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Quiting work to travel.

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I am curious to know if any of you have quit your job to travel?
5 years ago, February 4th 2009 No: 1 Msg: #62271  
I want to know if any of you have quit your job to travel for an extended period of time. Or, are any of you considering quitting your job soon to travel even though the economy isn't so great? Do you know where you're going to work when you get back or would you rather not think about it, like me.

Thanks,
Jonathan Reply to this

5 years ago, February 4th 2009 No: 2 Msg: #62275  
I'll be quitting my job, at the end of March next year, to do my round the world trip. I'll probably return to the same company once I finish the trip.
Reply to this

5 years ago, February 5th 2009 No: 3 Msg: #62300  
Hello Jonathan

Yes, in my early 20s I quit a few jobs to travel. In my late 20s I used to do as much overtime at work as I could in exchange for more time off for travel. I then quit that job just before my daughter was born, so I could look after her.

Do you know where you're going to work when you get back or would you rather not think about it, like me.


I have always been able to find some sort of job when I got back.

Mel
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5 years ago, February 5th 2009 No: 4 Msg: #62324  
I quit my job in September 2007 to travel for a year. Definitely never regretted that decision! There are always jobs around if you look hard enough when you return.

And the fantastic experiences you have more than make up for the time you are not earning cash.

My advice is always "carpe diem" on these things. Reply to this

5 years ago, February 5th 2009 No: 5 Msg: #62325  
Hello

I gave up everything, my job, my flat, my belongings and even my cat!!!
Came to the conclusion that life is too short to spend it making others rich....
You can always work abroad while travelling! Teaching English is an option.
Get yourself onto a TEFL/CELTA course first though.

Nick


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5 years ago, February 5th 2009 No: 6 Msg: #62330  
Hi, I took a year's unpaid leave from a "safe", desk-bound job I'd had for 10 years - and emailed my resignation from a beach in Thailand, 9 months later. Never looked back. I used to work with some people who took a sabbatical and returned a year later, sitting in the same seat, doing the same work... .

You'll always find some kind of work when you return. Who knows where life will take you? Reply to this

5 years ago, February 5th 2009 No: 7 Msg: #62334  
B Posts: 840
Wow, I wish I had the nerve to do that when I was younger! But I did quit early to enjoy my self-imposed retirement traveling around. The longest leave I took when I was younger was 6 months......not too brave to quit. But I am curious, when one quits a job to travel....... does one first decide on a travel plan ---- like spending a year in South America, or in Asia ---- before quitting? Reply to this

5 years ago, February 5th 2009 No: 8 Msg: #62335  

..when one quits a job to travel....... does one first decide on a travel plan ---- like spending a year in South America, or in Asia ---- before quitting?



I generally decided that I am going to travel to someplace in particular, or I am going to move to another country. Then after that decision was made, I quit the job when I had enough money to go through with the travel or move.

At one of my jobs the place shut down because it did not have enough customers. Consequently all of us(the staff) lost our jobs. I decided that since I was between jobs anyway, I might as well move to another country and get a new job there. Reply to this

5 years ago, February 5th 2009 No: 9 Msg: #62343  
Hi,

Great topic...I will be quitting my comfy good paying job to do something that is far more important ..and really that a lot of people dont get to do in a lifetime...I will be giving up everything i have ( car, apt, all my belongings) in order to make a dream of mine come true which is to travel. Although the economy is bad right now, there is atleast 1 bright spot...its bad EVERYWHERE not just your home country so exchange rates could be better depending where you are traveling ;-)...I actually liked some of the responses to this topic that the majority of you all didnt 2nd guess yourselves and never looked back..especially the resignation from a beach in Thailand haha thought that was priceless!!! anywho..just wanted to put my 2 cents in on the topic..Good Luck all wherever your journeys take you!!!

Greg Reply to this

5 years ago, February 5th 2009 No: 10 Msg: #62348  
This IS a great topic,

My wife and I took a years sabbatical from our super well paid careers May 07-May 08, and when we were finished we came back to the same jobs... thankfully though not the same desk, though if I turn my head I can see my old desk. I loved that desk, one of the only two desks (out of 63 others) that has a window and view next to it.

We saw coming back as a positive thing as my wife fell pregnant while we were away and the extra stability has obviously been a bonus.

We rented out our house while we were away and when we got back and filled it with all our old things it sadly felt like we'd never left.




So... what for the future? Hopefully in a couple of years (we're saving like crazy at the moment), we're both going to quit for good, sell everything with no sentimental value, and go again, hopefully getting skilled migrant visas to Australia with the aim of working there for a while. We don't want any plans before we go other than to 'make it to Australia', and the feelings of insecurity all this brings is kind of liberating.

I'm going to be able to play and interact with my new son 24 hours a day with no one esle to answer to or no-one elses schedule to adhere to.

Granted it won't last forever and I'm going to have to eventually settle again somewhere, build up a life for the family all again, maybe that will be here in the U.K., maybe it won't... My memories of my previous trips are priceless, I'm just looking forward to racking up a hell of a lot more!

Reply to this

5 years ago, February 5th 2009 No: 11 Msg: #62351  
Thanks for sharing all the great stories so far. I am planning to break away this June and have had my reservations. But, as the date is fast approaching, my worries have disappeared and I am totally focused on the trip that awaits. My wife and I are resourceful people and know we can find work when and if we decide to return. It's obviously something that I must do or I will regret it forever.

MichaelnFaye, I like your point about seeing your old desk when you came back. That has gone through my head quite a bit in considering my options. I have realized I don't want to come back to what I've left. It would be to familiar, as you said. In your situation it was the best choice and fortunate that you had it as an option.

I look forward to hearing from others.

Thanks,
Jonathan


Reply to this

5 years ago, February 5th 2009 No: 12 Msg: #62352  
I quit my job in November of 2004. I sold my house and everything I owned. I travelled around the world for 3 years without a break. I'm now living a very different life as an expat in Indonesia. I'm sure I'll be on the road again when my one year contract ends. Reply to this

5 years ago, February 5th 2009 No: 13 Msg: #62356  
B Posts: 32
I quit a very comfortable ex-pat job in finance in Hong Kong last May to travel. I think that taking time off in these markets is an especially good move, not the other way around with people worrying about job security. These are the days you wont be making the bonus or the promotion, these are the days that you wont have competing offers coming to you to boost your value to your firm. In my mind, i woudl rather not be working in such horrible markets, with low morale, and less actual work to do as activity has drastically slowed down.
My friends in HK who used to make bank are receiving bonuses this year close to nothing. People are TRYING to get laid off bc the redundancy packages are so nice. They want to be travelling and not have to worry at work. The only thing keeping them is some people of course have children to take care of and mortgages to pay.

When markets pick up again, I have no doubt that it will be easy to find a job in whatever you want to do, if you are qualified for it of course. When hiring begins again it will be a cinch. You just have to be comfortable financially to last yourself until the downturn is over...
Reply to this

5 years ago, February 6th 2009 No: 14 Msg: #62368  
Great post...and great comments!

Amy, you are right on the point...well, and you have a great blog!

Michael and Faye, what a beautiful story...and don't worry, it doesn't stop with the kids....you just have to be a little more organized.

On my side I'm really lucky to have find a job...that I keep doing on the road. So never really off the work, but that's ok as I have plenty of time to travel all over...funny to say, the real only limitation is my son who goes to school...16 weeks holidays a year for him, that's it...but we do the best with them! And I don't believe much in home schooling, so I guess I've got to wait that he reachs University to really hit the road full time...they grow so fast, I don't have to worry much...

Peter Reply to this

5 years ago, February 6th 2009 No: 15 Msg: #62372  
This is exactly the type of question that led me to discover this site in the first place. It's great to see such optimism from everyone.

I really like Amy's rationalization about the current situation. Sure, pretty much all of us want to have a long and successful careers about about as much as we want to take extended time off and travel, but what's the point of wasting so much energy trying to climb a slippery slope right now? If you have enough confidence in your ability to leave your job and travel in the first place, then you already have far more than what it takes to get a great job again once you are back on the market.

Some will say that you're selling yourself short if you leave a steady job in unstable times, but that only happens if you ignore what you dream of doing, no?
Reply to this

5 years ago, February 6th 2009 No: 16 Msg: #62389  

Some will say that you're selling yourself short if you leave a steady job in unstable times, but that only happens if you ignore what you dream of doing, no?


I think you are selling yourself short, if you sell out for security. I think people in their early 20s often grapple with the 'security or do what my soul it telling me to do' dilemma. Many choose careers and/or relationships that are not the right ones for them.
Reply to this

5 years ago, February 6th 2009 No: 17 Msg: #62391  

.... don't worry, it doesn't stop with the kids....you just have to be a little more organized.


Yeah, it is all about juggling. You dont really need to give things up. You just move them over a little to make room for more.
Reply to this

5 years ago, February 6th 2009 No: 18 Msg: #62394  
My financee and I quit our jobs last January to travel for a year. We are now over the one year mark and are still going. We left when the economy was booming and we were certain we would find jobs upon our return, but even with the downturn, we are not worried, as we too always manage to find some kind of work and aren't afraid to try anything. We packed in our jobs, we sold vehicles, sold furniture and put the rest of our belongings in storage. We are also not in our 20's - we are in our late 30's and early 40's - definitely not a decision most people our age make! We have not regretted one single moment of this decision - only that it has to come to an end eventually! We like to call it "trial retirement" and we know now that we love it!!
As one of the other forums mentioned - you never know where life will take you, but you have to take the first step and it is often the most difficult one. Enjoy your travels wherever they may take you! Reply to this

5 years ago, February 6th 2009 No: 19 Msg: #62425  
Like many others on this forum, I too quit the "safe" job and went traveling, perhaps to explore entrepreneurial opportunities and also to just travel. My traveling was relatively short at just five months, but when some bills are more under control, I think I'll be on the road again. As others mentioned, jobs and "job lives" come and go - you'll find something to pay bills. Indeed, necessity is the mother of invention - you'll get hungry and need money somehow if nothing else (or you'll want to travel some more and need money for that!).

Perhaps the one thing I could add is reactions from family and friends. My experience was my immediate family all but got on their hands and knees to beg me to not go. There were dire emails of my finances going into ruins from not working, my house that I was renting out being destroyed by my renters, and my personal safety in peril by being an American traveling in countries that may not appreciate my citizenship. While it is always good to know people sincerely care for you and want good things for you, I also knew I had to go anyway. Obviously, don't do stupid things while traveling, but know the "only thing to fear is fear itself", even when traveling to far away places. Reply to this

5 years ago, February 6th 2009 No: 20 Msg: #62428  

Perhaps the one thing I could add is reactions from family and friends. My experience was my immediate family all but got on their hands and knees to beg me to not go. There were dire emails of my finances going into ruins from not working, my house that I was renting out being destroyed by my renters, and my personal safety in peril by being an American traveling in countries that may not appreciate my citizenship. While it is always good to know people sincerely care for you and want good things for you, I also knew I had to go anyway. Obviously, don't do stupid things while traveling, but know the "only thing to fear is fear itself", even when traveling to far away places.



This is the big thing. I assume everyone here had to go through that before they took off, and I'm personally dealing with that right now. When you're asking yourself how you're going to be "safe" by doing this, then those around you who will appear to be most vocal are bound to be those that seek out safety in life the most. They think they're being the most rational, so maybe it's just as well you just leave your reasoning at "I know I have to go anyway". Reply to this

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