said: the freelancing times really helped in shaping my skills and, most of all, my flexibility and pragmatism. I would suggest everybody to try both.