With all the “Quit Your Job and Travel” posts doing the rounds, and everyone nodding vigorously, I’ve begun to wonder, how many of these people will actually ever quit their jobs to travel, and does it really make sense to do so?
As avid travellers we understand completely the desire to see the world and that fascinating thrill of discovering all that is unfamiliar. But as professionals we also understand the importance of being grounded. So don’t quit your job and travel.
Don’t quit your job
A roof over your head
This one’s a no brainer. Your career is what’s going to put food on your table. Why say goodbye to that?
Health comes first
What if something happens to you? Will you have the finances and support you’ll need to get back on your feet or deal with a terminal illness?
A means to an end
Produce, don’t consume. If everyone quit their jobs and travelled, how would airline companies, visa offices and the hotel industry function? You want to look back on a meaningful life, not a selfish one.
Address the real problem. If you hate your job, change companies or get into an industry you’re passionate about. Join the travel industry if you must, but find something that makes you happy. I quit my advertising agency job a year ago and I’ve been enjoying the flexibility and creative ownership that a freelance job gives me. Charles, on the other hand absolutely loves the exciting pace of his work in an advertising agency and wouldn’t give it up for anything.
It’s nice having nice things
Think of it this way, the more you earn, the more you can afford. So you needn’t be foraging for the nearest McDonald’s or whipping up some crap in your hostel when you travel. It also means we can stay in nicer places and shop for something exotic to bring home.
There’s no turning back
When you do want to come home, you’ll realise you’re a different person, people have moved on and relationships drifted apart. Getting back into your career seems impossible, and home just isn’t home anymore.
Plan around Public Holidays & Long Weekends
For example, in 2014 alone we have managed to travel to Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney, the Barossa Valley, Cebu in the Philippines and we still have Kuala Lumpur, Bangalore before the year is up. That’s a total of 43 non-work related travel days. This is after wasting several long weekends unwell, working or redesigning the blog. We’ve rushed straight to the airport from meetings or jumped right back into work while still jet lagged, but it’s completely worth it every single time. (Would you rather be lying in bed stressing about rejoining work tomorrow, or enjoying a few extra hours in your new favourite city/ museum/ lying on the beach?)
Time off between jobs
This is the best time to take off without a care in the world. And you’ll come back recharged and full of interesting stories.
Save more to travel more
Naturally everyone needs to figure out their priorities and between champagne and airline tickets, you need to take your pick, so you can actually enjoy one of the two. Think of your non-travel time as your saving period. For eg. We know eating out at the fanciest joints in Mumbai is not worth the money at all, we’d rather eat at the best restaurants while travelling and then recreate the stuff in our kitchen once we’re home.
Choose destinations wisely
There’s another way to get more mileage out of your money and time. Pick destinations that are off season or a cheaper alternative. The Philippines as we just discovered is a great alternative to Bali.
Travel v/s vacation
Ask yourself why you’re travelling. If you’re looking for a vacation every single time, you may need to wait for when you can really afford to cut off, but remaining connected to the office remotely, mixing a bit of pleasure on a work trip, getting workshop and conference opportunities really lets you travel more.
Working abroad/ E business
Of course if your line of work is one that can be handled remotely (like an E-business) you’re free to live a nomadic life, and then there’s always the option of working abroad for a while (preferably in the same industry, because no software company’s going to hire someone with experience as an English teacher in Africa on their CV).
No more excuses
Stop procrastinating and get out there!
Travellers Who Work Full Time
And if that doesn’t get you going, hear it from some of our travel blogger friends and find out how they do it:
Lale of Lale’s Wanderlust is currently a full-time student, doing a master’s in Deaf Education in NYC and travels between semesters. She also babysits to earn money for between semesters trips. Read more…
Tracie from Tracie Travels and Jen and Tracie Go is a wedding and portrait photographer from Seattle who juggles 2 travel blogs, which is a tough balancing job, but with some planning in advance, she does manage it. Read more…
Anne of Anne Kleins Solo Travels and Adventure is a full time nurse and part time traveller, who presently loves her job and has no plans of calling it quits. She maintains the boundaries between the two pretty well. Read more…
Heather of The Conversant Traveller works full time at an outdoor education centre in the UK, is very honest about how the two do overlap sometimes, and while she loves having a place to call home, she manages to switch off and take a break. Read more…
Bianca of It’s All Bee is a trés stylish full time IT consultant and part time traveller from London who enjoys her little indulgences and so spends her time working towards fulfilling her dream of travelling the globe a little at a time. Read more…
Kirstie of Vengale Vamos works in Digital Marketing in Sydney and confesses that while her travel may suffer because of the hours, she loves her job and has no immediate plans of giving it up. Read more…
Christine from NYC Jetsetter also makes the most of holidays and leaves through the year, and when it all gets a bit overwhelming, reminds herself that this is what she’s passionate about. Someday she hopes to be her own boss! Read more…
Jules and Christine of Don’t Forget to Move balance full time work and a part time Masters course in Melbourne as well. They find creating a schedule and exploring their hometown while they’re grounded is a great way to keep the wanderlust at bay. Read more…
So take it from us, Don’t Quit Your Job and Travel. Do you have any rants that you think can’t be solved? Or any experiences or tips of your own to share?