Do you keep hearing of people quitting to taking time off to go travelling and think “I’m so jealous, I wish I could do that, but —” and think of a reason why not?
We used to be those people. There were always things in the way — an imminent promotion at work, a bad situation in the economy, the health of a parent, or finances.
There are real impediments and those that are in our heads. Over time, we’ve continued to battle whispers in our head calling for certain things.
Below are some thoughts that might help you decide whether or not to quit your job and go travelling now rather than later.
There’s Never a Perfect Time at Work (or in life)
When we’re in the grind of a career, it seems like there’s never a perfect time.
The career cycle is endless. Promotions, raises, new projects, head-hunter calls… there’s always a carrot dangling in front of you.
As life goes on, pressure on relationship and family fronts rear their heads. Many of us feel like we “should” be doing things like having children or buying a house.
But the hard thing to do is to extract us from that noise and really wonder: If it weren’t for other people doing them, would those be things we’d really want?
These are just a few of the questions many have to face as they choose between their own dreams and the ones others impose upon us. Choose your own destiny.
Travel Can Be a Career Catalyst
Combining your dreams with your profession can be transformative. It could open unexplored avenues that enrich your career.
Language learning is one example of how travel can actually benefit your career. Employers value second-language proficiency as it demonstrates dedication and adaptability. However, squeezing learning into a busy schedule can be tough.
But by immersing yourself in language learning through travel, you can finally get some real results.
Let’s shift to volunteering. Many plan to give back later in life — but there’s no reason to wait. The world offers countless opportunities for meaningful contributions. These experiences are not just personally rewarding; they also add substantial value to your professional journey.
Note that we don’t recommend “voluntourism” necessarily, unless there are organisations built around that framework. The general consensus these days is that volunteering only makes sense with long-term commitment.
In many ways, travel is becoming the new global MBA, a way to gain a holistic education and broad cultural perspective.
If you’re thinking of getting an MBA for travel opportunities… maybe just go travel with a purpose instead.
Travelling Can Be Cheaper Than You Think
Yeah, Paris, London, Japan, New York, and Sydney are expensive. But have you thought about:
- Nicaragua, a tropical country with beautiful beaches and no mosquitos?
- The Yunnan province of China, known for its rolling tea fields and eternal springtime?
- Or Tallinn, Estonia, a city that looks like a fairytale but equipped with high-speed internet and a buzzing startup economy?
Want to know how much this could cost? We have been building travel itineraries that come to just $2,000 per month in living costs… for two people.
That $2000 per month includes flights and staying in multiple countries, plus taking care of our health along the way and continuing to enjoy local life.
In some places (like Kaohsiung, Taiwan) we spent even less! It’s amazing how much you can save once you commit to living like a (wealthy) local, staying off the beaten tourist path and ignoring $100/day activities.
If you really do want to visit the big cities — there are ways of doing it on a budget, by planning ahead, staying outside town (but in a place accessible via public transport), and staying long-term for discounts.
Travel Before Life Happens
Warning: this might be a little dark. But it’s worth thinking about.
Think of all the things you’re planning in your life: family plans, education, moving to be closer to family, and others.
Now think about the things that you’re not planning for and which could happen to you.
- A family member (or you!) might develop a serious health problem that needs attention.
- You might have children a little earlier than you expect (surprise!).
- A war might break out, just like the papers keep claiming.
- The economy might collapse… again.
- Your team, division or company might fold.
These things are not only terrible and disrupting to your life — they’re extremely common. I’m sure at least one of the above has already happened to you.
You can’t prevent life’s unexpected risks, nor plan around them, so take control of your own destiny and act now.
Epilogue — We wrote this in 2018, before 2020 happened.
Travel May Become Your Work
This is my favourite one: You might just find you never have to work again.
Many people, once they embark upon a life of travel, find themselves rethinking what they actually want out of life. Some people even make full time lives out of it.
There are many ways of combining a passion for travel and continuing to live. Some of these include
- Becoming a photographer
- Learning how to do online marketing, especially for travel-related things
- Finding a job or building a skill that lets you work remotely
In short, with a little creativity and hustle you might never go back to your desk job again.