Should your quit your job and go traveling? It may sound like a romantic fairy tale but for some it is a true reality. Nina Ragusa writes in the Huffington Post: Why Quit Your Job and Travel is the Worst Advice Ever. I don’t necessarily agree.
It’s true it’s not for everyone. Ultimately we are saying the same thing and she speaks from experience I think she is missing the point.
The point being that many people are stuck in life sucking jobs and commitments and not really living their true potential or with a lot of personal happiness. Sometimes life means living with high debts and long hours at jobs that yeild little satisfaction. Before we get too philosophical there are some core issues–mainly one– regarding quitting your job that Nina does address and that is money.
Your going to need it if you want to quit your job and travel the world. But if you don’t have a lot of money there are ways to travel with some savings and a lot of flexibility and skill. Again it’s not for everyone.
The following items could make it difficult to quit your job and travel but even so–if you want to travel then try to find a way to make it possible working with your situation. We have enough people living conventional lives in the world. What we don’t have is people being creative and going against the grain for the betterment of their deepest self (and the world around them*).
-High Mortgage (consider homeexchange.com or rent out your house for a year and just go)
-Rent controlled apartment in somewhere like NYC or San Francisco (but then on the other hand it’s important not to let your dreams wait til tomorrow)
-You aren’t willing or able to volunteer or do a variety of short-term work along the way through things like Workaway and WOOF
-You don’t have family or friends to stay with when the money runs out (scout out in advance whom in your life could use a helping hand in exchange for room and board, an operation, a new baby, new business)
-The cost of health insurance (short-term travel insurance is an option)
Those are all very real things to contend with if you quit your job but even so it can be done. People do it. They run out of money and then sleep on a friend’s couch to get rent money and then join the rat race again.
I recently got a pet-sitting opportunity for several weeks and meanwhile filled in at a friends restaurant. It wasn’t a lot of money but it helped fund my next step. I’ve volunteered at an eco-resort on the big island of Hawaii and received fresh organic meals everyday in exchange for doing housekeeping. I stayed at my sisters house in beautiful U.S. city a month and helped take care of my nephew. I recently joined Workaway and expect to be doing a lot more of these types of situations. So far I’ve gotten offers to work at a hostel in Puerto Rico and help a family at a estate with a pool in Northern Thailand.
So maybe it’s not true that you can just quit your job and travel but you can work your way around the world. Speaking as a US citizen we are quite privileged and even a moderate amount of savings can get you far if you are willing to stay in hostels or AirBnb and cook your own meals in much of the developing world.
An excellent resource for deciding if you are up for doing something different in your life and possibly hitting the road is Chris Guillebeau, especially his book, The Art of Non-Conformity. He himself has visited countries, writes about travel hacking and his book is about living true to yourself in away you define not how the world expects you to.
Chris writes in ANC:
“In choosing to live a remarkable life, failure is a real possibility, but regrets are optional. If one plan doesn’t work out, you can try something else…”
My advice, wether you decide to leave your residence or not– don’t stay in a dead end job. If you have seen The Office (movie) we know how that ends up.
*–When you live in harmony with your true self, sharing and giving to others is often becomes a natural part of self-expression. In a simplest example-if you are taking care of yourself, working a career or life path that fulfills you are less likely to have road rage or be able to be present for the people in your life. Additionally when people ask themselves what do they want out of life they often want to contribute to society in a positive way.