Why You Shouldn’t Quit Your Job and Travel the World (Until You Read This)

Are you tired of reading those “Quit your Job and Travel the World” articles? Well, so am I and perhaps half of the people in this world. See, I’ve done this. I actually quit my job and decided to travel the world for a year. But I don’t actually promote it. Why? Because not everyone can do it. Not bragging, just being realistic. I was able to find a “window,” a transition point, to travel for the second time in my life. I had just finished grad school and was ending my internships. I had a job that I wasn’t thrilled about and was looking for a change. Plus I have the incurable “Travel Bug” so it was obvious to me that I needed a few months off from ‘reality.’ But I didn’t wake up in June 2015, newly graduated, and decided to do this. It was the summer prior that I was over everything in my life and just itching for a change. So, for that year, I saved. I saved as much as I could and decided in June 2014, I was going to explore. It’s not until November 2014, 7 months before graduation, that I decided on where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do.

  Photo courtesy of weknowyourdreams.com

Photo courtesy of weknowyourdreams.com

I had a general idea of what I wanted to do and whatever my plans were, did not exceed my budget. So, if I only had $2,000, then I was only going to do $2,000 worth of travel. This means the dream vacation to Bora Bora was Out Out. So, please don’t quit your job and think that you can figure it out on the way. You’re going to end up stressed and pissed you gave up your job and home stability if you don’t think this through.

  Photo courtesy of lonelyplanet.com

Photo courtesy of lonelyplanet.com

We all have that friend that seems like they just got up and decided to travel and the next day, they’re gone. Although this might seem like the good life, we’ve put some thought into traveling. Often times, when things don’t go as planned, we secretly long for that old life that we gave up, realizing that it can’t come back as easily as we would want it to.

If you’re thinking about taking the plunge, here’s a few things that you can do to get what you want and not completely throw away your stability.

Talk to your employer. Yes, talk to your boss. Take a different approach for living the wanderlust life and see if your employer can give you the time off you need to do what you want. I met a ton of people who were traveling and they were taking a two month break from work. Some jobs will be thrilled to not pay you for a short amount of time and have you come back and without having to hire a new person and do all that paperwork. Plus, the temp they found to cover you will be thankful too. Did I do this? No, I already knew that I didn’t want to return to my job in the position that I was working in, so putting in my two weeks’ notice was completely fine with me.

Save, save, save. I know this is common sense but not everyone really understands the need to save money.  Emergencies will happen on your travels, whether you want them to or not. You might miss a bus or a train and end up having to pay more to get to your location. If you’re like me, you might get sick in Argentina because your body couldn’t adjust to the temperature change from Florida’s summer to Chile’s winter. So when you end up walking around Rio de Janeiro’s spring looking for medicine for your crazy near death pneumonia, you’re financially prepared.

Know your time limit. If you’re able to get a month off of work, don’t plan a 6 month itinerary. You’re going to use most of your time traveling instead of enjoying the trip. So, if you have a month and you’re going to Europe, pick a few cities that you can get to and travel to easily giving you a few days in each one. Make sure you also do some research. Us travelers have gone through the good, bad and the ugly and have written about it. Most likely we have written about a place you want to visit. Do your research and see how long you should stay there and how much you should expect to spend each day.  If your employer is nice enough to give you a month off, then just winging it will not work.

Find someone to take over your place. If you’re renting a place, check in with friends and family to see if they know someone who can cover your expenses while you’re gone. It’s much easier than trying to sell all your furniture or putting all your things in storage, which can lead to stress or an added cost. Talk to your building owner and see if they can be of help and offer options. If you’re a good tenant, your landlord might try and offer suggestions rather than have you move out. If you live with roommates, temporary sublets also work. Offer your room up on Craigslist or AirBnB.

Travel within your means. The US has many, many cities that are worth exploring. Renting a car and doing a cross country road trip can be just as exciting as international travel. If you don’t have a lot of time or a decent budget for international travel, a month of U.S. road-tripping can satisfy any wanderlust needs. Many travelers have been to international destinations but can’t tell you much about their home country. So rent a car, or an RV for lodging and transportation, and set off into the sunset.

 A conversation might determine your next destination.  Talking to your employer can open travel opportunities.

A conversation might determine your next destination.  Talking to your employer can open travel opportunities.

If you like your job, but still want to travel try thinking of temporary alternatives rather than completely giving up your life. Quitting your job, selling your things and traveling the world seems like the ultimate dream, but it honestly can be a nightmare or just impossible. A lot of us have financial responsibilities that we can’t ignore or place on hold. Don’t follow the crazies out there! Travel a little more responsibly. To all of you “quit your job” Wanderlusts out there, continue to travel less responsibly! ;-)

Article used with permission of author.  Source