Why the, ‘Quit Your Job and Travel,’ Mantra Should Not Be Taken Seriously
Beautiful sunset scenes, people welcoming deep clouds with opening arms, tourists canoeing wild and wide rivers – everything looks so surreal, so wonderful, so free! You’re looking at these images from your dull and boring cubicle desk, cursing your life and your routine. It makes it even worse when your social media newsfeed has dozens of articles suggesting you take the leap of faith. Quit your job. Go travel. Start a blog. Live free.
With this vision, you do end up quitting your job and you do get your travel plans ready. But once you’re out there and begin running out of funds, that’s when reality settles in. If you live in the West, you may have the leverage of a stronger dollar value. But if you’re somewhere in Asia and want to quit your job and travel, you may be in for a rude awakening.
Social media glamorizes the life of a traveler. The Instagram posts, the Facebook live videos, the detailed blog posts, all make us regular joes feel like we’ve missed out a large chunk of our lives by not boarding a plane.
So if you’re planning to quit your job and travel, stop and re-evaluate your decision. Here are a few important points you need to consider when you decide to take the plunge.
1. You Can’t Quit Your Job Because You Need Money to Travel
Unless you’re an entrepreneur, a freelancer with a stable income or someone who has a passive stream of income, you cannot just quit your job and travel. Know that an extended travel plan can cost you thousands of dollars. Even if you save up and have that once in a lifetime experience, what are you going to do when you come back from the trip? Will you be broke and be in debt? You’ll have to find a job from scratch.
2. Understand the Difference Between Reality and Social Media Glamor
Travel is an experience. Very rare is it a lifestyle. And those who do make it a lifestyle have to give up on a lot. Are you ready to give up on a mortgage, a security plan, an investment plan, insurance plan, retirement plan? Are you ready to be a thousand miles away from your loved ones who may need you? Most importantly, are you ready to give up a life of comfort for an uncertain, unstable life? You may say YES to all of this but know that when you hit the road, you hit reality. You’ll be facing culture shock, law differences, money problems, loneliness, and in some cases language barriers. Know that what you see on social media is just the superficial view of things.
3. Take a Break if You Need to But Wisely
We all face burnout from work, from life, from the daily boring routine. But that doesn’t mean we act rashly. If you quit your job with no backup plan, you’ll end up being more depressed and frustrated. Take a break, travel; but only if you have a plan. Try finding a stable online income and then begin your travel. While doing so, make sure you are aware of time zone differences, online payments, internet connections and other minor details of working while traveling. Some people have great experiences, others have complained of a haphazard routine, a looming feeling of working round the clock even though they were supposed to travel.
4. Know that Eventually, Even Travel Would Tire You Out Too
Just like you’re frustrated with your job right now, traveling for a year or more will eventually tire you out as well. You’ll be home-sick, you’ll be restless and you’ll long for a time to just come home to your old neighborhood, your old friends and family and your life. As with a job, travel would become a chore if that’s all your exposed to. You’ll have to constantly make arrangements, constantly look out for places with stable internet connections, with affordable living, with planning your next move and so on. Learn to balance a life of work with a life of travel. You can have the best of both worlds, don’t limit yourself by just choosing one of them.
5. Don’t Let the New Narrative Mislead You
Travel helps you enjoy a new experience, but it is not the only way to attain fulfillment or joy. It is merely a luxury, a choice to experience something different, but it is certainly not a NEED. The new narrative talks of traveling like as if it’s a basic human need. Don’t worry, you won’t lose out on your chance of happiness if you don’t travel.
At the end of the day, traveling is a choice, not a necessity. It is also very dependent on what you are willing to give up – comfort, lifestyle, family, friends and everything you hold dear. You don’t have to necessarily take this route, instead, opt for the best of both worlds. Travel and work in peace.